Amateur Regulation and the Unmoored United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
9 Wake Forest Law Review Online 88 (2019)
16 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2019
Date Written: 2019
In the wake of the USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal and Women’s National Soccer Team’s claim for pay equity, members of Congress have proposed legislation that would reform the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) through amendments to its governing statute, the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. While an important step in the right direction, the proposed reforms fail to address deeper, more urgent questions about the USOPC, the sport National Governing Bodies (NGBs) it recognizes, and the meaning of the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. This Article explores those issues by explaining that the USOPC’s quasi-governmental nature means it is an amateur regulator—trusted to act in the public interest, consistent with its statutory purpose, but without the structure, funding, and institutional expertise of a federal agency. Drawing from existing scholarly literature on quasigovernmental entities, this Article explains that the USOPC’s status allows it to easily become unmoored from its governing statute’s original purposes and intent. This Article asserts that proposed reforms to the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act must take account of this structure and suggests reforms that will create greater accountability to ensure that the USOPC better meets its statutory purposes and serves the national interest.
Keywords: amateur sports, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, regulation, reforms, National Governing Bodies, Olympic and Amateur Sports Act
JEL Classification: K1, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation