Mark Emmert and a slew of college athletics monarchs convened in New York City on Wednesday. Why were they all there? One of the world's biggest agencies, IMG, held its Intercollegiate Athletics Forum -- and so there were panels and interviews and a bunch of hobnobbing.
Some of the biggest news was dispersed via Twitter when Emmert essentially accused ESPN analyst Jay Bilas of lacking the bravura to run the NCAA, something Emmert has done with enormous amounts of criticism since he took the post three years ago. From CBSSports.com senior college football writer Bruce Feldman, who was on hand in New York:
Mark Emmert on @JayBilas: “I dare say I know more about running complex organizations than him & he knows more about basketball.”— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 11, 2013
Emmert also said Bilas' panning of Emmert and the NCAA are "ad hominem" attacks.
Bilas is as outspoken and well-known as any NCAA critic the world has. His Twitter feed essentially amounts to early morning rap verses, retweets of compliments for his new book, the occasional photobomb and thawck after thwack against the NCAA, many of those attacks validated and in need of a megaphone.
But Bilas has also been consistently and directly critical of Emmert; one of the more notable knocks against him via Bilas came when he called Emmert an "absentee president" in an interview with SI.com back in March. It's no surprise that Emmert's rabbit ears caught Bilas' words, and the NCAA's Poobah, for all his perceived faults, isn't one thing: afraid. He'll go face to face with pretty much anyone willing to take a shot at him or the NCAA.
Later on Wednesday, Bilas responded to Emmert's comment, doing so via Twitter, and back to Feldman.
@BFeldmanCBS if by "ad hominem," he means many agree with me, he's correct. They're not attacks. The criticism is fair, and right on.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 11, 2013
@BFeldmanCBS He's absolutely correct on the latter. The former, perhaps not so much.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 11, 2013
You know what I'd like to see? A one-on-one interview, conducted by Bilas, with Emmert. Just 45 minutes of these two colliding their philosophies and bringing more attention to the discussion and discourse that still remains between NCAA policy and public outcry.