Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Congress ought to step into the arena of college sports and investigate whether the NCAA has too much power over athletes.
He said the move is necessary because of numerous complaints made about the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its system of enforcement, which some view as biased. Mr. Reid has a personal vendetta, too: The NCAA sanctioned his much-beloved University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in the 1970s for recruiting violations, The Hill reported.
Coach Jerry Tarkanian sued, alleging the NCAA imposed the sanctions without due process – and NCAA officials subsequently cited him for what they called an uncooperative attitude with their investigation. Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that Mr. Tarkanian had not even been coach at the school when the recruiting violations first occurred.
Tuesday, Mr. Reid raised that case in order to make his point: The NCAA demands more oversight.
“Jerry Tarkanian made it into the [basketball] hall of fame,” Mr. Reid said, The Hill reported. “Why didn’t he get in earlier? Because this courageous man took on the NCAA, which has absolute control over college athletes. I would hope as the years go by that we, as a Congress, will take a look at that more closely.”