An Oregon bill scheduled for public hearing today would hold coaches at state universities financially responsible for any damages that occur as a result of violations of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.

According to an article in The Oregonian :

House Bill 3524 provides that coach at public university who intentionally or recklessly commits or causes to be committed major violation of rules of National Collegiate Athletic Association is liable for university’s actual damages and attorney fees.

This comes in the wake of an NCAA investigation into recruiting errors by the football program at the University of Oregon. Oregon’s football coach, Chip Kelly left the school last year after the NCAA began looking into his program.


This is an understandable law proposed, though the actual implications of this bill are a little questionable. Just because it’s a school’s athletic program that’s breaking the rules doesn’t mean it’s the coach who’s entirely at fault.

In fact, a look at other colleges with questionable athletic program practices (e.g. Penn State, SUNY Binghamton) reveal that it’s not “rogue coaches” who break the rules; the university itself is often complicit in the scandal.

That’s why, of course, the NCAA fines the school when it discovers sports violations; because the school is responsible for how its athletic program operates. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer