Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby spent two days in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with senators mostly from the league’s footprint, and found it to be more conversational than explanatory.
“What impressed me most was their level of knowledge about college sports,” Bowlsby said.
Bowlsby met with Republican senators Jerry Moran of Kansas, John Cornyn of Texas, Ted Cruz of Texas and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, as well as Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and representatives for Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. All are from the Big 12 region.
Bowlsby also met with Democratic senator Clarie McCaskill of Missouri and Republican senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who both have taken strong stands on the ineffective ways colleges and their athletic departments deal with sexual assault on campus against women.
Also on the agenda: Updates on the various legals actions against college sports, including the Ed O’Bannon trial.
“Considering all that college sports as on its plate right now, the visit was timely,” Bowlsby said.
Response positive to cheating comments
Bowlsby said response to his eyebrow-raising comments at Big 12 Media Day in Dallas last week have been “almost universally positive.”
Bowlsby said NCAA “enforcement is broken,” and “cheating pays.”
Since making the comments, Bowlsby has shared his views with NCAA president Mark Emmert and NCAA enforcement director Jon Duncan, and said it’s been difficult for Division I “to get its arms around enforcement.”
Emmert defended enforcement, and Duncan told The Associated Press that his department isn’t broken.
“We don’t pretend to be able to catch every violation in any given year,” Duncan said. “So the next question is, do we have a handle on it, and the answer is yes, I think we do. The people who violate the rules will be found out and we will report them back to the committee on infractions.”
Enforcement and transfer rules have been removed from the list of items to be considered in the power conference autonomy, which is expected to be granted by the NCAA next week. If enforcement isn’t fixed in two years the power conferences would look to take on that responsibility themselves.