It’s so easy, Sally Jenkins edition.

You know, I look at the NCAA’s struggles these past few months with enforcing its amateurism regulations and I see a system that is under stress as it tries to cope with the problems resulting from there not being a professional outlet for kids coming out of high school who want to pursue a sports career without having to suffer through the process of getting a college education.

But I’m not Sally Jenkins.  Jenkins casts her keen eye across the landscape of college football and finds a different villain (although I suppose she should be given some credit for consistency).

… Abolish the Bowl Championship Series. It’s an unprincipled and unfair system that brings out the worst in those who compete in it. It sends the message to athletes that what counts is not the game, “but how you game the system,” says Alan Fishel, an attorney from Arent Fox who represents Boise State.

College football is the only sport that does not have a valid championship, because conference commissioners seized control of the postseason in order to hoard the bowl money to offset their deficits. The NCAA needs to reclaims its authority. “It’s beginning to taint everything, in all of athletics,” Cowen says. “That particular system has co-opted all of intercollegiate athletics, and really led the train in the wrong direction.”

You read that right.  Tulane’s president is blaming everything that’s wrong with college athletics – everything –  on the absence of a D-1 football playoff.  I once joked that playoff advocates saw playoffs as the college football equivalent of the Iraq Surge; for them, there’s nothing a college football tourney can’t fix.  Cowen, unfortunately, isn’t kidding.  And he’s blind to the reality that college basketball, even with March Madness, is subject to many of the same problems with amateurism that college football has.

Besides, historically speaking, what Jenkins writes there is a load of crap.  Conference commissioners didn’t seize control of the football postseason from the NCAA.  The bowl game came into existence at roughly the same time that the NCAA did.  There’s nothing for the NCAA to reclaim, because the NCAA never sponsored a D-1 football postseason in the first place.

I wish I could say that was the dumbest part of Jenkins’ piece, but given that two of the steps she advocates taking to clean up college football are clear cut antitrust violations, another involves subjecting football players to the justice system for doing something – getting paid by a third party for their ability – that any of their non-athletic peers can do without consequences and most of the rest comes off as a mid-majors wish list for getting more out of the system, I’m not sure I can.  Then again, what should I expect from someone who, after seeing what’s gone on lately, honestly thinks the NCAA has the stomach and the capability to clean things up in the first place?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, The NCAA

12 responses to “It’s so easy, Sally Jenkins edition.

  1. It never ceases to amaze me just how many people seem to honestly think everything was fine with college football until the BCS came into existence. Some people really do need a villain to blame, whether a real one exists or not.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Free association at its best. You know, the BCS could be responsible for teen pregnancy, world hunger, and halitosis too!


  3. TennesseeDawg

    If I remember correctly, the BCS cam into existence because some of these very same people complained that it was unfair to have all these bowls and have the AP/Coaches poll vote on the NC. Furthermore, it’s not like Tulane’s president has to ever worry about Tulane getting screwed out of a NC anyway.


  4. Biggus Rickus

    Most recently the BCS has been responsible for the economic collapse, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the tragic shooting in Tuscon.


  5. crapsandwich

    Well I agree with you Biggus Rickus…..but don’t we blame Sarah Palin too?


  6. Bryant Denny

    I’m not a fan of a playoff, nor am I a defender of the BCS. However, there are two examples I can remember from this season to support her ridiculous argument: 1) Auburn; and 2) The Ohio State.

    BCS money caused the SEC and Big 10 suspend all logic and reason related to Newton and the OSU 5. College football has never been the most pristine environment (I know – I’m a Bama fan), but there was a time when the right thing would’ve been done.

    Have a good day,

    BD from an Iced In Location


  7. Ron Franklin

    Ms. Jenkins, please leave sports commentaries to us men. Okay, sweet cheeks?
    If you insist on working outside the home maybe you could share some family recipes or give tips on how to remove stains with seltzer.


  8. Zero Point Zero

    I’d like to keep cold comfort for change. BCS made a terrible system OK. Not great, but OK. We love this sport for a reason. Don’t beg to F it up. Now if we could only break the Rose Bowl Big PAC 10/12 grasp more than once every 4 years…


  9. Coastal Dawg

    She is on to something with Item # 2 though. Its BS that a coach can get a school busted, then leave without repricussions. If the penalty imposed on the school follwed the coach, too. That would be something.


  10. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Sally Jenkins is dangerous. She advocates the passage of unconstitutional criminal laws and laws that restrain free trade and commerce. Any statute that criminalized paying players or agents providing benefits (as long as nobody was fixing games) cannot pass constitutional muster. Likewise with any criminalization of agent-player contact. I don’t like these things either but the way to stop it is not with criminalization of constitutionally protected perfectly legal private conduct just because you don’t like it. This is the problem when you give a nitwit a public forum. They spew nitwit things.