Senior College Football Columnist

Mailbag: Is Mark Emmert's job in jeopardy?

Here is this week's mailbag. As always, you can send questions to me via Twitter to @BFeldmanCBS:

From @Monsoonforlife: will Emmert be canned before the 2013 football season starts?

It wouldn't shock me despite the NCAA's Executive Committee releasing a statement "unanimously" affirming its ongoing support of embattled NCAA president Mark Emmert's leadership. In other news, my mom thinks I'm actually as good a basketball player as LeBron James and everything I write is great.

Unanimously? As in there are 17 members of the Executive Committee and not a single one saw any reason to have issue with Emmert's handling of this fiasco. Zero for 17?

Yep.

That should be stunning -- should be, but it just seems par for the course with the NCAA and Emmert. Earlier in the week, when the NCAA had its teleconference regarding the botched Miami investigation, word got out about Emmert canning several top NCAA enforcement staffers, including Julie Roe Lach. That's the person he picked for the role two years ago. I asked the president, in light of his push to punish head coaches for the screwups of their underlings, what he would say to those who think it is hypocritical that there would be no punishment for him given the egregious mistakes his people have made?

Emmert's response seemed like a shoulder shrug: "If the Executive Committee feels some sort of disciplinary action needs to be taken against me, then I'm sure they will."

So on Saturday, we got that glowing statement about Emmert and the Executive Committee, and it went over with quite a thud. A source at a big BCS school I spoke with Saturday night told me he's heard Emmert won't keep his job. And there are too many people coming at the guy now from all sides, and the Executive Committee's statement only inflamed things around him even more. I don't know. Maybe that is just wishful thinking. Does that mean Emmert will be forced out in the next year?

I suspect we're going to get even more lawsuits, which has the potential to uncover more embarrassing information about how the NCAA operates its murky system of "justice" -- and I've heard there will be more details coming out soon about Emmert that will only fan the flames of his grease fire. One intriguing part of this will be what Miami president Donna Shalala does down the road as the UM case keeps unfolding. No school ever has come out as hard against the NCAA publicly as Miami did earlier this week. Among the haymakers: "...sadly the NCAA has not lived up to their own core principles. The lengthy and already flawed investigation has demonstrated a disappointing pattern of unprofessional and unethical behavior."

Shalala, keep in mind, has as many big connections in the world of politics as anyone in the NCAA community from her days in D.C., where she served eight years as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. She has clout and isn't intimidated playing politics. I doubt the NCAA wants this ending up on Capitol Hill.

In my story earlier this weekend, Pete Carroll had some very strong comments about just how broken and bewildering this whole process is, and how it needs to change now. I feel like that sentiment is shared by more and more people within the college sports community and, like I was told Saturday night, this is gaining more traction. But will key power brokers inside the sport actually feel compelled to act?

From @bc_585: Will Georgia's defense grow up fast enough to make them a legit national title contender next year?

I'm skeptical they can do all that in 2013. The Dawgs just lost too many talented, experienced players off last year's D. At the combine, I asked outgoing UGA D-lineman Abry Jones which players he expected to step up and become the defense's leaders next fall. He mentioned DB Damian Swann and DE Garrison Smith as guys ready to do that.

The other big key is the continued development of DE Jordan Jenkins, the 6-3, 260-pounder coming off a strong freshman debut. He can be a difference maker. Jones talked about how coachable Jenkins is and thinks he's headed for stardom. If the Dawgs are going to push past the rest of the SEC East and Bama and Texas A&M, Jenkins will need to play like an All-American and open things up for other young defenders.

From @Sketchwork: (Responding to my tweet about Geno Smith running an unofficial 4.56 40 at the Combine Sunday) His fastest 40 ever?

Actually, it is not. Smith's old QB coach Jake Spavital told me that his protege had clocked times in the 4.4s but that was before the quarterback had bulked up to his current 219 pounds.

From @sportsquotation: Who was funniest and most quotable player you ever covered?

By far, the funniest and most quotable is Charles Barkley. The guy is candid and fearless and fantastic, but I'm hedging by saying I "covered" him. Technically, we interviewed him for our Roll Tide/War Eagle documentary, and he didn't disappoint.

In terms of football players, I'd say former Colorado State/NFL WR David Anderson is the funniest player I've ever covered. Well, he wasn't that funny when I covered him (he was feisty and had a chip on his shoulder back in his CSU days), but since we live in the same town now I've realized how funny he can be sometimes. Simeon Rice, from Illinois, was pure gold in my experiences speaking to him. I recall old FSU D-lineman Travis Johnson being really entertaining to talk to, as was Terrell Suggs. So was Illinois WR Brandon Lloyd and Ole Miss DT Jerrell Powe. Of the recent guys, LSU's Sam Montgomery is engaging and not a cliche machine.

 
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