A Democratic congressman compared the NCAA to the Mafia over how it controls the lives of student athletes.
"I think they're just one of the most vicious, most ruthless organizations ever created by mankind," Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush said of the NCAA at a congressional forum on college sports Tuesday. "I think you would compare the NCAA to Al Capone and to the Mafia."
Rush made the accusations at the forum called to look at the impact of "back-room deals, payoffs and scandals" in college sports. The congressman spoke after hearing from a couple of mothers of former student-athletes who complained of ill treatment by schools after their sons suffered injuries.
"Congressman Rush obviously doesn't know the NCAA," Bob Williams, a spokesman for the organization, said in an email Tuesday night. "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."