Outrageous!

Tell me, is there anyone out there professing to be offended by the Fiesta Bowl penalty who isn’t a playoff proponent?

I mean, as someone who seems to be in a minority of folks who are seriously pissed off that the government hasn’t exactly gone medieval on a lot of Wall Street asses who clearly deserved to pay a price for getting us into the worst financial mess in eighty years, I’m sort of amazed by the righteous indignation on display for what is honestly not much more than a minor kerfuffle by comparison.

But I guess that’s what I get for not having an agenda.

… Though university presidents have consistently been opposed to a playoff, Sanderson said Playoff PAC’s “active public record request operation” will continue with the hope of breaking up the BCS.

“I do think that from their public actions that they feel vulnerable for the first time in their 13-year existence. They are aware that they are being watched and closely scrutinized,” Sanderson said. “I would say we’re one scandal away from having overwhelming pressure from Congress, from every place, to move forward to a competitive postseason. The signs are there. The Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl look a lot like the Fiesta Bowl when we first filed that complaint with the Arizona Secretary of State. I think that they are increasingly nervous about what is going to pop up next. For from our standpoint, we’re sitting on a lot of information that we will be releasing going forward.”

If I were the bowls, what I’d be increasingly nervous about are the stupid comments Bill Hancock keeps uttering.

“I am surprised that the NCAA doesn’t have rules against accepting gifts from bowls, at least if you’re on the subcommittee and regulating bowls and certifying bowls,” Sanderson said.

BCS officials contend that their impartiality has not been compromised. “If anyone believes that two rounds of golf and a dinner or two is going to affect someone’s judgment, they’re mistaken,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. “These are ethical, smart, tough, thorough, quality people.”

I’m not sure that’s how I would describe a bunch of folks who thought it was necessary to bring Ari Fleischer on board.

Increasingly, I find myself wishing that somehow both sides could lose on this.  It’s become the political equivalent of a meteor game.

It’s gotten weird enough that Stewart Mandel has become muy sympatico.  Here’s his perfect a-plague-on-both-their-houses observation:

… First of all, if the government shows interest in investigating your organization, you should probably have a better defense than, “Really? Don’t you have something better to do?” And second, I have no problem with the federal government looking into college football’s most visible product after so many people have asked them to do so. The BCS involves many of the nation’s most prominent universities — most of them state-funded institutions — engaged in a system that generates several hundred million dollars annually. I’m sure the DOJ has spent considerable time investigating far less lucrative businesses affecting far fewer people.

Having said that, you can tell that the people doing the investigating — and most of the people asking them to do so (economists, senators, etc.) — haven’t devoted much attention to the type of ground-floor details Alan raised. The letter from Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney to Mark Emmert consisted of vague, seemingly entry-level questions, directed to the wrong party no less. Don’t ask Emmert why we don’t have a playoff; ask Jim Delany (he’ll gladly tell you). Meanwhile, the two most common Orrin Hatch-variety complaints about the BCS are the inequality in revenue distribution among conferences and the notion that the “Cartel” is leaving unrealized playoff revenue on the table that could be aiding cash-strapped schools. As Alan notes, their proposed solution consists of forcing unpaid students at Florida or Oklahoma to play three or four extra games so that San Diego State and New Mexico can balance their budgets.  [Emphasis added.]

Ooh.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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21 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

21 responses to “Outrageous!

  1. Wow. I actually agree with Stewie. SEE WHAT HAVOC YOU HAVE WREAKED, PLAYOFF-ITES??!!

    The last point is brilliant. That should be Delany’s closing argument next time he has to testify.

  2. Prov

    Why don’t all of these playoff folks just become hard-core college basketball fans? It’s perfect, right?

    • HK

      Its easier to follow basketball because of the post season, so you don’t really have to be that big of a fan of basketball to enjoy and completely understand the most important part of the season. They want that for football, so essentially they are basketball fans. And it sucks.

  3. paul

    I don’t want a playoff and I am offended by the so called ‘penalty.’ Basically they were told to do what they should have been doing all along. Every parent knows that’s not punishment. Either we want to clean things up in college football or we don’t. This sends the message that we don’t. I also agree that a whole bunch of Wall Street types should be in jail. We certainly locked up a few after the savings and loan scandals. Of course, it was because of the savings and loan scandals and resulting jail sentences that the Wall Street types dreamed up the schemes that brought us the most recent meltdown.

    • Krautdawg

      Nah, not much new this time around. The S&Ls were the first big buyer’s of Salomon Bros.’ mortgage bonds, which were essentially the same transactions as yesterday’s CDOs/CMOs (i.e. securitized mortgage obligations sold in tranches). After Congress passed a fed tax credit to the S&Ls, these (unregulated, off-balance-sheet) mortgage bonds allowed too many S&Ls to give huge mortgages to buyers who shouldn’t have gotten them, then sell the worthless securitized versions to other S&Ls. It bubbled for a few years until mortgages started defaulting & the value of the mortgage bonds tanked — and with them the S&Ls. Sound familiar?

      In short, I agree — unless the SEC is being covertly run by NCAA operatives, some execs should go to jail. Back to the present topic, however, if we’d just bail out San Diego State, we could avoid all this current unpleasantness.

      • Dog in Fla

        “Sound familiar?”

        Before we start digging up so much history that Neil Bush’s team of people come out of their bat caves and give him sole credit for the S&L mission, it sounds like it’s time for a little Summer re-education camp.

        FSU may be the place for that even though it does not offer a Wall Street course because it is patently obvious that nothing is wrong with Wall Street; however, it does offer remedial Calculus which was initially branded as MATH 101 but was repackaged as MATH 314 so it could be sold for 3.14 times more tuition than a 100 level course

        “MATH 314: CONSERVATIVE CALCULUS. Sponsored and faculty approved by: TBA (bidding still in progress). Defense of the new “math-er” movement. Refutation of prevailing liberal propaganda regarding value of pi and the cultural relativism implied by “imaginary” numbers. 3 credit hours.”

        http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/the-new-and-improved-fsu-course-catalog-brought-to-you-by-charles-g-kochpp/1169038

  4. Go Dawgs!

    It took some restraint to not stand up and applaud on that last point. This has nothing to do with these schools’ access to a trophy, these people could give three damns less about a trophy. It’s about athletic budgets and their desire to earn more so they can (continue to) spend like the big boys.

  5. Phocion

    “…their proposed solution consists of forcing unpaid students at Florida or Oklahoma to play three or four extra games so that San Diego State and New Mexico can balance their budgets.”

    There is almost nothing in that statement that is true!

    “FORCING” – Didn’t realize playing for an NCAA football team was compulsory these days

    “UNPAID” – I’m pretty sure that there is a significant dollar value for the scholarship, housing, board, and various other benifits that NCAA football plaeyers recieve. Though with Mandell making these charges I would now expect to see significant depreciation in the valu of a degree from Northwestern.

    “EXTRA” – Isn’t the CCG an ‘extra’ game? What about that 12th non-conf game that was added a few years ago? Aren’t all bowl games. ‘extra’ games? Aren’t all non-conf games ‘extra’ games? Perhaps we should go back to 8 or 10 game schedules so no one has to play ‘extra’ games.

    “BALANCE THEIR BUDGETS” – Revenue from a playoff, or even a bowl game, isn’t going to balance a budget at these schools*. (Maybe if we dropped Title IX requirements though…)

    * – Unless your school is named “Notre Dame” and you get to keep all the money your damn self

  6. Cojones

    My God! Didn’t think anything could be worse than listening to Fox News. Now we are reading it on a football fan blog! Unapologetic false statements, accusing anyone who doesn’t buy twisted reasoning as liberal or leftist and sloppy factual presentation to stir the ignorance of malcontents. The peanut butter is turning rancid.

    Can’t we all just get along?

    Seriously, why not let the process continue toward playoffs (please don’t send the regular replies using fallaceous reasoning as to inability to play the games-that’s old and boring) since the BCS is fouling the waters? Can’t anyone see the self-interest among Delany and the jerks raking in cash using our University teams? They are perpetuating the chosen few to be decided by popularity. Sure, they let a few in on merit. Adding insult to injury, Delany and the Big10 have their hands in two BCS bowls every year plus placing teams in every other bowl as if they have earned it by not playing a Big10 Championship every year. How can you have a Rose Bowl reserved for two conferences only, yet be in a BCS system with all the other bowls? The crap that Delany spews that is taken seriously is enough to make Rupert Murdoch blush. Can’t we see the undercurrent of money being infused into the argument by the self-perpetuating BCS? A playoff has bad and good reasons to occur, but saying you can’t have one is totally false.

    • A playoff has bad and good reasons to occur, but saying you can’t have one is totally false.

      I don’t think anybody said there can’t be a playoff. The point is that the people that will decided these things (i.e. Delany/Slive) won’t be making the decision from the fans’ perspective. If Delany or Slive are forced into vacating the BCS by the DOJ, they aren’t going to risk the cash cow that is the regular season televisions rights (which they keep themselves) being potentially diluted by a playoff (which while potentially more profitable, would have to be shared with everybody). They are going to take the collective ball and go home (pre-BCS bowl days). I don’t understand why so many people have such a hard time understanding this.

    • HackerDog

      Can’t anyone see the self-interest among Delany and the jerks raking in cash using our University teams? They are perpetuating the chosen few to be decided by popularity.
      That’s the basic definition of economics. Teams get money based on their popularity. Since UGA sells 94k tickets each week and delivers good TV ratings, they deserve more money than Boise State or Utah (even if they’re better teams).

      I know that letting markets function with as little government interference as possible isn’t a liberal position, but I think we can stand to discuss it in this case.

  7. Phocion

    “…they aren’t going to risk the cash cow that is the regular season televisions rights…”

    Please tells us how the NFL regular season tv contract deminished in value when the NFL expanded their playoff system with a fourth division and increased Wild Card entrants. (See 1990 and 2002)

    • Please tells us how the NFL regular season tv contract deminished in value when the NFL expanded their playoff system with a fourth division and increased Wild Card entrants. (See 1990 and 2002)

      That’s not apples to apples. The NFL never let conferences or divisions negotiate their own television rights and have always shared the revenues equally on these league-negotiated contracts. You think if the league allowed the teams in New York to negotiate their own regular season television rights that they would be willing to share the extra money they make on those deals with teams in Kansas City or Green Bay that don’t have nearly as many eyeballs? If so, I’ve got some beachfront property in Kansas for you.

      • Phocion

        Fair point, but…

        Assuming that a playoff means ESPN won’t pay the SEC a gazillion dollars for its next TV contract is unfounded speculation.

        Besides, when the SEC added a CCG (otherwise known as a ‘one game playoff’) that didn’t drive down the value of the contract even though it made a good number of October and November games irrelevant.

      • Phocion

        Assuming the NCAA won’t follow that model, isn’t that the free market at work? The SEC and Big East do not put comparable products on the market. Should the prce tag for both be the same? Of course not. But, Boise State and TCU might/are comparable products to Ala/Fla/Okla/Ore/etc. Since the BCS is exlusionary the market doesn’t decide on which product to offer as the MNCG and BCS Games. THose choices are limited by an agreement between only a few of the possible participants.

        • HackerDog

          You’re confusing quality with popularity. Earnings are based on popularity more than quality. There is a relationship between the two, but it’s popularity that drives the dollars.

          Boise State may be a better football team than UGA. But they couldn’t sell 94k tickets a week or deliver the TV ratings that UGA can. That’s why UGA deserves more money.

          The AQ conferences aren’t participating in the BCS to determine a national champion. They’re participating to get more money than they would under their old bowl tie-ins. And more money comes from having popular teams in their games.

  8. By Georgia We Did It

    Even though it’s been done by a few folks, I’ll the take the Ray Charles version as the song reference (the article title) since Ray has Georgia roots. Am I right here Senator?

  9. By Georgia We Did It

    Fail: meant to go under the “Night time is the Right Time” post.

  10. Dog in Fla

    “I mean, as someone who seems to be in a minority of folks who are seriously pissed off that the government hasn’t exactly gone medieval on a lot of Wall Street asses who clearly deserved to pay a price for getting us into the worst financial mess in eighty years,”

    It’s not like they murdered anybody. They just took a lot of free shoes.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-people-vs-goldman-sachs-20110511

  11. Faulkner

    I mean, as someone who seems to be in a minority of folks who are seriously pissed off that the government hasn’t exactly gone medieval on a lot of Wall Street asses who clearly deserved to pay a price for getting us into the worst financial mess in eighty years….

    I am right there with you on that one. Incompetence on display at the DOJ. Really, a probe into college football? What asses.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I agree with you about the Wall Street asses. Even worse, the government bailed out the guys responsible for getting the country into the economic mess it’s in so they wouldn’t have to face the prospect of jumping out of windows like their 1929 forbears. So much for laissez faire and the free market system. That only applies when big business is trying to change US laws to unilaterally drop our tariffs so all the rich guys can ship everyone’s jobs overseas.