NCAA President Mark Emmert spent the entire day on the witness stand on Thursday during the Ed O’Bannon antitrust trial against the NCAA, but he was brought back for just a little bit more on Friday. For the most part it was more of the same from Emmert, with the head figure of the NCAA deflecting attack after attack in typical form.
Emmert: “I think direct product endorsement by a student-athlete is inappropriate.”
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) June 20, 2014
Emmert was grilled about Wally Renfro, who had worked for the NCAA when Emmert was first named president of the NCAA. Renfro stepped down from his position after decades of service in 2012, doing so with documented concerns about the future stability of the organization. It appeared to be the defense’s objective to attack the credibility of Renfro, who is being used as a key expert for the plaintiffs.
Emmert called Renfro “provocateur” yesterday. Isaacson establishing Emmert’ respect for Renfro — Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) June 20, 2014
Much of the time spent on the witness stand today by Emmert included questions about corporate sponsorships. On Thursday Emmert deflected questions about television revenue to the responsibility of the various conferences because the NCAA does not control that facet of the game. Corporate sponsorships are everywhere in college sports though, and they are often appearing alongside the images of student-athletes, which is a sticking point for the plaintiffs. Recent schedules printed by Georgia Tech were presented for Emmert’s feedback.
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) June 20, 2014
To no one’s surprise, NCAA doesn’t bring up Athletics Director’s Cup because it’s called Capital One Cup — Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) June 20, 2014
Emmert was questioned about the selling of football jerseys, which the NCAA got caught doing on its own website before quickly taking them down. Of course, Emmert tried using some humor to avoid answering the question. Whether he knows the real answer or not is anyone’s guess.
To Oregon website selling fb jersey. Isaacson: You probably don’t know Mr. Mariota is No. 8? Emmert: “I’m a Husky so no, I probably don’t.”
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) June 20, 2014
Emmert’s day on the stand came to an end, leaving the witness chair open for Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. Highlights from Delany’s day on the stand will come later.