VIEWS FROM THE REALM OF
Monday, December 12, 2010
By Danny Whitford
Publisher & Editor
BCS: Rotten from the inside
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The movers and shakers in
college football are scratching their heads right about now. They moved and
shook one time too many.
The Bowl Championship
Series has finally been exposed for what it has been all along: a conspiracy
to hijack the game for the enrichment of self-anointed fiefdoms at the
expense of the serfs.
It's a sight to behold as
the repercussions unfold.
each other. Sibling schools engage in back-stabbing. Postseason pairings are
manipulated. Hypocrisy unbridled is on public view as the rot at the core of
the BCS eats through to the surface.
university, conference and bowl barons that lord over the convoluted kingdom
feign ignorance and try to distance themselves from the carnage.
These Gordon Gekkos of
college sports rigged the system in 1998 and started wallowing in the riches
while basking in the bright lights of their TV network co-conspirators and
relishing in the adulation from their butt-smooching enablers in the media.
They worshiped at the
altars of their bankers instead of at the feet of Pop Warner, Knute Rockne,
Red Blaik and the other gridiron gods who spawned and nurtured an
They sold out any precept
that their guardianship of the sport was about fostering the noble ideals,
storied rivalries and pristine pride that dispensed the mother’s milk of
They stomped on
tradition, flaunted their excesses and metaphorically gave the middle finger
to anti-trust investigators.
They filled their
gluttonous bellies at the expense of the sport, spreading a few crumbs to
their victims along the way to stifle dissension.
They abandoned principle
and prudence. They rationalized the squeamish practice of hiring mercenaries
instead of coaches and succumbed to the temptation of building ornate
palaces instead of stadiums for the common man.
They genuflected to
donors, played kissy-face with sponsors and engaged in what may be equated
to prostitution with television executives.
They inflated ticket
prices and extorted higher fees from students to pad their opulence.
Their unspoken motto: No
matter the peasants, it’s the perpetuation of the gilded existence of the
elite that counts.
Rolex-wearing high-rollers built a ruthless cartel through backroom
alliances and imperious decisions in a blind pursuit of greenbacks.
And now cracks are
appearing in the kingdom's foundations.
The behemoth they bred has to be fed. And so they feed it to keep it from
gobbling them up.
All to put on a game that
might be characterized in this day and time as a four-hour commercial
interrupted in intervals by competition on the field.
It’s about the Benjamins,
Benjamin. It's about the jack, Jack.
What they’ve wrought is
anything but inspiring:
Avarice, hubris and
politics have cost the career of a postseason overlord. (See Fiesta
Tweaking the ballot
box to influence the selection of BCS title game participants is waved
by with a wink and a nod. (see Nick Saban)
Merit is sacrificed
at the temple of the royal class in the awarding of BCS bowl bids. (See
Aggies vs. Longhorns
The “Border War” is a
The “Backyard Brawl”
is fading fast.
Central Florida vs.
San Diego State is alive.
Iowa State and West
Virginia will battle annually for the treasured Corn-Coal Bucket.
College football as we
knew it has been adulterated since 1998. Finally, the symphony of the absurd
has reached a crescendo and the backlash has begun.
So far, the guilty seem
reluctant to repent and redress. But anti-trust forces are breathing down
their necks, Capitol Hill is posturing against them, their longtime dupes in
the media are peeling away to avoid the stench they themselves helped
create, and the fans have seen through the mask.
The scam is collapsing
under its own weight. We're beginning to hear noises that the offenders have
had a change of heart... that they never intended to eviscerate leagues...
that they never intended to destroy regional rivalries... that they are
considering suspending the "automatic qualifier" privilege bestowed upon the
princes of the inner circle.
Is that enough? I think
The NCAA should stiffen
its backbone and play one of the principle roles mandated to it more than a
century ago by Teddy Roosevelt: enforcing fair and honorable competition.
Until now, the NCAA has
pretended it has been powerless to correct the correctable. But it is not
powerless — it is compromised.
Step up, NCAA, recuse
those officers and oversight panel members with conflicts of interest. Shake
off the shackles. Reassert your intended role as the governing body of
college sports. Where there's a desire for fairness and honor, a way for
enforcing fairness and honor can be found.
If the NCAA fails or
refuses to restore credibility and respect to big-time college football, the
BCS disgust meter has been triggered to the point that legal or legislative
action is almost inevitable. Considering that either of the latter courses
would be spearheaded by lawyers and/or politicians, the outcome may be
almost as undesirable as the BCS itself.
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