Rep. Rush calls for hearings on NCAA regarding Penn State scandal

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) wants Congress to investigate the National Collegiate Athletic Association for its oversight of member schools and conferences in light of the sexual abuse allegations at Penn State University.

In a letter, which he said had more than 30 members as co-signatories, Rush appealed to Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, which oversees the NCAA, to launch a probe.

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“In the past two weeks, extremely disturbing allegations of the sexual abuse of young minors, over the course of two decades, by an assistant head football coach at Penn State University have given rise to such questions,” the letter read in part. “These charges surround what have certainly become the most unnerving scandal and alleged series of cover-ups to come to light in intercollegiate athletics in this century.”

The sexual abuse of young boys, including rape, is alleged to have taken place on the Penn State campus for several years before it was reported to authorities. Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, who is purported to have known about the activity, was fired last week.

Rush has been a consistent critic of the NCAA, which he has compared to the Mafia for the way it treats student athletes. Last week, Rush told NBC that he wasn’t surprised by the allegations at Penn State.

“It makes sense that illegal cover-ups and gross failure to protect children from a sexual predator could happen inside a culture where the economic, emotional and educational exploitation of student athletes is the expected norm,” he said.

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