NCAA President Mark Emmert was given a show of support. / LM Otero, AP
The NCAA's executive committee "unanimously affirmed" its support for embattled president Mark Emmert on Saturday after a conference call, according to a written statement from Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon.
"Mark Emmert was hired to lead a major transformation of the NCAA," the statement read. "Much has been accomplished without fanfare, such as academic reforms, enhanced fiscal accountability and organizational transparency. The Executive Committee and President Emmert recognize there is much yet to do and that the road to transformational change is often bumpy and occasionally controversial. Therefore, on Friday the Executive Committee unanimously affirmed its confidence in Mark's leadership as president and its support for his ongoing efforts to implement these essential and historic reforms."
The statement essentially puts to rest, for now, the notion that Emmert's job is in jeopardy after Monday's embarrassing report detailing the NCAA enforcement staff's missteps in investigating the infractions case against the University of Miami.
The report, which was completed by an outside law firm, concluded that investigators acted improperly in approving and financing a relationship with the attorney for former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro to gain information via bankruptcy proceedings, as the NCAA has no subpoena power. Vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach was fired as a result, and the NCAA said it will not use any information that was gained improperly in the case against Miami, but the enforcement scandal has given credence to many critics who have long claimed the enforcement process is broken.
CBSSports.com reported Friday that a memo had circulated within Mountain West Conference leadership that read, in part, "Is it time for the presidents to seek new NCAA leadership or a new organization?" The memo reportedly was directed toward Fresno State President John Welty, who represents the MWC on the Division I Board of Directors.
Emmert said this week that the NCAA will take an in-depth look at the enforcement division and engage the NCAA membership to see how it wants enforcement to operate going forward. Meanwhile, the case against Miami continues, as a notice of allegations was delivered Tuesday.
The NCAA Executive Committee is a group made up of 16 college presidents, two conference commissioners and one athletics director.
The group, according to Simon's statement, "affirmed our expectation that the association move forward with the next phase of its regulatory review. A thorough examination and subsequent improvement of processes, policies, procedures and investigative tools is necessary. Developing a mechanism for monitoring adherence with policies, while also reviewing the interaction between the legal and regulatory staffs, is key to moving forward. In short, we demand the highest level of integrity and accountability not only from our peers but also from the national office. While progress has been made, additional important work remains."
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