Officials at the University of Missouri have already come out in force against the sanctions levied against it by the NCAA, but now lawmakers are jumping into the fray as well.
Columbia, Mo., NBC affiliate KOMU reports that state Sen. Caleb Rowden has filed a formal complaint against the collegiate sports governing body on the senate floor. Rowden had previously condemned the NCAA action, but the nature of the statement could lead it to become a resolution and draw further attention to the case.
The NCAA last week handed down penalties to three Missouri athletics programs for their involvement in an academic fraud case. The football, baseball and softball teams have each been implicated — and have received penalties including postseason bans and recruiting restrictions.
Missouri had cooperated with the investigation and tried to mitigate penalties through suspensions of individual players involved. In its announcement of the sanctions, the NCAA said Missouri’s cooperation had been exemplary. However, the penalties against the school were harsh. Since they were announced, Missouri pushed back aggressively against the sanctions and the NCAA, and has vowed to appeal the ruling.
Rowden is among a number of elected officials at both the state and federal levels to have released statements defending the school, including U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.
Rowden’s statement will undergo the same process as legislation en route to becoming a resolution. If adopted, it could send the NCAA a message.