Congress Prepares Response to NCAA

Congressional scrutiny of the NCAA’s handling of athletics is growing, with members of Congress asking pointed questions of top officials over the treatment and benefits offered to student-athletes.

As bills emerge to force colleges and universities to make good on scholarships that cover four years of education — and as legal challenges seek financial rewards and union rights for athletes — NCAA officials should stand warned that lawmakers are pressing for action to address perceived inequities, Rep. Tony Cardenas said in the latest episode of the ESPN podcast Capital Games.

Capital Games
NCAA conference commissioners Jim Delany (Big Ten) and Larry Scott (Pac-12) discuss potential reforms for student-athletes. Rep. Tony Cardenas explains Congress’ fresh scrutiny.

“We’re hearing from young people who say, ‘Well, as soon as I got hurt, all of a sudden my scholarship was gone and I didn’t have the wherewithal to finish school,'” said Cardenas, D-Calif., a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“Right now it appears that they are treating our questions as noise,” Cardenas said Tuesday. “We haven’t had any formal answers from them. The communication has been minuscule.”

According to an NCAA spokesperson, the NCAA provided its written response to Cardenas on June 13, after the interview for the Capital Games podcast was conducted. A spokesman for Cardenas confirmed that the response has been sent, but said Cardenas’ office is reviewing and analyzing the answers before releasing the letter

NCAA president Mark Emmert declined a request to appear on the podcast.