Jeez, what a guy to pin your hopes on.
… For all the talk about priorities, the great conundrum facing the organization is what to do with the teams that compose the Football Bowl Subdivision, which competes for the Bowl Championship Series title. The N.C.A.A. administers 88 championships in 23 sports. But the B.C.S. operates its bowl games independently of the N.C.A.A.
“I’ve always found that unconscionable,” Cowen said.
Unlike a large number of their colleagues, Adams and Cowen want the N.C.A.A. to take back Division I football. It effectively lost control in 1984, when the Supreme Court ruled that the N.C.A.A.’s existing television contract violated antitrust laws.
Which means the only way to get it back is to get an antitrust exemption from Congress. Does Michael Adams strike you as the kind of guy who can do that? And even if he does, what then? He’s still got to go back and get the conferences to agree to yield. You think the SEC is ready to share?
“I don’t think they can take it back,” Shalala said, referring to the N.C.A.A. “I do not think the conferences are going to give it back. I don’t see that in my lifetime.”
Hint: when Donna Shalala is your voice of reality, it’s time to reassess your argument.
Here’s the funniest part of all…
The issue is much larger than a debate about a national football playoff. It gets to the essential question of whether the tail is wagging the dog in football and basketball, the two biggest, most commercialized college sports. The commissioners of the B.C.S. conferences, as well as bowl organizers and some university presidents and boosters, refuse to cede control of a billion-dollar football enterprise to the N.C.A.A. This is the N.C.A.A.’s equivalent of health care reform, just as daunting and emotional and, in some ways, more of a mission impossible.
The NCAA already controls the basketball tourney. Maybe Rhoden can explain to idiots like myself how it’s any less commercialized than the D-1 football postseason.
In the end, if the NCAA tries to take back football, it’s not going to be out of some sense of moral rectitude (although you can bet that there will be a nauseating amount of lip service given to that which will be lapped up by people like Rhoden). It’ll be nothing more than an old-fashioned power play designed to bring the conferences and high profile coaches to heel. And if it succeeds, we’ll see the Rhodens of the world wringing their hands a few years later about how the great promise of the NCAA taking back the football postseason was wasted.