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Legislation introduced in U.S. House to reform NCAA

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Lawmakers from Pennsylvania and Ohio introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would require NCAA schools to guarantee four-year scholarships to athletes who play collision sports and due process for schools accused of breaking rules.

Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.-R) and Rep. Joyce Beatty (Ohio-D) say the National Collegiate Athletics Accountability Act will help improve health and education of student-athletes and require more transparency from the Indianapolis-based NCAA.

The legislation would require athletes to have annual baseline concussion testing and ensure that an athlete in good academic standing would not be in danger of losing an athletic scholarship because of injury or performance.

Most NCAA member schools already perform baseline tests to athletes. Multiyear scholarships are allowed under NCAA rules, and according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, about two-thirds of the 56 most powerful Division I public universities now offer them.

The legislation also would require members and athletes accused of breaking NCAA rules be given a formal hearing.

Universities that did not comply with these rules would have federal Title IV funds cut off.

Dent has been critical of the NCAA treatment of Penn State, which was given harsh sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal.

"Our member-created rules and processes are in place to provide a fair competition environment and protect the safety and well-being of student-athletes, a responsibility we take very seriously," NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said in a statement.

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  • U.S. House and NCAA
    This seems to be a case of misplaced priorities by U.S. Congressmen, as first of all, I would believe that the Universities, Colleges and the NCAA are well qualified to handle the concussion issue. But secondly, and more importantly, our U. S. House would seem to have much more immediate issues with the nation's fiscal challenges, unemployment, immigration, etc. rather than to dilute their effort with something that is better handled by those in charge of the athletic programs.
  • Not necessary
    First of all, this legislation is an embarrassing waste of time. The NCAA is going away soon...the 5 or 6 largest conferences are going to withdraw sometime soon and take their ball with them, and deprive the Boise States and Butlers of the world of their occasional moment in the sun...then instead of ineffective oversight, there won't be any, it will all be about money. Second, the commenters here are all making salient points. Scholarships for athletes under normal circumstances should be for 4 years, but making them binding doesn't address the individual situations that need to be addressed. There are abuses on both sides...poor performance has to be a factor...but if you have a situation like you have at Kentucky and now Indiana, where the coaches recruit more players than they have roster spots, and so kids like Matt Roth have to go elsewhere even though they performed as well as their abilites allowed...that isn't fair either. And DRT is absolutely right about Dent...sour grapes because PSU got deservedly hammered for harboring Sandusky...and Beatty no doubt joined in for fear that, given the propensity for abuse of the rules at OSU, the Buckeys might also get severely sanctioned at some point. Yes, these reps have much more important business that they are ignoring...not that that makes them much different from their colleagues...
  • Really
    Why is this legislation our federal government should be introducing...shouldn't they be more worried about debt reduction than what college athletes are doing
  • PSU
    Actually no. Guaranteeing an athletic scholarship for someone even their performance sucks would be like guaranteeing an academic scholarship even if they get all F's. It makes zero sense. Dent is just bitter that his alma mater was caught harboring known child molestors and rapists for decades.
    • NCAA is a joke
      NCAA is not fire to student athletes. Scholarships should be 4 years BINDING CONTRACTS for SA in good standing.

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