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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Dent and Beatty Reintroduce Bill to Make NCAA Accountable

Jun 11, 2015
Press Release

Dent and Beatty Reintroduce Bill to Make NCAA Accountable

Representatives Katko and Rush Join the Effort to Protect Student Athletes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) along with Representatives Joyce Beatty (OH-3), John Katko (NY-24), and Bobby Rush (IL-1) reintroduced the National Collegiate Athletics Accountability (NCAA) Act today. The legislation is part of the on-going efforts by these legislators to insist on academic integrity to protect the well-being of student athletes and provide much-needed reforms to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

In order to bring actual accountability to college athletics, the NCAA Act would prohibit universities from receiving Title IV funds if they participate in athletic associations, including the NCAA, that do not implement and enforce specific rules related to student-athletes’ health, education, safety, and due process protections for alleged infractions of association by-laws.

“The NCAA will tell you that its goal is to protect the welfare of the student-athlete,” said Representative Dent. “But anyone who has been following the actions of the Association over recent years knows their rhetoric falls far from the reality of their actions. That’s why this legislation is necessary and I greatly appreciate the support of my colleagues,” Dent concluded.

“This legislation is to make sure that student athletes come first in collegiate athletics. Concussive injuries and their long term impact, as well as the preservation of scholarships for athletes have all grown in the public consciousness and conversation,” said Representative Beatty (OH-3). “I want to make sure we protect the health and safety of our students, and ensure fair and transparent enforcement of NCAA rules. I am proud that our work spurred last year’s ruling of the Big Ten Conference schools to guarantee that any athlete who received and athletics scholarship will be able to keep the award until they graduate.”

"A primary objective of the NCAA is to provide outstanding higher education opportunities for student-athletes.  However, this organization has become a multi-billion dollar industry that does not always seem to have the best interest of its students at heart,” said Representative John Katko (NY-24). "While I share the NCAA's goal of preventing improper conduct in collegiate athletics, its arbitrary decision-making mechanisms and harsh imposition of sanctions — such as the ones recently imposed on Syracuse University — are harmful to the health, education, and welfare of our students.  It is far time that we demand greater transparency from the NCAA and I applaud Rep. Dent for his steadfast leadership on this important initiative,” Katko concluded.

“I am proud to be part of the bipartisan effort to hold the NCAA accountable to the students it is supposed to serve,” stated Representative Bobby Rush (IL-1). Last year, institutions of higher education received close to $140 billion in Federal student aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, which is nearly 77 percent of all federal funding received by these institutions. If the NCAA will not do what is right, we, as Members of Congress, must do what is necessary to protect student athletes,” Rush noted.

Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-5) joined the press conference to add his support “The NCAA continues to disappoint when it comes to following their own rules and certainly when it comes to unduly exerting their perceived powers over college athletics,” Thompson stated. “The bipartisan National Collegiate Athletics Accountability Act will ensure the NCAA is held to the highest standards, by providing much needed accountability and reforms. I commend my fellow Penn State alumnus, Representative Charlie Dent, for his partnership on this important issue.”

The NCAA Act contains these important components:

  1. The bill requires mandatory annual baseline concussion testing for those students involved in contact/collision sports.
  2. It requires mandatory four year scholarships for athletes participating in contact/collision sports, instead of permitting the termination of an athletic scholarship after one year for non-academic reasons. This protects student athletes from having their opportunity at an education taken from them because they don’t fit the “scheme” of a Coach. The primary “scheme” of an institution of higher learning should be one that helps their students graduate.
  3. The bill requires greater accountability and transparency in the NCAA’s adjudication of infractions for both students and schools, by providing institutions and student-athletes a level of certainty as to how the enforcement process will work. Neither students nor institutions should have to face star-chamber type investigations and disciplinary proceedings where due process is ignored.
  4. Finally, the bill establishes a Presidential Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to review, analyze, and report to the President and Congress on the interaction of athletics and academics, the financing of intercollegiate athletics, the recruitment and retention of student athletes, oversight and governance practices, health and safety protections for student athletes, and due process and other protections related to the enforcement of student athlete rules and regulations.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – comprised of three divisions – is the largest voluntary association that encompasses over 1,000 colleges and universities, contains 95 member conferences, services over 430,000 student-athletes, and generates nearly $800 million in revenue per year. The NCAA Act was previously introduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 2903.

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