Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois
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Rush Calls for Congressional Hearings on NCAA

Nov 17, 2011
Press Release

CONTACT: Renee Ferguson
(773) 224-6500 ofc.; (202) 674-0891 mobile
Renee.Ferguson@mail.house.gov

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) has written the following letter requesting a congressional hearing on the NCAA.  Sixty Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, are co-signatories to the letter.

The Honorable Mary Bono-Mack
Chairman
Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing & Trade
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Bono-Mack:

As you know, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade has jurisdiction over the regulation of interstate commerce and commercial practices, including sports. We respectfully request that the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing & Trade immediately convene a hearing to evaluate those circumstances under which the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) would decide – along with what is the NCAA’s capacity – to independently investigate recurring student-athlete and administrative misconduct and violations of NCAA and member conference regulations.[1]

In the past two weeks, extremely disturbing allegations of the sexual abuse of young minors, over the course of two decades, by an assistant head football coach at Penn State University have given rise to such questions. These charges surround what have certainly become the most unnerving scandal and alleged series of cover-ups to come to light in intercollegiate athletics in this century. Notwithstanding the assertions by some that the NCAA lacks jurisdiction to investigate or to seek redress of this matter – an assertion with which we strongly disagree – the NCAA’s ultimate investigation of and response to said allegations will directly impact  interstate commerce and have significant precedential effect in establishing where the NCAA’s jurisdiction begins and ends.

Sincerely,

Barton, Joe
Bass, Charles
Biggert, Judy
Bishop, Sanford
Butterfield, G.K.
Cardoza, Dennis
Christensen, Donna
Clarke, Yvette D.
Clay, William "Lacy"
Cleaver, Emanuel
Clyburn, James E.
Conyers, John
Costello, Jerry
Davis, Danny
Dingell, John
Edwards, Donna
Ellison, Keith
Farr, Sam
Filner, Bob
Fudge, Marcia L.
Garamendi, John
Green, Al
Gutierrez, Luis
Hastings, Alcee
Hinchey, Maurice
Hinojosa, Ruben
Honda, Mike
Jackson-Lee, Sheila
Johnson, Eddie Bernice
Johnson, Henry C. "Hank"
Jones, Walter B.
Kaptur, Marcy
Lee, Barbara
Lewis, John
McCollum, Betty
McDermott, Jim
Moore, Gwen
Neal, Richard E.
Perlmutter, Ed
Rahall, Nick
Rangel, Charles B.
Richardson, Laura
Richmond, Cedric
Ross, Mike
Rush, Bobby L.
Schakowsky, Jan
Scott, David
Serrano, José
Sewell, Terri A.
Thompson, Bennie
Towns, Edolphus
Velázquez, Nydia M.
Walberg, Tim
Waters, Maxine
Watt, Mel
Waxman, Henry
Whitfield, Ed
Wilson, Frederica
Woolsey, Lynn


[1] Although we are encouraged by the statements from NCAA President, Mark Emmert that the NCAA will launch its own investigation into the alleged sex abuse scandal at Penn State, the NCAA was not precise as to its basis for initiating such an investigation, or as to whether facts that may be established through non-judicial system proceedings could determine whether Association bylaws and regulations have been violated, which party(ies) violated NCAA rules, and whether NCAA enforcement staff had been given false or misleading information. See President Emmert’s statement on Penn State, http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/NCAA/Resources/Latest+News/2011/November/President+Emmerts+statement+on+Penn+State (released November 10, 2011).

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