At the risk of sounding like a monomaniac on the subject, let me direct your attention to this call to arms by Bob Kustra, President of Boise State University.
When the Presidential Oversight Committee of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) meets next week (June 15-19 in Colorado Springs), perhaps it will consider how to apply the same values espoused and celebrated by American higher education across the nation to the most recognizable pastime and the biggest business on many university campuses — intercollegiate football. There is considerable irony in the fact that in the highest temple of political correctness, American higher education, the BCS worships the false idols of monopoly, inequity and greed at the expense of the virtues of fairness, access and competition.
The BCS is a fundamentally flawed system that is unfair in its access, governance and revenue distribution…
He’s serious enough about this that it’s prominently linked at the home page of BSU’s website.
See if you get a lump in your throat when you read this.
… you would think that when Boise State opens its football season against the University of Oregon on September 3, the dream of a national championship would beat in the heart of every player, coach, alumnus and fan. Instead, there will only be a faint pulse thanks to the constraints placed upon us by the BCS…
Those heartless, greedy bastards. You would think they might be a bit more understanding about the Broncos’ 117th-ranked strength of schedule, according to Steele.
Maybe we should keep reality out of this, though, as he’s just getting warmed up. Let’s talk money.
… Nowhere is the inequality of the BCS system more evident than in revenue distribution. The formula is heavily weighted toward the automatic qualifying conferences that are guaranteed a spot in a BCS game and walk away with the $18 million payout that goes with it. The automatic qualifying conferences and Notre Dame receive 90 percent of the $132 million generated by the BCS bowls, a monopoly that if uncovered in the business world would be cause for a Department of Justice antitrust investigation…
Sigh. This really does get tiresome, but President Kustra might want to acquaint himself with the 2008 NCAA D-1 football attendance figures. Should he, he’ll find his school checking in at #68 on the list. BSU’s average regular season attendance of 32,327 fell short by more than 5,000 people per game from the average attendance at this year’s SEC spring games.
So his school doesn’t draw particularly well and it plays a truly crappy schedule, but Kustra still believes it deserves an equal seat at the table. Makes perfect sense. Perhaps instead of invoking political correctness, Orwell, the NCAA and Congress, he might do well to take a word of advice from this gentleman:
… You can’t undo it now, but one of the problems is that BCS conferences had to sit by and watch as every Tom, Dick and Harry school that wanted to move up to Division I-A and share in the perceived riches was allowed to do it–from the 1990’s on. Some had the wherewithal to make the transition, but some did not. It’s created a watered-down product in the mid-major conferences and has caused the BCS schools to protect their pot of gold from those they think have not earned it.
If the NCAA had blocked admittance to schools that didn’t meet certain standards, maybe all the FBS schools could be under one umbrella now. Shouldn’t an institution at the highest level of college football, for example, be able to average at least 20,000 fans a game? Turnstile count? No smoke-and-mirrors? That would reduce the pool by 25 schools right there based on 2008 attendance. BCS conferences might suggest the line of demarcation should be 25,000. The BCS team with the smallest attendance last season was Duke: 28,727 a game.
If you want to get treated like an equal, behave like one.