U.S Reps. introduce new bill that will provide protections for NCAA athletes, coaches under investigation

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(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC4) – Three U.S. Reps. have introduced a new bill to congress that aims to provide due process protections for Universities and individuals that are under investigation by the NCAA.

The Bipartisan NCAA Accountability Act will establish due process protections for student-athletes, coaches, and universities that are under investigation by the NCAA for rule violations.

The bill was introduced by Reps. Burgess Owens (R-UT), David Kustoff (R-TN), and Josh Harder (D-CA) on Tuesday.

“The National Collegiate Athletic Association has long wielded unchecked and unfair disciplinary power over America’s student-athletes, coaches, and universities,” said Rep. Owens. “The NCAA Accountability Act is a commonsense charge to level the playing field by eliminating favoritism and bias in college athletics through increased transparency in rule enforcement and due process protections.”

The act would require the NCAA to provide its member universities with fair notice regarding enforcement proceedings, require the NCAA to complete any investigation no later than one year after it begins, establish a two-year statute of limitations, prohibit information from confidential sources from being offered into the NCAA’s enforcement decisions, and prohibit the NCAA from publicly disclosing information relating to an ongoing investigation until formal charges are filed.

Rep. Kustoff describes the NCAA infraction process as “systemically flawed.”

“The NCAA writes the rules, enforces the rules, and punishes universities at will. Essentially, the NCAA acts as the prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner over college athletics. This unchecked authority and exploitative behavior has ruined careers, harmed the U.S. education system, and caused great economic damage to local communities,” said Rep. Kustoff.

The new bill would fine the NCAA or individuals on staff up to $15,000,000 for violating the provisions of the bill. It will also give the Department of Justice the power to order the permanent removal of any member of the NCAA’s Board of Governors.

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