Legislation introduced in House to reform NCAA

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WASHINGTON Lawmakers from Pennsylvania and Ohio introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would require NCAA schools to guarantee four-year scholarships to athletes who play collision sports and due process for schools accused of breaking rules.

Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.-R) and Rep. Joyce Beatty (Ohio-D) say the National Collegiate Athletics Accountability Act will help improve health and education of student-athletes and require more transparency from the NCAA.

The legislation would require athletes to have annual baseline concussion testing and ensure that an athlete in good academic standing would not be in danger of losing an athletic scholarship because of injury or performance.

Most NCAA member schools already perform baseline tests to athletes. Multiyear scholarships are allowed under NCAA rules, and according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, about two-thirds of the 56 most powerful Division I public universities now offer them.

The legislation also would require members and athletes accused of breaking NCAA rules be given a formal hearing.

Universities that did not comply with these rules would have federal Title IV funds cut off.

Dent has been critical of the NCAA treatment of Penn State, which was given harsh sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal.

"Our member-created rules and processes are in place to provide a fair competition environment and protect the safety and well-being of student-athletes, a responsibility we take very seriously," NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said in a statement.

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