The NCAA is out of bounds

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Lost in the high-stakes tit for tat between the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Pennsylvania General Assembly is why on Earth anyone would want a sports agency to manage funds targeted for child welfare.

Such citizen well-being programs are the purview of governments, not of a private outfit whose apparent mission is to maintain competitive balance in college athletics. Governments already have the infrastructure to disburse such funds and to ensure they go to worthy agencies. The NCAA does not.

Governments have overview programs to verify that monies given to agencies are spent appropriately. The NCAA does not.

Governments are held accountable for mismanagement of funds. The NCAA is not.

I don't care whether this money is spent in or out of Pennsylvania, as long as it is used to fund the type of abuse-prevention programs it is designated for. But is there any rational reason the NCAA should be involved in overseeing how these funds are spent?

Consider the rhetorical misdirection by NCAA President Mark Emmert: "If state lawmakers take it upon themselves to decide what sanctions are appropriate, simply to protect their home team, then collegiate sports would be dramatically altered."

A new Pennsylvania law would restrict the payments to programs in the state. It does not change or challenge the appropriateness of the sanctions against Penn State. It does not change the amount of the sanctions. Penn State's penalties will be the same regardless of the outcome of the NCAA lawsuit challenging the law.

Mr. Emmert knows all this, yet he wants to convince the public this law challenges the NCAA's authority to punish. It does not. Mr. Emmert's statement is an intentional deception.

BOB HARRIS
Lemont, Pa.


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