WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller said Wednesday the NCAA says one thing but does another.

U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller chaired Wednesday’s hearing on the NCAA and student athletes.

“The mission—‘Nothing comes before education’ is always there but the actions don’t appear to be,” Sen. Rockefeller said during Wednesday’s senate hearing on Capitol Hill looking at the NCAA, student athletes and academics.

Rockefeller, who chaired the meeting, had several questions for NCAA President Mark Emmert about the big money in college sports. He said many in higher education don’t want things to change because the money is too good.

The senator cited West Virginia University’s decision to join the Big 12 as an example of something that’s profitable for the university but a hardship on some fans.

“West Virginians who are not high income, or even moderate income, cannot go to any games out in the southwest but West Virginia University surely makes a ton of money from it. How do you respond to that?” Rockefeller asked Emmert. “Is that right? Is that fair? Is that progressive?”

Emmert said he was disappointed at some of the conference realignment decisions because of the travel time problems they’ve created. He said it’s not so bad for a football team but student athletes in sports like womens volleyball spend way too much time on the road.

Emmert told committee members changes are on the way for some of the big NCAA member schools when it comes to providing more money for athletes and making sure insurance is in place. Emmert also said Wednesday he supports lifetime scholarships.

Sen. Rockefeller said the changes sounded good on the surface but his hunch was universities “like things exactly the way they are because they’re making so much money.”

Rockefeller predicted to those in the hearing room that Congress would not be shying away from the issue of big college sports.

“I think that we want to continue this. We want to make this a continuing search of this oversight committee. We have jurisdiction over sports,” he said.

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  • PhotoBoothe

    If the only thing accomplished by this particular hearing was to shed light on the shocking aspect of many athletic departments handling sexual misconduct cases involving their athletes, (Florida State anyone??), then the hearing was well worth having for that reason alone!!

  • David

    I hope when republicans and independents get control we can enact laws to scrub this man from our history. Sure we'll still be paying for the debt he ran up but at least we won't have to see his name on everything .

    • PhotoBoothe

      EARTH calling David... A huge portion of the debt is due to the RepubliCONs including Curious George and the Bush Leaguers.
      First they give us tax breaks for the wealthy that never, ever freakin' "trickle down" to help the economy or middle class Americans, but DO "succeed" in slashing revenue, I.E., raising the debt big-time.
      Then they gave us Uncle George's Babylonian Snipe Hunt, AKA the Iraq War, tack on nearly a cool trillion for that magnificently botched attempt at "nation building."
      Combine the two and you have the fiscal insanity of cutting revenue in a time of war.
      Funny how CONservatives care about the deficit when they want to slash social programs, but ignore the deficit impact of their tax breaks for billionaires and neo-con foreign witch hunts!
      Funny how RepubliCONs suddenly "care" about the debt again when the other party is in the White House...
      Funny how the annual deficit as a% of GDP is back down to a FRACTION of what it was at the end of the disastrous Bush Administration...!

  • Jonus Grumby

    One of the few times I've ever agreed with Rockefeller.

  • RogerD

    Once again, Rocky has his priorities mixed up. With all the problems facing our country, he addresses the NCAA. Brilliant!

  • Shadow

    The one thing that Rockefeller is right on and all you guys bad-mouth him. No one ever said he was a Thinker.

  • Shawn H

    “West Virginians who are not high income, or even moderate income, cannot go to any games out in the southwest but West Virginia University surely makes a ton of money from it."

    This idiot is one of the reasons there are so many "not high income" West Virginians.

  • Gary

    Instead of worrying about the ncaa you , Obama and the rest of congress should be working on stopping the invasion of this country by the illegal, disease carrying criminal immigrants which the Obama administration is turning loose on the states so the taxpayers can support them.

    • David

      I agree! Of course he might want to ask the Senate President why he refuses to allow any of the 294 House jobs bills to be heard in the Senate.

  • Hedgesville

    Rockefeller and the rest of his cronies can't do anything to help this state and country, so now they stick their big noses in sports , like trying to have the Redskins change their name, and now involve themselves in college sports. With this type of involvement it can only doom sports as it has the state and country,so just stay out of it and leave it alone please . Better yet Jay, just leave.

  • Gary

    Our country is being invaded by illegal, criminal ,disease carrying immigrants which the Obama administration is turning loose all over the country to be a burden on the states taxpayers and your worried about the ncaa. Congress and Obama should be working to stop this invasion.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Mountaineer Spirit takes a big hit in this far away league we find ourselves in.

  • Hillbilly

    Even though I agree, I just want to know what business it is of Rockefeller or government in the College sports arena..

  • Jim

    Too many other issues, which effect his constitutes, and country to take time to deal with this. This is a waste of his and congress time!

  • Mason County Contrarian

    Big 12 games? We West Virginians can't even afford to travel to Morgantown for a home game or a
    taxpayer-subsidized golf tournament. Witness the "crowd" who attended last week's Greenbrier Classic.

    The senator has told the truth and it hurts when we aren't willing to admit it to our own. We would rather attack the messenger than accept his message.

  • Buck

    Emmert should take exception to being lectured by a carpet bagger who is a poster child for term limits.

  • Jason R.

    Rocky is an expert on this. He has made an entire career out of saying one thing and doing another. Why can't this man shut up, retire and move back to New York already?

    • RogerD

      We need a "like" button here in the comments section!