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BCS system changes needed, congressman says

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by ima_drummer2k, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    Hope this is the right forum.

    Sept. 4, 2003, 1:58PM
    BCS system changes needed, congressman says
    Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle News Services

    WASHINGTON -- Days into the new college football season, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said today the system by which a national collegiate champion is determined needs to be changed.

    "I think you're throwing the baby out with the bath water by allowing this to continue," Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said of the NCAA's Bowl Championship Series, which excludes many schools from automatic bids to compete in the lucrative bowl postseason.

    But even one of the most vocal opponents said Congress should not get involved.

    "Whatever issues may exist, it really should be worked among the university presidents without the intervention of Congress," said Tulane University's president, Scott Cowen, in advance of today's hearing. He founded an anti-BCS organization designed to get schools such as Tulane a better shot at one of the big year-end bowl games.

    Former NFL quarterback Steve Young, who played at Brigham Young and for the San Francisco 49ers, among other professional teams, said the disparities hurt recruiting, since athletes will sometimes choose to attend schools that have a better shot of going to a bowl game.

    "In soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, etc., equal access is granted. Not so in football," he said.

    In the system's five-year history, no team from a non-BCS conference has played in a BCS bowl game, and BYU has been the only non-BCS school to win a national championship since World War II.

    Cowen's Presidential Coalition for Athletic Reform and BCS representatives are meeting in Chicago on Monday to discuss the series' future. The current BCS contract expires in 2005.

    Participants said they hope for solutions to emerge within the next six months to a year. Proposals expected to be brought to the table include adding another one or two bowl games to the schedule.

    Neither supporters nor detractors of the bowl system expect legislation to result, although the threat of an antitrust suit brought by a non-BCS school looms.

    BCS supporters say the system does not violate antitrust rules because it is open to all schools through two at-large bids. Cowen said today that an antitrust suit is possible if upcoming talks with BCS officials do not yield satisfactory results.

    The BCS was established before the 1998 season to determine the national champion by matching the best teams in either the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.

    Only teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pacific-10, Conference USA, and the Southeastern Conference -- as well as independent Notre Dame and two at-large teams -- are allowed to participate in the big bowl games.

    Tulane went undefeated in 1998 but was excluded from the BCS bowls because of its 11th place BCS ranking.

    The projected revenue for the four 2004 BCS games is $90 million, but only about $6 million will go to the 55 non-BCS schools while more than $80 million ends up with the 62 BCS schools, the House committee said.

    "This conglomeration of money and power is having a cascading impact far beyond major college football, as the de facto exclusion of non-BCS schools from major bowl games is resulting in those schools having lower athletic budgets, inferior athletic facilities, and rising deficits," said Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the committee's top Democrat.
     
  2. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    Non-BCS conferences did not participate in BCS bowls before the BCS so what gives them the right to demand a guaranteed berth? There is a formula for the at-large spots. Even if the BCS was dismantled, non-BCS schools would still be subserviant. Playoffs is the only solution.
     

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