“Blink” and “Tipping Point” author Gladwell says time for NCAA to go

September 5, 2006

Interesting points raised by eminent author Malcolm Gladwell about why the NCAA needs to go. Also, very interesting discussion about this topic on the blog.

My interest is different. Will this attack by such a respected writer cause a reaction? Will it spill from hear to the MSM (mainstream media)? Will it cause a reaction on the part of the NCAA, and if so, how will they react? Will they admit that the example provided by Mr Gladwell does represent a problem–or will they defend their rules and their reason for existence?

Non-profit organizations and industry associations can easily forget why they exist. They are run by people who like their jobs and who want to keep their jobs. It is easy for them to stop going back and asking, “Now exactly why are we here again?” and “How do we justify our existence?”

Whether the NCAA understands this will largely determine their response, if they should decide to respond. That decision about whether they should or how they should is critical. And this is one that bedevils crisis managers:

It’s just a blog, let it die.

But it’s Malcom Gladwell–this is going to grow legs!

Why should we help Gladwell by giving it more legs?

It’s not a story unless it’s in the New York Times.

But the time it is there, opinions will have been formed and the horse will have left the barn.

So the question goes on: how do we head a bad story off without contributing to its distribution? Especially in the instant news/blog world where a story and accusations like this can gain momentum in hours. Look what I am doing here. Giving it legs.

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