A Call to Action

NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks at the organization's annual convention, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Grapevine, Texas. Emme
NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks at the organization's annual convention, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Grapevine, Texas. Emmert delivered his state of the association address on the second day of the group's convention, where several reform measures are on the agenda in the wake of high-profile scandals. The board could make sweeping changes this week, including rules about communicating recruits. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

In recent years the NCAA has demonstrated worse decision-making abilities than Lance Armstrong, Lindsay Lohan, and, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo combined. Hired as NCAA president in 2010, Mark Emmert, has run an organization that has botched countless investigations around the country while ignoring the requirements of due process and its own rulebook (see Penn State). And, most recently, the NCAA has admitted that during an investigation into suspected violations by the University of Miami, it paid an outside investigator to sidestep the NCAA's bylaws in an effort to obtain evidence.

Disturbingly, President Emmert has either sanctioned or hired the individuals responsible for these repeated blunders and errors in judgment. Ethics, decency, and accountability are principles no longer displayed by the NCAA increasingly since Emmert assumed control of this association. When confronting the ineptitude shown by his organization, Emmert has skillfully deflected blame while displaying an amazing ability to proffer excuses and scapegoats.

Anyone associated with college athletics understands the term "institutional control." In fact, the NCAA explicitly requires each member institution to exhibit "institutional control" in its operations. And a loss of institutional control, depending upon the magnitude of the violation, will result in punishment from the NCAA. The NCAA Manual even delineates the purpose of the association, in part, "to uphold the principal of institutional control." Yet, sadly, Emmert has failed to ensure compliance of his organization with this important tenet.

Undeniably, the NCAA has lost its credibility -- with its members, the student-athletes, the media, and the general public. It is time for a change, and since Emmert -- despite his reported $1.6 million salary -- shows no interest in being accountable as the steward of this flailing organization, it is incumbent upon the leaders of higher education to take action. While there are 1,066 active member schools in the NCAA, under the NCAA's bylaws, it is a 19-person executive committee comprised primarily of college presidents tasked with hiring and evaluating the NCAA president.

Now is the time for the NCAA's executive committee to take a stand and replace the individual who has refused to hold himself accountable for his institution's failures. The nearly 400,000 student-athletes competing in intercollegiate athletics deserve better. Perhaps a conference call is in order to discuss taking action?