Could Jack Swarbrick be next NCAA president?

January 26, 2010
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Though there are many folks in Indianapolis sports and legal circles who would like to see Jack Swarbrick be a candidate to follow the late Myles Brand as NCAA president, the man himself has very decidedly (and politically correctly) thrown his own hat far outside the ring of debate.

There’s a lot to like about Swarbrick. Not only is he a fine legal mind, an astute businessman and a sports fan, he’s also imminently accessible and surprisingly straightforward. This is a guy who answers his own phone—and answers every question. I wish I could say the same about the folks at my own college alma matter.

There's also this: Swarbrick is an Indiana native, former Indiana Sports Corp. chairman and Indianapolis attorney. He knows the value of maximizing the NCAA's economic impact on the Circle City. There's no shortage of local folks that would back him for the job. Swarbrick has been involved in almost every major sports initiative this city has known over the last two decades, including being a key member of the delegation that landed the 2012 Super Bowl.

Did I mention too, that Swarbrick knows when to defer. That’s what he did late last week when I asked him if he is a candidate to become the next NCAA president. It’s not a ridiculous question. Not only is Swarbrick nationally respected, but he was a finalist for the job when Brand was hired in 2003.

“I think [NCAA leaders] have made it quite clear they want the leader to come from the university presidents’ ranks,” Swarbrick said.
 
Notice, Swarbrick didn’t say he isn’t interested in the job. Still, he makes a good case for a university president to be the next NCAA honcho.

“They understand the issues from a campus-wide perspective, and they have the credibility and cache with other presidents that will help move the NCAA’s agenda along,” Swarbrick said.

Candidates to succeed Brand include; University of Hartford President Walter Harrison, University of Georgia President Michael Adams, Penn State University President Graham Spanier, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive along with NCAA Executive Vice President Bernard Franklin.

The next NCAA president faces one of the most challenging times in the association’s history, Swarbrick said.

In addition to college sports spending issues, Swarbrick said the new president—the fifth in the NCAA’s history—must grapple with compliance, ethics and enforcement issues; as well as multi-media agreements including television, radio and Web deals.

“This is one of the least stable times the NCAA has faced and the next president will have to find the glue that holds all this together,” Swarbrick said. “There’s just so much change right now.”
 

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  • Innuendo
    "This is a guy who answers his own phoneâ??and answers every question. I wish I could say the same about the folks at my own college alma matter."
    Why do you need to hide behind innuendo. If you have something to say about the accessibility of the Indiana University athletics department, come out and say it. You have the megaphone. Your snide asides are unbecoming.
  • Go Jack!
    President of a university or no, I think Jack Swarbrick would make a fabulous NCAA president. And I think he'd have the sway to get things done.
  • How liekly would the NCAA pick to men from Indiana. Some of the blue blood east coasters may get upset by that.

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  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

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