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.