Mountain West memo criticizes NCAA leadership

A memo questioning NCAA leadership has circulated internally among Mountain West presidents, has learned.

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The memo is directed at Fresno State president John Welty, who has served on both of the NCAA’s main governing bodies that are responsible for oversight and setting policy -- the executive committee and board of directors. obtained contents of the email memo from a source who did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the correspondence.

"Is it time for the presidents to seek new NCAA leadership or a new organization?" it reads. "The NCAA has evidenced decisions that focus on trivial and penalize our athletes. The salaries for the NCAA leadership are excessive and an embarrassment to the Mountain West schools. Their decision making is cumbersome and oblique."

The memo begins by referring to Welty as "our rep to the NCAA." Welty is a current member of the board, an 18-member body -- 11 of whom are FBS CEOs. Welty also served on the executive committee, comprised of CEOs from FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III.

Both bodies’ power extend to the highest level. For example, both signed off on the Penn State penalties and, in the past, have reviewed schools’ uses of offensive nicknames. NCAA president Mark Emmert reports to both the executive committee and board of directors.

Welty is retiring this year as the longest-tenured president in Fresno State’s history (since 1991).  He endured the creation of the MWC in 1999, when it broke away from the 16-team WAC at the time. Fresno State stayed in the WAC at that time. The Mountain West is among the so-called Group of Five conferences below the BCS level. Its current schools have been involved in major infractions cases seven times since 2000. Fresno State is the only school to be cited twice during that time (2003, 2006).

The MWC recently solidified its membership going forward in 2013 by retaining Boise State and San Diego State. The schools had jumped to the Big East last year but decided to remain in the MWC.

Emmert and the NCAA have been criticized recently for their decisions regarding Penn State and the Miami investigation. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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