2022 really isn’t Mark Emmert’s year.
While Congress is critiquing every aspect of the NCAA it can think of, and the organization’s tight fist is forced open by revelations of its total inability to regulate sports. college sports, Emmert had to stand on a nationally televised stage and present the NCAA National Basketball Championship trophy to Bill Self, who has been under investigation by the NCAA for the past five years, after when his Kansas team beat UNC 72-69 in New Orleans last night.
Faced with five first-degree violations of illegal recruitment practices in an ongoing case that not only got the coach fired but also sent Adidas employees to jail, Self and the Jayhawks seemed to rise above the charges, basking in the glory of victory and the life of the contract Self receives in 2021. With the NCAA slopping inefficiently on full screen, representative Emmert hands the car over. That trophy for Self, the FBI investigation seemed to be the last thing on KU’s mind after the number one seed beat the biggest comeback in NCAA championship history.
Maybe the embarrassment of that situation was taking over his mind, because Emmert endorsed the introduction of national championship winners, calling them the “Kansas City Jayhawks.” Of course, Kansas City is in the state of Missouri, and the four-time champion isn’t exactly the champion in the sport. It was a tough night for the NCAA president.
Emmert isn’t the only broadcaster this weekend to mistake a name – ESPN’s Holly Rowe called South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Final Four’s Player of the Year, as “Aaliyah Edwards” – a guy The blunder was made worse by the fact that there was an Aaliyah Edwards in the building, a sophomore on the UConn team that Boston and the Gamecocks had just defeated in the women’s national championship game. Rowe later tweeted an apology, writing, “brain spasticity occurred.”
We want to say goodbye to the best two weeks in sports until next year. At that point, Kansas could face sanctions including scholarship cuts, academic suspensions or post-season bans, leaving them unable to defend their title. Each CBS Sportspenalties are said to be coming soon and won’t be easy on the Jayhawks’ show.