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A conversation between Daniel Snyder and Mark Emmert

Photo: Simon Bruty/SI

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Synder is under increased pressure to change the team's nickname, which some find offensive.

In a surprising move, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and NCAA president Mark Emmert have decided to advise each other in their ongoing court battles, SI.com has learned. Emmert will help Snyder defend the Redskins' nickname, and Snyder will help the NCAA defend its amateurism policies. In a recent meeting solidifying their partnership, Snyder told Emmert that "he is delighted to join forces with somebody even less popular than me." Emmert looked at him, smiled and said, "You have MONEY!"

The two men immediately began plotting strategies. Snyder said he is looking forward to defending the NCAA's amateurism policy, which he called "illogical, backward-thinking, and unfair to a group of people who have been treated poorly for too long. I love it."
 

Emmert advised Snyder, "You could just change the name of your team, be a hero to people who are offended by it, and assume that people in Washington, D.C. will get over it in like five minutes and continue to watch the most popular sport in the country."

They both laughed.

"Now here is what you really do," Emmert said. "You appease Native Americans by offering them athletic scholarships, taking away their rights."

Snyder looked confused.

"So would they come work for me?" Snyder asked.

"Absolutely not!" Emmert said. "Except for the 40 hours a week that they work for you, they would not work for you at all."

Snyder looked confused again, the way he did that time he pinched Mike Shanahan's cheeks and burned his finger. Emmert tried to explain.

"Look at Robert Griffin III," Emmert said. "Two years ago, he was one of our students, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue because he played football. Now he is one of your employees, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue because he plays football. See the difference?"

Snyder still looked confused, but Emmert has seen so many confused faces in the last three years, he didn't even notice. He kept going.
"Once you decide these Native Americans are 'students', you need to hire the best educator in America," Emmert said. "Obviously, that is Nick Saban. Why else would he get paid nearly $7 million a year to work in education?"

"Because he wins a lot of football games."

"Does he? I haven't noticed. Anyway, hire him."

Snyder pointed out that he recently hired a coach, Jay Gruden, but then he realized that was five long months ago and Gruden's key-card to get into the practice facility has probably expired. Snyder immediately began drawing up a contract to give Saban complete control to teach his Native American students. Terms are being finalized.

"Now," Emmert said, "Enough about how smart I am. Let's talk about me."

Snyder sprung from his seat.

"As far as I can tell, the NCAA's main p.r. tactics are: Fight your enemies, never admit you're wrong, dig in your heels and pay an ungodly amount of money to lawyers rather than change with the times," Snyder said. "You have the right idea. But you need to take it a step further."

"Further?"

"Yes," Snyder said. "Every time an athlete complains because you are using his face in a video game, remove his face. Not in the video game. I mean, his actual face."

"We can't afford that," Emmert said, dejectedly. "There are too many faces."

"You will only have to do it a few times before they get the message," Snyder said. "Trust me. I've done this to media people for years. And listen: When athletes complain that you make millions of dollars from sales of their jerseys, gently explain that you are not exploiting them, you are honoring them."

"What if they say they don't want to be honored that way?" Emmert asked.

"Just say 'You're welcome!'"

"The 'You're welcome!' defense," Emmert said. "We've used that for years."

Snyder gave one last piece of advice to Emmert: Devise a study that somehow, someway, convinces people that athletes actually like being amateurs.

"Nobody will believe that," Emmert said.

"Oh, come on, Mark," Snyder said. "You know how it is. Some people will believe whatever they want to believe."

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