Collegiate Athletics Protection Agency (CAPA)

Has anyone heard of this group? A friend forwarded a few letters from them and I wanted to know what everyone thought. Are they legit? Do they have a chance to do anything? My apologies if this group has been discussed before. I think CAPA is also involved in the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, EA Sports and ESPN about using college athletes likenesses, etc. for commercial purposes.

Here is a copy of the letter.

October 2012
Dear Penn State Alumni/Donor:

Collegiate sports are among our most cherished and often somewhat tribal national institutions. From the SEC to the Big Ten to the PAC 12, athletes and fans are filling stadium seats and driving television ratings with unprecedented ratings.

While this is also occurring at Penn State, this narrative of excitement has been coupled with reminders of the shocking abuse of children, legal proceedings, tarnished reputations and questionable decision-making by those both imposing sanctions and those accepting them on behalf of the university.

Like you, I love collegiate athletics and deplore that it has been marred by poor governance, greed and the compromise of values both at the institutional level and its NCAA regulators. While the Penn State controversy is only the latest to surface in the media headlines, one need not look too many years back to recall dubious missteps in the handling of compliance circumstances ranging from University of Southern California (USC) to Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina.

Enough is enough! We have an opportunity to fix the problems undermining college sports. This is why a coalition of prominent individuals, organizations, academics, donors and others have formed the CAPA (College Athletics Protection Association).

CAPA’s is working with the prestigious global policy think-tank RAND to bring together a diverse group of college athletic stakeholders to address the critical issue of the NCAA’s Governance in College Athletics.

Fundamentally, the many problems associated with college athletics is due to its poor governance. University rights, abuse of authorities, conflicts of interest, the lack of due process, unfair penalties & sanctions, exclusion of precedent and the "make it up as you go" attitude are all the by-product of poor governance. Our opinion is that NCAA has consolidated too much power and abuses that power for its own gain to the detriment of universities, alumni, players and fans. However, to substantiate these assertions in a way that we can all come together to resolve the issues we need a credible independent assessment.

This is why CAPA has engaged RAND. (RAND Corporation Provides Objective Research Services and Public Policy Analysis). RAND is one of the world's foremost think-tanks and is often called on by our government to provide critical objective analysis of both national security and public policy issues. Not only does RAND have expertise in this area but also RAND assessments are considered the gold standard for this type of work.

I have worked before with RAND. They will conduct a College Athletics Landscape Study and Analysis of the organization and operation of intercollegiate sporting competition in the U.S. They will address the key issues undermining college sports and provide recommendations. A more detailed description of CAPA's perspective and of the proposed RAND study can be found on our website.

As it pertains to Penn State, while it is true the NCAA is not going to willingly operate against its self-interest, there is an effective way to address current penalties and prevent a future repeat of the NCAA's unprecedented adoption of subjective information “Freeh report” witch lead to devastating impacts upon the University and its athletics program. The NCAA is again penalizing the innocent leaving people around the country to ask obvious questions such as: What effect do sports related sanctions have on criminal activity and whereby does the NCAA have the right to act on issues of criminality?

Is it possible to readdress the sanctions placed on Penn State University? Yes, but not with the current form of governance. There is an understanding around the country that college athletics is broken and that the NCAA’s governance doesn’t work. The CAPA approach is to change governance and the sanction system therein while readdressing the unjust penalties the NCAA has placed on Penn State.

Many people around the country are outraged at the behavior of the NCAA and want to see changes made but to seriously take this issue on you need to start with a creditable and objective analysis. The RAND Landscape Study and University Presidents Survey.

It won’t be easy – the NCAA rules the multi-billion dollar business of college sports without public accountability, transparency, or consistency. Or as one former prominent athletic conference commissioner was quoted in a major publication, “We really have no one in charge. Anybody who thinks the NCAA is in charge, has got their head in the sand.”

By providing your financial support to CAPA and the RAND study, we'll forge a better path towards oversight of college athletics. Do not pass upon the opportunity to become a part of a historic reform of the NCAA via the RAND study or potential subsequent Congressional or court mandated action benefitting student athletes and fans of college sports everywhere.

Those of us who love college sports have been known to be fanatical about the teams we follow and love. I am asking you and everyone who has a passion for college athletics, to support our efforts. We have organized CAPA as a non-profit and need your gift to make the NCAA accountable, protect athletes and give the fans a true independent voice.

We would like to hear your thoughts and ideas on the state of college athletics. In addition to your financial support, please go to to learn more regarding CAPA's important mission. Please also follow us on Twitter where we'll be interacting with CAPA supporters from across the nations.

Daniel Lustyan
Executive Director

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