Illinois Congressman Compares NCAA To Mafia

Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush on Tuesday compared the NCAA to the mafia because of the way they rule over the lives of college students.

Speaking at a congressional forum on college sports Rush said:

“I think they’re just one of the most vicious, most ruthless organizations ever created by mankind,” while adding, “I think you would compare the NCAA to Al Capone and to the Mafia.”

Firing back at his comments was NCAA spokesman Bob Williams who sent the following email response:

Congressman Rush obviously doesn’t know the NCAA … The NCAA and its member institutions provide over $2 billion per year in scholarships, financial assistance and academic support to student-athletes … second only to the federal government. Student-athlete success is our mission.”

Rush’s accusation came during a forum meant to examine “back-room deals, payoffs and scandals” in college sports. Rush made his comment after several parents of injured players came forward about bad treatment their children received because of NCAA policies.

Not everything was bad news for the NCAA as Shane Battier, a free agent who previously played with the Memphis Grizzlies hailed the NCAA for their recent decision to provide players with up to $2,000 in “spending money.” Battier’s praise stopped at the spending money plan as he also criticized the NCAA for not fully securing the educational future of their players.

“Is that a game-changer? No. What is a game-changer? A game-changer is guaranteeing four-year scholarships. That’s a game-changer,” Battier said. “A game-changer is, `If you commit to our school, and you graduate, we will pay for any graduate degree that you would like to pursue.”

Do you agree with congressman Bobby Rush that the NCAA is run like a mafia type organization with complete control over everyone in their territory?

[image via ShutterStock]