Republicans Could Look To Punish NCAA Over Stance Around North Carolina Bathroom Bill
Seizing on Republican "criticism of the NCAA boycott of North Carolina over the state law that became known nationally as the 'bathroom bill,' some congressional staffers are looking for a legislative path to payback -- and it might come by allowing players more rights to their name, image and likeness," according to Brian Murphy of MCCLATCHY NEWS. Such open political engagement for a nonprofit like the NCAA "annoyed Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina and federal ones" in DC. But proposed legislation is "not likely until next year at the earliest as talks among Republican staffers continue over exactly what remedies to propose." Richard Johnson, a lawyer who in '09 worked a case against the NCAA involving former Oklahoma State baseball player Andy Oliver, said, "You could say, 'We're going to pass a federal law that says a university that receives federal funds and enters into contracts over X million shall give this percentage to the players in terms of health, education and welfare. You do not have to destroy college football to give the players some rights." Congress has "tried to get involved in NCAA issues from time to time," including an unsuccessful attempt in '15 to pass the NCAA Accountability Act, which would have also "created a presidential commission on intercollegiate athletics" (MCCLATCHY NEWS, 10/4).
JUSTICE BEING SERVED: In N.Y., Peter Henning writes of the current college hoops scandal, "Rather than feature the universities or their athletes as pitiable victims of a scam, the government’s new approach to the case portrays college basketball as the hardwood version of Tammany Hall, the corrupt political machine that controlled New York City for decades." But instead of "cigar-chomping pols selling votes in back-room deals, now it is coaches, agents and shoe company executives making secret arrangements about the future of rising stars." The approach "helps the Justice Department avoid the impression that federal prosecutors are now effectively the enforcement arm of the NCAA by making a serious criminal charge -- bribery -- the leitmotif of the cases" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/5).