When it comes to the economy, Congress is relatively powerless. First, there is the theory of business cycles and no matter how many $600 checks they approve, the economy may only fix itself. As for oil prices, not even Mr. Bush politely asking for more production helped. When it comes to the war or any military excursion, Congress defers to the President, even though they have the power of the purse. In each of these cases, Congress is a role player, watching the Executive Branch chucking threes.
So when an issue arises in sports, it is a time for Congress to shine. Not only do they get to investigate something more interesting than the negative effects of hydroelectric power on fish in the
Unlike the President though, professional sports exists because Congress allows sports to be controlled outside the parameters of general business law. The same is true of the NCAA. The one time the purposefully deliberate Congress can actually get something done quickly is with sports. This is not government interfering with business though. It’s preventing a public good, like a school or highway, from going bad.
With leagues and the NCAA becoming less transparent (see Goodell, Roger), Congress has to step in. The networks that broadcast games will not check the leagues’ powers, unlike the Fourth Estate supposedly checking government. Congress has to be a player in the arena, even if they can’t do the same on more important issues.