Posts Tagged ‘Mark Emmert’

I remember a conversation I had a with a detective several years ago that covered several topics.  One thing he referenced was the habit employed by many burglars of defecating on the carpet or table of the home they had infiltrated.  This repulsive act symbolized a final F-YOU to the homeowner they’d just victimized.

The news tonight that Mark Emmert’s final act as UW president On September 30th was to give his friend Scott Woodward a 5-year guaranteed contract at $550,00 a year stuns me.  The department remains in the red and its cash cow– the football team– continues to flounder.  Why is this performance being rewarded with long-term, guaranteed money?  In a phone interview today with Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, Emmert said he wanted to bring “stability” to the athletic director’s position.  Since when has that been an issue at Washington?

This extension was only brought to light from a public records request by the Times.  Doesn’t it say a lot that UW never announced this of its own volition?  But nepotism aside, by guaranteeing Woodward’s money, where is the incentive for him to do everything he can to raise funds and extract the football team from the deep ravine of futility into which it continues to sink?

This 11th hour act of Emmert’s was a final “gift” to Husky Nation, in addition to the hirings of Todd Turner, Tyrone Willingham, Scott Woodward and the football team’s 24-65 record under his watch.  With that charming smile and friendly wave, Emmert headed off to assume the NCAA presidency, having quietly left for us one last stinking, repulsive gift to be discovered at a later time.

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Last week I received several emails and texts of people basically saying: “Did you hear what Softy said?  He twice dismissed your blog article as not worth responding to!”  That article pointed out that UW’s inability to raise funds would lead them to move to Qwest, and that Sarkisian should never have been hired as head football coach due to inexperience.  So when the emails and texts regarding Softy rolled in, I just shrugged because I don’t understand why his opinion merits listening to in the first place.

There was a time when Softy’s opinion meant a lot to me.  From 2000-2007, his Husky Honks Show with Dick Baird and Hugh Millen was one of the highlights of my week.  Every Wednesday morning, I scheduled time around it so I could hang onto every word.  I love Husky football and am a fan.

Then came November/December of 2007.  Those were the days when Tyrone Willingham was under fire as coach.  Everyone should have been able to see that he was destroying the program and needed to be let go.  But I can still hear Softy angrily calling out loyal boosters like Bill Fleenor for calling for a coaching change.  And I vividly remember Softy saying that Willingham deserved to be given a fourth year and that real fans should forget the past and unite behind Willingham and the team.

Of course, a mere ten months later, and six games into an inglorious 0-12 season, there was Softy throwing an on-air tantrum about how Willingham was completely destroying the team and that he needed to be fired and removed immediately. So much for getting behind the team and being a true fan.  Now while it’s true that people make mistakes and there’s no crime in doing so, Softy’s complicity in the winless season is profound.  His public support for Willingham fostered the environment that influenced President Emmert’s decision to give Willingham the fourth year.  The winless season that resulted will be a blight upon Husky Football’s landscape for the next 30 years– the flip side of the coin to how the 1991 National Championship team is recalled.

But now let’s look at last week.  When Softy says he “started to hear horror stories 1.5 years into” Willingham’s time at Washington, it begs a question:  Why, Softy, did you support giving Willingham the fourth year if you had been hearing horror stories?

Softy’s decision to shill for the athletic department back then casts doubt on anything he says now.  During this 2010 football season, as some people question the Sarkisian hire, Softy angrily denounces them as being disloyal and stupid.  When people like myself speculate aloud that a move to Qwest is imminent, Softy is dismissive.

To which I say, “That’s fine and so what?  Everyone’s got an opinion.  Why pay heed to UW’s mouthpiece?”