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The Politics of Emmert’s “Crazy” Comment

Yesterday I wrote about NCAA President Mark Emmert calling opposition to deregulation “crazy” and the current monitoring burden “insane”. After the post, I added this tweet:


That deserves more explanation.

First a quick review. Proposal RWG-13-3, which allows for unlimited phone calls and text messages to high school seniors in all sports, was passed by the Board of Directors at the NCAA Convention in January. It then received 83 override requests, which triggered the override process, a process which starts with review by the Board of Directors.

If the Board of Directors decides to do nothing at its May 2nd meeting in Indianapolis, the proposal goes to an override vote. In an override vote, schools have one week to file comments, followed by one week to vote. Schools can vote in favor of the override (against the proposal), against the override (for the proposal), or not vote at all.

A 5/8th majority of schools voting is needed for the override to succeed and the proposal to be defeated. If every school participates in an override vote, 213 votes are needed for the override to succeed. The fewer schools that vote against the override, the easier it is for the override to succeed.

In this context, calling the opposition crazy makes more sense. The opposition needs to add at least 130 schools to the 83 that requested the override if every school votes. If we assume Emmert is the leader of deregulation movement, he no longer needs to win over schools on the fence. More important is preventing defections and getting the vote out from schools that support unlimited phone calls.

Yesterday Mark Emmert compared himself to a couple of political figures like the President or the Secretary General of the UN when explaining how much legislative authority he has. But in this instance, he can be compared to the Senate Minority Leader. He does not need to win the vote. He just needs to keep the filibuster going on a little longer until it is too late to change the outcome.

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