Jim Delany speaks Big Six truth to DOJ power:
“There’s no judge or jury in the world,” Delany said, “that can make you enter into an four-team, eight-team or 16-team playoff.”
Tactically speaking, it’s erroneous to assume that college football is structured monolithically in the way that the professional leagues are or March Madness is. Which is why it’s foolish to brush off this threat:
… Echoing Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick, Delany insisted that, if the BCS were dismantled, it wouldn’t lead to the kind of playoff Varney referenced in her letter. Schools and conferences more likely would return to a pre-BCS format in which they struck their own bowl deals, top to bottom.
Every new regular season TV deal makes it easier for these guys to do that. (Bonus points for the James Brown reference!)
Maybe it’s a bluff. I know there are people like Dan Wetzel who are fully convinced it’s just that. Maybe they’re right. But nobody can say they weren’t warned otherwise.
“I know at the end of the day that we’ve operated in total good faith. I know that (the postseason) is better than it was. . . . And if it can’t go forward, it can’t go forward. But I also know that we can’t be enjoined, we can’t be directed or forced into something we don’t think is the right thing for us to do.”
Welcome to BCS poker, folks.
UPDATE: Over at Coaches Hot Seat Blog, Joe, with his usual overheated rhetoric, points to a governmental strategy which I agree might impress more than the antitrust threat.
…The approximately $200 Billion Dollars that is sent to colleges and universities in America each year for student-aid and all kinds of research would be TRUMP CARD No. 1 Delany and that you, Jack Swarbrick, Gordon Gee and lots of other folks don’t understand that reality is not a big surprise to us here at Coaches Hot Seat.
If Gordon Gee and other university presidents and chancellors would like to run their schools without student-aid and money from the US Government and thus the US Taxpayer then they can go ahead and give it a try but Gordon Gee and every other college and university president in the country knows their schools would shut-down overnight if not for Federal Student Aid and the research monies that they get each year from the US Taxpayer and that means that this is all going to come down to these Bogus BCS Bastards:
Either institute the same type of postseason playoff tournament that student-athletes in other sports have access to as administered by the NCAA or US Government and US Taxpayer money to your school will cease….immediately.
Joe’s right. That’s not chump change. But there are two problems I see with that approach. First, if it’s such a great and effective idea, how come Congress has been more than willing to let DOJ carry its water with the antitrust threat? I suspect that’s because of part two: there are a lot of members of Congress with powerful constituents who don’t want the BCS changed. Just because those aren’t people squawking as much as Orrin Hatch doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Maybe this is something that changes if DOJ takes a pass. To me, it might turn out to be an effective strategy if Congress combined the stick of withdrawing financial support with the carrot of an antitrust exemption. You can’t tell me the school presidents wouldn’t be tempted by that.