Jernstedt's curious exit from NCAA leads to high road

August 20, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

It’s not clear if Tom Jernstedt, a 38-year veteran of the NCAA, resigned or was fired.

Jernstedt lost his job this month when incoming NCAA President Mark Emmert, the University of Washington president, sought to reorganize the management ranks within the NCAA’s ivory tower.

When asked by IBJ yesterday about the reason for his departure, Jernstedt took the high road.

“I don’t want to go down that road,” Jernstedt said from his downtown Indianapolis home. “You’d have to ask the NCAA.”

NCAA officials stood by their press release, which was decidedly ambiguous.

Jernstedt, 65, is technically still employed by the NCAA. He said he’ll be doing some “clean-up” work until Aug. 31.

But this much is clear. The man who is credited largely for making March Madness into what it is today as well as elevating women’s athletics to all-time highs and has worked for each of the NCAA’s first four presidents, is widely beloved and respected far beyond his adopted hometown of Indianapolis.

There aren’t many people in Indy’s sports circles that don’t know Jernstedt and speak fondly of him. His allies include Jim Morris, David Frick and Sandy Knapp to name a few.

It stands to reason that Jernstedt is beloved here. He was a key figure in negotiating the NCAA’s move from Overland Park, Kansas to Indianapolis a decade ago.

And Jernstedt, who was born and raised in Oregon, said he has no plans to leave Indianapolis. Jernstedt, his wife Kris, and their seven-year-old son, are quite happy, Jernstedt said, in their home along the canal.

Cheers for Jernstedt are pouring forth from across the NCAA kingdom. It makes his departure all the more curious.

Jernstedt started with the NCAA as director of events. He helped grow championship events from 24 to the current 88. He was promoted to chief operating officer, senior vice president, associate executive director and the last seven years served as executive vice president.

Bob Walsh, former executive director of the Seattle organizing committee, said Jernstedt’s departure “will deliver a blow to the credibility of the [NCAA] that will be felt for decades.”

“It is hard for us to believe that Jernstedt would up and leave the NCAA prior to his 40th anniversary with the organization or before the 75th anniversary of the (NCAA basketball) tournament, which he developed into a household name,” Walsh added.

Walsh credits Jernstedt for turning March Madness into a “multi-billion dollar” enterprise that benefits schools and student-athletes nationwide.

Jernstedt has no plans to retire. He intends to take a few months to determine “what next?” Jernstedt said since his departure was announced Aug. 13, he’s gotten numerous calls from friends and colleagues.

Since Jernstedt knows just about everyone in not only the NCAA, but the National Basketball Association, U.S. Olympic Committee, not to mention local organizations such as the Indiana Sports Corp., I don’t imagine it will be long before some type of offer is forthcoming.

“I’ve been advised to take my time and evaluate my options,” Jernstedt said. “That’s what I intend to do. We’ll see where this road leads.”

High ground, no doubt.
 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Perfect guy!
    IndyCar/IMS president.
  • nice
    Tom Jernstedt certainly couldn't do any worse as IRL CEO than Randy Bernard. Tom is one of the good guys, and got run out b/c he doesn't have the ego that others within NCAA have. It will be interesting to see what this outsider from Oregon does in the Indy community ... if he builds bridges or burns them.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

ADVERTISEMENT