WASHINGTON--In the wake of the Penn State Sandusky sex abuse scandal, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) is calling for House hearings to determine if the NCAA has the "capacity" to "independently investigate" alleged misconduct by coaches and staff.
Rush sent a letter to Rep. Mary Bono-Mack (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Commerce panel with jurisdiction over sports. Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused in a 40 count indictment of sexually abusing eight boys.
"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," Rush writes.
"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. Notwithstanding the assertions by some that the NCAA lacks jurisdiction to investigate or to seek redress of this matter - an assertion with which we strongly disagree - the NCAA's ultimate investigation of and response to said allegations will directly impact interstate commerce and have significant precedential effect in establishing where the NCAA's jurisdiction begins and ends."
Some 60 members of Congress signed the letter, including Illinois lawmakers Rep. Judy Biggert (R) and Democrats Rep. Danny Davis, Rep. Jerry Costello, Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Rep. Jan Schakowsky.