Congress Members Take on NCAA UConn Ruling - NBC Connecticut
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Congress Members Take on NCAA UConn Ruling

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep John Larson want to look at how NCAA enforces its rules.

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    Congress Members Take on NCAA UConn Ruling
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    Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun talks with forward Roscoe Smith (22) in the first half of their NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, March 15, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    The day after the NCAA rejected UConn’s appeal to play postseason men’s basketball next year, two Congress members from Husky Nation are calling on the NCAA to change the way it regulates college sports.

    UConn was declared ineligible to play in next season’s playoffs over low academic scores. The program has had perfect APR scores for the 2010-11 season and the first semester of 2011.

    However, the scores are based academic performance in 2007-2008 through 2010-11.

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep John Larson released a statement saying that athletics provide a opportunities to get out of poverty and the way the NCAA enforces rules deserves Congressional attention.

    “Athletic achievement provides a unique avenue for youth to pursue the better life that comes from a quality education, and for so many young adults is a pathway out of poverty. In exchange for an athletic scholarship, our collegiate athletes risk their health and often sacrifice their privacy in pursuit of an education. Unfortunately, too many of these students are finding that the Division I athletic scholarship brings with it more than they’ve bargained for. To fulfill its mission of enforcing academic and competitive standards, the NCAA has developed a system of enforcement that often appears arbitrary and unfair.”

    The statement goes on to mention the NCAA’s decision about UConn.

    “The NCAA’s ruling against the University of Connecticut yesterday and other recent examples of arbitrary rulings against students and universities across the country has convinced us that the current system for regulating collegiate athletics is broken,” the local lawmakers said.

    “We believe these issues demand Congressional attention because the questions regarding fairness for student-athletes have gone on too long – and the reforms that have been made are not yet sufficient. Over the coming days we will be working together and with our colleagues to shine a light on the way the NCAA enforces its rules and review all possible courses of action to compel reform with the goal of ensuring the welfare of student athletes.”