'He has no more authority over CFB than Bozo the Clown': Finebaum rips NCAA president's comments on 2020 season
As one of the most popular voices in SEC country, college football analyst Paul Finebaum doesn’t get much attention in the B1G states. But his latest comments about NCAA President Mark Emmert my draw some support from Midwest football fans.
Recently, Emmert discussed the possibility of college football returning in the fall, which has been a major talking point over the last few weeks. While some commissioners are open to the idea of having a season even if campuses are conducting online-only classes, the NCAA president does not believe it can be done.
“College athletes are college students, and you can’t have college (campuses) open and having students on them. You don’t want to ever put student-athletes at greater risk that the rest of the student body,” Emmert said, according to USA Today.
“All of the commissioners and every president that I’ve talked to is in clear agreement: if you don’t have students on campus, you don’t have student-athletes on campus. That doesn’t mean it has to be up and running in the full normal model, but you’ve got to treat the health and well-being of the athletes at least as much as the regular students. So if a school doesn’t re-open then they’re not going to be playing sports. it’s really that simple.”
Finebaum was no fan of those comments from Emmert.
“Mark Emmert has no more authority or influence over college football than Bozo the Clown,” Finebaum said on ESPN’s Get Up. “He is an innocent bystander in all of this and I think that’s why he put out a statement. This wasn’t an interview. He put it out himself because he was listening to all of the things that Laura just got through talking about. We moved, three weeks ago, from no students on campus, no fans in the stands, no football, to a modification of that. Emmert had to be heard, so he was, and he was not heard very loudly, because the five Power Five commissioners don’t give a rip.”
Fellow ESPN analyst Jay Bilas made similar remarks over the weekend. The college basketball guru said that those decisions will be made by the different conferences, and if leagues like the B1G or SEC are given the green light to play, they’ll have football.
“You have to remember, the NCAA office in Indianapolis has no say over football,” Bilas said, according to 247Sports. “And the SEC or the B1G, if they feel like they are safe enough to play football, they’re playing football and the NCAA is not going to be able to stop it.”
There’s still no answer on whether college football will resume this fall, and if it does, how it will look. Conference commissioners, school presidents and athletic directors are still working on contingency plans for the upcoming season.
But there seems to be a growing consensus that Emmert will have no say in what happens. It could set the down for power conferences to begin doing their own things and starting to slowly break away from the NCAA.