Senior Columnist

Playoff PAC asks that BCS meetings be open

It was inevitable. With all these clandestine, ill-explained BCS meetings taking place, someone was bound to ask in.

That someone is the BCS' old friend Playoff PAC. The lobbying group has been dagger in the BCS' side – calling for action from the Justice Dept., leading the charge against the Fiesta Bowl. Now it wants “transparent” BCS meetings.

Hey, I'm right with them. I'd love to be there to see jaw drops when one of the TV consultants says the words “half a billion” in relation to a four-team playoff. But it ain't going to happen. Unless Playoff PAC is armed with a restraining order, then these meetings are going to be as open as the board of directors' at Apple.

Lots of money at stake. Lots of company secrets. Their take: Damn media – and Playoff PAC – doesn't need to be snooping around.

"We're not wanting there to be a live camera in all the meetings," said Matthew Sanderson of Playoff PAC in an email. "What we want is a voice representing fans and players in the room. They need to engage all stakeholders in college football, and they should solicit input before decisions are made, not after. They promised “grassroots conversations” and what's happened so far doesn't qualify."

While the debate rages, here's the official release sent out Wednesday afternoon:


Earlier this week, commissioners from major college conferences met in Dallas, Texas to discuss possible reforms to college football's post-season. This marks the third such meeting this year and apparently, the discussions have reached the "brass tacks level," according to the ever-folksy BCS public relations team.

We here at Playoff PAC are left wondering, though--whatever happened to the "grassroots conversations on the campus level" that BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock promised as the "first step" in this deliberation process? Can closed-door meetings between college presidents and conference commissioners really qualify as "grassroots conversations"? Or does "grassroots" in Mr. Hancock's lexicon simply mean that the BCS will tolerate the attendance of non-AQ representatives? And since when does a "first step" happen after all key decisions have been made?

Playoff PAC co-founder Bryson Morgan: "If the BCS is indeed sincere about reform, their process must be transparent and allow for input from college football players and fans. We urge the BCS to actually hold the 'grassroots conversations' it said that it would conduct at the campus level."

Recent Statements from BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock:

"We're in a very exciting time for us. The process has begun for considering the future and the first step is grassroots conversations on the campus level." "Everything is on the table." "Anything you can think of has and will be discussed . . . from the spectrum of going back to the old bowl system, that's been in the press. All the way to a 16-team playoff, that's also been in the press." The Dan Patrick Show, Bill Hancock Interview, Nov. 22, 2011.

"Everything under the sun" is open for discussion. Associated Press, BCS officials want to steady system, (Nov. 14, 2011)

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.
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