The arguments against a playoff are getting flimsier by the moment.
College administrators seemingly now are resorting to insulting our intelligence on the matter. Take the announcement Friday by the NCAA Board of Directors that they had approved a permanent 12th regular-season game.
|Players such as Kansas State's John McCardle (28) and Sean Lowe face a heavier work load now. (AP)|
The 12th game took care of the bottom line and makes it harder to add even more games to decide a legit national champion.
But on to the convoluted process: The board decided that missed classroom time was not a consideration in adding the 12th game. However, the BCS presidents (BCS Presidential Oversight Committee) cite academics as one of their reasons for opposing even a modest BCS plus-one format.
Strange because school is in session during the regular season but pretty much isn't during the bowl season. Both the board and oversight committee are school presidents first. So why can't they get this straight, or at least make it less hypocritical?
"We're in kind of a confusing period to be honest," said board chairman Robert Hemenway of Kansas in the most honest statement of the moment.
NCAA president Myles Brand actually said the 12th-game legislation was in response to "interests in the student-athletes to participate and fans to view it." Huh? When did the wishes of players and fans count for anything?
Players are now asked to jump through increasingly constricting academic hoops in order to be initially eligible or to stay eligible. The standards are much higher, at least at public universities, than for the average student.
We get that the answer to academic abuses is tighter academic standards. But how can the answer to the so-called money-fueled arms race be more money and more games? Most major programs stand to make between $1 million and $4 million by adding an extra home game.
"This does not solve that problem," Brand said of financial difficulties. "But I also don't think it makes it considerably worse."
Just so we're clear on that.
Two important factions opposed to the 12th game were ignored. The watchdog Knight Commission and the American Football Coaches Association were against it.