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Sports Illustrated - Congressmen introduce NCAA financial transparency bill

July 15, 2014
In The News

By Scooby Axson
Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill that would require greater accessibility of financial information from NCAA schools, conferences, bowl games and even the College Football Playoff or any entity that hosts a postseason tournament.

Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Tom Petri (R-WI) introduced the Standardization of Collegiate Oversight of Revenues and Expenditures (SCORE) Act to try to open the books on the financing of college athletics.

"College sports are one of America’s proudest traditions, but the current system isn’t working equally well for all participants,” Rep. Price said in a news release, via USA Today. “Congress and the American public at-large are engaged in a conversation about how we can promote fair competition, protect student-athletes, and lessen the burden athletics place on the wallets of students and parents. We believe constructive, realistic reforms depend on a clear understanding of the financial pressures and benefits of intercollegiate athletics."

Some of the reporting requirements would include sport-by-sport financial disclosures on ticket sales, salaries, team travel, merchandise, concessions, broadcast rights and student fees.

The reason for the bill's introduction is the increase in the amount of money schools are making due to television contracts and conference expansion. According to the NCAA, in both 2011 and 2012 only 23 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision generated a profit.

Though the bill's sponsors are bipartisan, Price was not particularly hopeful that the legislation would move forward, saying that the current state of Congress did not inspire optimism. From USA Today:
According to a Library of Congress website, more than 9,000 bills have been introduced in this Congress and fewer than 200 have been passed by both chambers. Of those, fewer than 130 have become law. But Price said: "I have a good Republican co-sponsor and we are intending to … talk with the relevant committee people about what kind of hearing we might get. I'm going to push on that."