By Zach Arnold | May 8, 2015
Things were supposed to get better for the Nevada State Athletic Commission after tone-deaf, loved-to-hear-his-own-voice Executive Director Keith Kizer resigned in order to get a pay raise to work in the AG’s office on Gaming Commission matters.
Instead, a dumpster fire has turned into a raging inferno with Bob Bennett as Executive Director and Andre Agassi’s lawyer, Francisco Aguilar, as the commission’s front man/Chairman for public relations.
Bill Brady, who had been on the commission board during it’s most tumultuous time period before Aguilar and casino/marijuana permit guy Anthony Marnell came aboard, resigned on Friday. He told the truth by stating that his heart wasn’t into working on the Commission panel any more. According to Brady, the fallout from the Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The corrosion of the image of the Nevada State Athletic Commission is almost irreversible at this point given the political entities involved in meddling and strong-arming the regulators. Look at what has happened since Marc Ratner’s departure:
- The on-again, off-again policy of allowing fighters to use testosterone (the base chemical of anabolic steroids) that was largely a policy that impacted UFC top fighters.
- An Executive Director in Keith Kizer who stated that fighters using testosterone shouldn’t be viewed as having a “scarlet letter” against them.
- The entire drug saga involving Chael Sonnen, from soup to nuts, that included Sonnen as an honorary adviser/consultant on testosterone matters… before he got suspended for multiple years on a failed drug test.
- A drug testing policy that went as hard, if not harder against marijuana users like Nick Diaz than hardcore performance enhancement drug users.
- A drug testing policy that tested Jon Jones for cocaine but yet didn’t suspend him for such usage.
- A commission that could very well lose a legal battle with Wanderlei Silva over suspending a fighter for missing/failing a drug test while not licensed.
- A commission that has stood by while MGM has publicly battled Bob Arum and Top Rank in an ugly display for all parties involved.
- A commission that somehow allowed Manny Pacquiao to fight with a rotator cuff injury, Tito Ortiz with a “fractured skull,” Forrest Griffin with a broken foot, and countless number of serious injuries not detected before major fights.
The timing of Bill Brady’s resignation tells you everything you need to know about the state of regulatory affairs in Nevada. The image of the Athletic Commission is at an all-time low. It’s a circus. While Texas and New York are (slowly) trying to dig out of the immensely deep holes they have dug for themselves, Nevada continues to sink further into chaos. The Pacquiao fight last Saturday night only highlighted how concerning the problems are to the masses. The Athletic Commission got exposed in the bright lights.
Since fight, Pacquiao & promoters have been sued in Nevada (3X), California (3X), FLA (3X), Texas (2X), NY (2X), MD, NJ, ILL, Delaware & CT
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 8, 2015
The commission’s profits are as high as its image of integrity is as low amongst the fans, fighters, and promoters.
Bill Brady had nothing to personally do with the many regulatory failures of the Athletic Commission. He just had the common sense to be the first one to walk away after what happened last Saturday night.
It will be interesting to see if the 2016 Senatorial opponent to Governor Brian Sandoval uses the athletic commission as a campaign issue. Sandoval deserves all the criticism for allowing what has happened with the Athletic Commission under his watch.