A Big Loss
by Brock Huard
The Huskies may have gained a ten star recruit in Jake Locker back in December, but they could not keep one of their own from turning down millions of dollars a second time. Mark Emmert, the Fife born President of the University of Washington, has decided to become the fifth CEO of the NCAA and has left a gaping hole on Montlake.
Emmert had the rare ability to relate to Upper Campus (Academia) as well as he did Lower Campus (the Athletic Department). In my experience as a student-athlete and now covering college athletics, that is a difficult skill set to find. It is like the mathematician comfortable in public speaking.
Emmert was both calculating and competitive, with the books and athletics. He spent time on the East Coast and the West Coast, in the South and in the North. He won National Championships at LSU and billion dollar grants at UW. The more you dig and read, the more you understand the appeal for the NCAA, and the loss for the University of Washington.
A wise old man, my father-in-law, told me once, â€œNo one washes the car quite like the owner.â€ I think that is the hardest pill for me to swallow with this departure. Emmert didnâ€™t hide his passion and his roots. He was a local guy who made it big, a passionate alum and Husky. He was one of us.
The task at hand for the new President is daunting: Budget Shortfalls, a $200 million renovation of Husky Stadium, Pac 10 Expansion, Retaining an Athletic Director with deep ties to the new head of the NCAA. Yet, the groundwork, networks and relationships are there to continue to build and grow.
And lastly, we now have a Dawg running the NCAA, I kind of like the sound of that.