Blog Entry

Mark Emmert responds to the Dept. of Justice

Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 1:39 pm

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this month Christine Varney and the Department of Justice sent a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert and BCS executive Bill Hancock essentially asking why it is that the FBS level of college football is the only sport within the NCAA that does not hold a playoff to determine its champion. Well, after considering the question for a few weeks, Emmert has finally replied to the Department of Justice's inquiry, releasing the response on Wednesday.

Dear Ms. Varney:

We are in receipt of your May 3, 2011, letter and note your interest in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system. You asked for the NCAA's views and/or plans rleated to the Football Bowl Subdicision (FBS) postseason football, including an NCAA playoff. Inasmuch as the BCS system does not fall under the purview of the NCAA, it is not appropriate for me to provide views on the system. With regard to the Association's plans for an NCAA FBS football championship, there are no plans absent direction from our membership to do so. These are the short answers to your request.

To elaborate, however, it is important to share some relevant background. The BCS system is composed of the eleven conferences, plus Notre Dame, that are members of the FBS. It was established, as I understand it, to accomodate public interest for determining a subdivision football champion via on-field competition within a more than century-old bowl structure. In essence, the system includes match-ups among the top-ranked teams for five bowls, including a BCS Championship Game in which the BCS-determined top two teams compete. The selection criteria and bowl match-ups are managed by the 11 conferences. Other than licensing the postseason FBS bowls, the NCAA has no role to play in the BCS or the BCS system. As a result, your request for views on how the BCS system serves "the interest of fans, colleges, universities, and players" is better directed to the BCS itself.

The NCAA conducts 89 championships in 23 sports annually, and each of those championships has been created at the request of the Association's membership. At no time in the history of the FBS or its predecessor, Division I-A, has a formal proposal come before the membership to establish a postseason football championship in that subdivision. Instead, the FBS has elected to conduct its postseason competition outside the NCAA structure. Without membership impetus for a postseason playoff, the NCAA has no mandate to create and conduct an FBS football championship.

You noted in your letter that I had been quoted expressing my willingness to help create a championship. Not included in your letter was the context reported by the New York Times that such a change "would not happen unless the leaders of the institutions with teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision want to make such a change." This is consistent with my comments regarding an NCAA FBS championship since I came into office in October last year.

The letter from Emmert then goes on to answer the questions individually, but none of the answer are different than anything Emmert said in the body of the letter quoted above. Essentially the NCAA used a lot of words to say "We don't have a playoff because none of our schools have asked us to do so, and that the BCS is who you should be asking about the BCS. Have a nice day." 


Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: May 20, 2011 1:22 am

Mark Emmert responds to the Dept. of Justice

From what I have seen of Mark so far, I agree more with you.  He has taken steps to try to explain the NCAA much better than any other previous president.  He is trying to crack down on cheating and other questionable practices that are happening in the NCAA.  He appears to know what he is doing.

Since: May 19, 2011
Posted on: May 19, 2011 4:42 pm

Mark Emmert responds to the Dept. of Justice

Having personally met Mr. Emmert on a few occassions and witnessed first hand his excellent performance at the University of Washington, I can assure you, Emmert is far from "a gutless joke."   While I agree JCNVK, that college football is corrupt, I think you and others here are making statements about Mr. Emmert without considering the demonstrated high calibre of the man and without any actual first hand knowledge of his character.  Further, off handed reflection on another's character without considering the facts demonstrates a lack of sound judgment. I hope you and the other drafters of such nonsense consider thinking before typing a comment next time you make such degrading and clearly incorrect remarks.  

Since: Dec 3, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2011 10:02 am

Mark Emmert responds to the Dept. of Justice

Let me guess, your school cheating and got caught and now you want to blame it on someone.     Kentucky, perhaps.  Heck, they were blaming Emmert for Kanter's disqualification even before Emmert took office; and, not withstanding the Emmert's then school, Washington had stopped recruiting Kanter nearly two months prior to LOI signing day.   Not because of the payments, but because Kanter did not have a qualifying SAT score.  (At Kentucky that's not a problem. WWW can arrange that.)

Shouldn't you being going back to blaming Obama for the carnage Junior George wreacked on our economy?  

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:49 pm

Mark Emmert responds to the Dept. of Justice

I'm sure the BCS clowns wrote this letter for him.  Emmert's a gutless joke.  Hopefully the DOJ and Congress get involved.  It's sickening how corrupt College Football is.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: May 18, 2011 2:45 pm

Mark Emmert responds to the Dept. of Justice

Emmert is exactly right in his answers.  The NCAA works for the college presidents, and they do not want a playoff.  Fans can yap all they want, but for the most part, their school does not want a playoff, but the fans blame the NCAA.  If you want a playoff, contact your school president and get on him.  Blaming the NCAA is simply lazy.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:50 pm

Mark Emmert responds to the Dept. of Justice


Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:49 pm

Mark Emmert responds to the Dept. of Justice

There are two separate ideas in play here.  One is the fact of not having a playoff.  Don't look for that to happen for a long time for many different reasons.  The other idea is having every AFKA 1-A conference automatically qualify for the BCS. That may be what they are looking to know here.  If they think that the BCS conferences formed a collusion to keep those schools from automatically qualifying for the BCS, then it can be seen as an anti-trust violation.  The big question is what would come out of that.  From my chair, the ruling might be that the non-BCS schools will have to equally be part of the postseason which would mean that all 11 conference champions would get a bid to the BCS. That might create another BCS bowl game similar to what happened with the old Bowl Coalition which, in its first year, had seven games.  The Cotton Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Sun Bowl, and possibly other bowls would love a shot to be part of the BCS.  There is no way to know for sure what will happen next.  As always, we will wait with baited breath.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or