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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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December 21, 2023

ChicagoAttorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a bipartisan coalition of 18 attorneys general, today called on Congress to pass the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Accountability Act of 2023.

If signed into law, the proposed federal legislation would ensure that the NCAA provides transparent due process in its investigations, and also create fairness for student-athletes, coaches and institutions. Additionally, it would establish a meaningful enforcement mechanism by authorizing the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to take certain legal action, including fines or removal, against the NCAA or individuals who violate the law.

“The NCAA Accountability Act would provide much-needed oversight and protect players and universities by standardizing a process that today is unorganized and results in inconsistent outcomes,” Raoul said. “I urge Congress to protect collegiate players and their families, and improve fairness and transparency by passing this important piece of legislation.”

In their letter to Congress, Raoul and the coalition explain how the bipartisan effort provides a real solution to the NCCA’s unchecked concentration of power, which currently leaves student athletes vulnerable to mistreatment, distracts both students and universities from their educational priorities, and results in unequal treatment that can deprive students, coaches and institutions of a fair process.

The federal legislation would: 

  • Install due process requirements that require transparency, confidentiality and efficiency in any NCAA investigation.
  • Impose substantive fairness requirements on the NCAA, requiring consistent enforcement so schools engaged in similar misconduct face similar penalties.
  • Establish a meaningful enforcement mechanism by establishing federal supervision and authorizing the U.S. DOJ to fine the NCAA or individual officials for violations of the act. 

Recently, Raoul filed a lawsuit against the NCAA seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to keep the NCAA from enforcing its transfer eligibility rule, which requires college athletes who transfer among Division 1 schools to wait one year before competing in games. In his lawsuit, Raoul argues the rule unfairly restricts collegiate athletes and violates antitrust law. On Dec. 13, a federal judge granted the temporary restraining order, preventing the NCAA from enforcing the transfer rule for 14 days and allowing collegiate athletes who were prevented from competing to immediately become eligible. On Dec. 18, the judge granted Raoul’s joint request with the NCAA to extend his temporary restraining order until at least the end of the academic year, allowing athletes to play sports without concern as to their status with the NCAA.

Joining Raoul in sending the letter to Congress are the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Utah.