Trey Lamar, who is fighting the NCAA in his role as a state representative in Mississippi, swears it’s just a coincidence.
The former Ole Miss running back is has pushed a bill that would force the NCAA to complete investigations against schools — while the association is probing the Mississippi football program.
In an interview with Jake Wimberly of WKRS-FM in Jackson and Gridironnow.com, Lamar said the fact that he played for Ole Miss has nothing to do with the legislation.
“The University of Mississippi did not ask me to produce this bill, nor did they have anything to do with me filing this bill,” Lamar said in the interview. “This bill has nothing to do with the current investigation at Ole Miss. Nothing.”
His argument centers around the premise that publicly funded institutions should not suffer while the NCAA drags its feet. Lamar said, as an attorney, he has been a part of much bigger cases that have been handled in more timely fashions.
“In many cases, these sports programs are the lifeblood of the local community that they are in,” Lamar said. “Basically, what I have seen is when an investigation drags on for years and years, it creates a large cloud of doubt and uncertainty around these programs that oftentimes is worse than the actual penalties or sanctions in these rules violations.”
The bill would fine the NCAA $10,000 for every day past one year that the association does not hold a hearing and hand down a ruling after being informed of the allegations.
Lamar is a former running back at Ole Miss, which is under investigation by the NCAA. Ole Miss was issued a notice of allegations in January 2016 but the case was re-opened after the controversy surrounding Laremy Tunsil on NFL draft night.
According to his Ole Miss football bio, Lamar also attended Mississippi State in 2000, but did not play on the football team.
The Republican from District 8, which represents Lafayette and Tate, has served since 2012.
What’s not clear is the legality of a state to enforce such a law on the NCAA.
On Twitter on Wednesday, Dan Wolken of USA Today was skeptical.
Ahh the old "taxpayer-funded institution" canard. Ole Miss athletics raised $45 million in private donations last year. https://t.co/pWSrDlguxd
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 25, 2017