State senator wants to investigate NCAA over UM charges
WELLINGTON, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida lawmaker is requesting the state of Florida to launch an investigation into the NCAA following charges the sports organization filed against the University of Miami in the wake of an athletic scandal involving a former booster.
Palm Beach County State senator Joseph Abruzzo (D) sustained that it's the NCAA, and not UM, who is guilty of "a lack of institutional control." He also believes the sports organization may have violated state law, and now he wants the Attorney General to investigate.
"I feel for the students and the university that this injustice occurred by the NCAA's own admission," Abruzzo said. The Wellington-based lawmaker sent a letter to State Attorney Pam Bondi on Wednesday asking her to investigate the NCAA for violating Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trace Practices Act.
In the letter, Abruzzo wrote, "Since your office is the enforcing authority of [the law], I am requesting that the NCAA's wrongdoing be investigated immediately, before the NCAA's which hunt against the University of Miami causes further damage."
Tuesday, the university received its notice of allegations from the NCAA centering around booster Nevin Shapiro and the alleged improprieties by former basketball and football coaches and players.
Abruzzo's objection about the NCAA's actions rests with the organization's stance during the investigation stating that if people they singled out refused to talk, they'd be in the wrong. The NCAA does not have subpoena power, and admitted to breaking some of its own investigating rules during the more than two-year case.
"They used the bankruptcy proceedings, and the NCAA was paying a Ponzi scheme-convicted scam artist lawyer to obtain information," Abruzzo said. "It was improper, and that's grounds right there for Attorney General [Bondi] to go, 'Wait a minute.'" Abruzzo said he just wants state law upheld, but also added, "I feel for the university."
Abruzzo will be meeting with Bondi next week in Tallahassee. He said that he emailed his letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
NCAA representatives did not return 7News' calls.
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