Congress to Investigate NCAA

House committee calls NCAA hearing (USA Today)

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing Sept. 14 into the way the NCAA governs college sports, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., announced Wednesday. Bachus said the hearing before the House Judiciary Committee will concern actions taken by the NCAA in its investigations of university programs. In calling for the review, Bachus alleged the NCAA often imposes penalties on schools without due process and has “lost the public confidence.” “The NCAA’s repeated failure to adopt meaningful reforms that afford even the most basic due process makes it apparent that this problem will not be resolved by the NCAA unilaterally,” Bachus said Wednesday in a statement.

When the committee showed interest in Bachus’ request for a hearing earlier this year, NCAA officials defended the organization’s actions. In an earlier interview, Jeff Howard, the NCAA’s managing director for public relations, said there’s no merit to claims its investigations deny schools due process.

Bachus has said his call for a hearing was not prompted by a specific case, but the NCAA has drawn criticism in his state for its probes of Alabama and Auburn in recent years. Bachus said a list of confirmed witnesses for the hearing would be announced by the committee chairman before it starts.

The Alabama and Auburn cases were some time ago and Bachus has been in Congress a while, so it’s unlikely they were the direct cause of this. Clearly, the NCAA is run amock and, as a multi-billion dollar enterprise engaged in interstate commerce, Congress has a role. Whether this is the right time for action, what with a war going on and all, is another question entirely.

FILED UNDER: Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He's a widower and father of two young daughters. He earned his PhD from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.