Opinion: NCAA has essentially made Mark Emmert king for life, and he hasn’t earned it

In the most literal sense, NCAA president Mark Emmert’s contract was extended by just two years Tuesday, a nugget of information buried under the heading “Other business” in a late evening news release about the NCAA’s Board of Governors meeting earlier in the day. 

But symbolically, the college presidents who approved the contract might as well have made Emmert king for life. 

If you thought the last 12 months of NCAA missteps might finally be enough for influential college presidents to finally shove Emmert out of the plane with a golden parachute strapped to his back — a theory that had been banging around the athletics world over the last few weeks — you have severely underestimated their capacity for tolerating embarrassment. 

It’s now clear there’s no amount of incompetence coming from the chief executive of the NCAA that won’t be rewarded with even more job security and many millions of dollars shoved in his pocket. 

Emmert is coming up on his 11th full year as NCAA president, and the contract extension awarded to him Tuesday will take him through 2025, when he will be 73 years old. 

In the real world, endorsing more years of Emmert’s leadership would be the product of a job well done and a distinguished tenure that elevated the organization he has been charged to lead. Instead, it looks like a big, fat, sloppy kiss from a group of spineless, out-of-touch academics who are too clueless about the dilapidated state of the NCAA to know any better. 

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