Friday, April 18, 2008

Political Football, the BCS and Gruel

Dateline Washington: "College football's Bowl Championship Series system is illegally rigged against schools that are not members of the six largest conferences, potentially costing them millions annually and frustrating fans over which team is the national champion, House lawmakers charged Thursday."

Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, is a lead sponsor of a resolution that calls for the Justice Department to investigate whether the BCS is illegally restraining trade.

"Everybody else is ... looking in as if they were Oliver Twist with a little begging bowl ... saying, 'Please Mr. NCAA Bowl Championship Series director, may we have some more gruel,' " said Abercrombie, who received a doctorate from Hawaii in 1974.

What's the reaction? Alan Schmadtke of the Orlando Sentinel writes: "It's an election year. We're in a war. Health care in this country is a joke. [I just paid $75 for prescription nasal spray, for God's sake.] Social Security is limping and the Baby Boomers have just started to retire.

"Gas prices overseas just hit record highs. Milk in some places is $7 a gallon. We just had the first anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech and there's a proposal out there to let college students have personal weapons on campus.

"This just in: The BCS, however flawed, ain't our biggest problem."

The gang over at Get The Picture is also bashing all of this. "Doesn't the Justice Department have enough calls for inquiries to ignore already?"

The Wiz? Big-time college football needs a playoff. As for the politics? Isn't that what the BCS is all about?

In the meantime, enjoy your gruel.


Jefe said...

It cracks me up when people who know they are wrong ask "doesn't congress have anything better to do?" Look, Congress ain't gonna solve anything about the war, the dollar, or health care. Congress has spent 100s of hours on each of those topics. There's nothing wrong with Congress addressing other concerns. There's no rule that says Congress can only try to tackle the country's top 5 problems at once. If there is something illegal going on (and there may be), and if it is a huge amount of money at skate (it is), Congress should take a look. Sports journalists who love the corrupt system can try to deflect attention, but the problem is still there.

Zick said...

Jefe, are you serious? It is none of the government's business how a group of schools determines who has the best football team.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious?

The government has always addressed market concerns in relation to unfair practices. And when you consider College Football is a billion dollar industry -- it certainly warrants review. Jefe is 100% correct. It's not like Congress is incapable of multi-tasking and working on issues that are near and dear to their constituencies.