Political Football – May 01, 2009
Is it just me, or is Congress sticking it’s nose in places where it has no business? Today, May 1, Congress is spending taxpayer money to examine the college football bowl system.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s commerce, trade and consumer protection subcommittee is holding a hearing today to see how revenue generated by the series is distributed, and the impact that may have on some colleges.
Some in Congress have the notion to pursuade (?) them to switch to a playoff system. Congressman Joe Barton said, “It’s big money. We’re going to start looking into where the money goes.” The bill being considered in Congress now would prevent the NCAA from labeling a game a national championship unless it culminates from a playoff system. Barton said the current system is “more about cartels and revenue sharing” than athletic performance.
Oh really? A lot of taxpayers would say that Congress is more about political cartels and revenue sharing than serving the citizens.
Of course it’s about money. Of course some in the system become more powerful than others. What if the colleges that don’t like the way it’s being done, simply opt out.? Eventually, enough would opt out that it would not be as profitable and changes would be made. No one would be interested in a national championship if the teams only had to defeat four others. Let the system members solve their problems and keep the government out of it. There are no life and death situations in this one.
Under the BCS, some conferences get automatic bids to participate while others do not. Conferences that get an automatic bid — the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC — get about $18 million each, far more than the non-conference schools.
The Mountain West Conference, which does not get an automatic bid, has proposed a playoff system and hired a Washington firm to lobby Congress for changes to the BCS. MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson is scheduled to testify Friday on behalf of the conference.
Swofford, the BCS coordinator, is expected to tell the subcommittee that the bowl system — which includes 34 games — would not survive a playoff system, and that the BCS has contributed to college football’s overall health.
The BCS has come under attack from a range of politicians up to President Barack Obama. Last November, as president-elect, he told “60 Minutes” he would prefer an eight-team playoff system.
“I don’t know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this,” he said. “So I’m going to throw my weight around a little bit.”
In the Senate, Utah Republican Orrin Hatch has put the BCS on the agenda for the Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee this year, and Utah’s attorney general, Mark Shurtleff, is investigating whether the BCS violates federal antitrust laws.
People in that state were furious that Utah was bypassed for the national championship despite going undefeated in the regular season. The title game pitted No. 1 Florida (12-1) against No. 2 Oklahoma (12-1); Florida won 24-14 and claimed the title.
(By the way, the University of Texas should have been picked instead of Oklahoma, based on their season wins. Texans weres shocked. Maybe that is the real reason Texas Congressman Joe Barton is getting so involved. Who knows?)
It takes a lot of money to convene Congress, generate paperwork, and pay a staff. They should have enough on their plate that is really important for them to handle. Such as the economy???
It’s time Congress got out of a lot things the Constitution and the States never gave them the power to micro-manage. The federal government was never supposed to have any powers not specifically given it by the states and/or the people. But Congress, the Senate and the President just takes whatever power they want. Who’s to stop them?
We can, if we organize, work and get it done. Let’s do it now.