Change needed at the top for both Rutgers and NCAA

Once upon a time — actually this week — in a land not too far away, two kings stood defiant as adversity swirled around them.

Both held court in front of hordes of media members, who came armed with only questions and were seeking nothing more than the truth. The two kings attacked each question, hoping to lay siege to those who dared question their authority. "This is Sparta!" they shouted into the television cameras.

OK, the last part is more fantasy than truth, but after watching the performance Robert Barchi and Mark Emmert put on this week, you can only imagine that's what they wanted to say.

It's too bad that the words they didn't say were, "I am truly sorry and here's my resignation."

Get the Baltimore Football app for iPhone and Android

For the 65-year-old Barchi, who happens to be the president of Rutgers University, Friday's news conference in the wake of the Mike Rice scandal was one of contrition.

Millions had witnessed the now-infamous video that cost the 44-year-old Rice his job as men's basketball coach and led to the resignation of the school's athletic director, Tim Pernetti.

"Tim and I mutually agreed that this is in the best interest of Rutgers," Barchi said, but where was that interest when he and the board decided only to suspend Rice for three games and fine him $50,000 back in December when this issue first came to light?

Barchi admitted he didn't watch the video when it was first presented in November.

How does the person in charge of a university composed of more than 50,000 students not even spend five minutes to watch a video or stop by a practice after hearing concerns — especially with the Penn State scandal still fresh in everyone's minds?

If it's bad enough that two people lost their jobs because of this, the person in charge should go as well. If you're going to clean house, clean the whole house — from top to bottom.

In Emmert's case, the 60-year-old president of the NCAA found himself and his organization once again under fire.

Less than two months after admitting that the NCAA botched part of its investigation into the University of Miami, Emmert found himself discussing change during a Thursday news conference in Atlanta, site of the Final Four.

It's hard to argue for change when scandals like the one at Rutgers occur or with reports of grade tampering and failed drug tests at Auburn continue to take up so much of today's front-page headlines.

How can the NCAA effectively guard against corruption in an ever-changing landscape when it still finds itself decades behind in enforcement? A modern-day Barney Fife.

In today's world where schools are making millions upon millions of dollars on television deals and media rights agreements, the NCAA shouldn't be afraid to get tough with its members. Too many times, though, the NCAA falls back after being pushed by school presidents.

Emmert needs to be the one to lead that charge, yet when pressured to discuss it, he became combative with reporters on Thursday. He told one of them, "I know you're disappointed, but I'm still here."

Not the words you want to hear from a man whose tenure has been riddled with scandals and investigations.

It's obvious that these two kings continue to live in a fairy-tale world, both refusing to admit they themselves have made major mistakes. Maybe it's time for a new chapter.

Spring football roundup