In a move that may speed up a formal Federal Government inquiry into the anti-trust exemption enjoyed by numerous, prominent college football schools, today the State of North Carolina sought an order from a Wake County (NC) Superior Court judge to force the NCAA to turn over unreleased evidence that it used in the investigation of the University of North Carolina football program.
Despite a subpoena ordering the release of specific evidence requested by North Carolina’s Secretary of State last July, the NCAA has repeatedly refused to provide any documents or recordings that could further impugn the University of North Carolina football program - or the NCAA itself.
Why does the State of North Carolina want the evidence that the NCAA cited to charge the UNC football program with nine major NCAA rules violations? (Allegations that ultimately led to the firing of athletic director Dick Baddour and head football coach Butch Davis.)
So State of North Carolina authorities can enforce the very same Uniform Athletes Agent Act that the NCAA itself lobbied the State of North Carolina to enact into law in 2000 - and currently touts on the NCAA.org website.
That flabbergasting fact was prominently noted in the North Carolina Secretary of State court filing today (pdf):
THE NCAA PETITIONED THE UNIFORM ATHLETE AGENTS ACT BUT FAILS TO COMPLY WITH ITS MANDATES
The Uniform Law Commissioners, formerly known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, drafted, approved, and recommended for enactment in all the states the Uniform Athlete Agents Act in 2000.
The Prefatory Note to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, a true and accurate copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit J, states that of the lack of uniformity and lack of reciprocity provisions in existing statutes, the NCAA and several universities asked the Conference to undertake the drafting of a Uniform Act . . .
The Drafting Committee [acting for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws] met over a period of three years and had valuable input from athlete agents, coaches, individuals responsible for administering existing acts, and representatives of the players associations of the National Football League, the National Hockey League, major league baseball and the NCAA.
As stated in the Prefatory Note to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, the NCAA asked the Conference to undertake drafting the Act and provided valuable input. It appears that the NCAA advocated for enactment of these laws.
North Carolina adopted the Uniform Athlete Agents Act in 2003, S.L. 2003-375, legislative action placing it in N.C. Gen. Stat. Chapter 78C.
The two prior North Carolina Acts regulating athlete agents had also been placed in Chapter 78C and administered by the Secretary.
WHEREFORE, the Secretary prays the Court to enter an order compelling the NCAA to comply with the Subpoena Duces Tecum served upon it, assessing the costs of this action against the NCAA, and awarding all other relief permitted by law.
Translation: the NCAA won’t assist in enforcing a law that it played a pivotal role in enacting.
It’s one thing for a state-funded institution to block the media from accessing documents that are required by law to be made available to the public.
It’s quite another for the governing agency of those same state-funded institutions, the NCAA, to block the enforcement of a law that the governing agency itself helped create.
Wonder how the United States Federal Government, which provides that same governing agency, the NCAA, with an anti-trust exemption, feels about the NCAA now officially holding itself above the law?