(released Feb. 12)
Contemporary Issues in Higher Education is a new publication presented by Boise State University that highlights a topic of particular relevance in higher education.
This inaugural edition features an article adapted from a letter written by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch to President Obama that addresses the Bowl Championship Series and the crowning of a national champion in college football. Sen. Hatch conducted a congressional hearing last July to examine the antitrust implications of the BCS. The U.S. Justice Department responded in a letter to Sen. Hatch last month saying that it was considering a probe into the legality of the BCS.
An antitrust inquiry is one possible avenue for addressing this issue, but it also could be solved by the BCS itself and the presidents who created and preside over it. It would require nothing more than for the BCS presidents to apply the values of fairness, access and equity for all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in reconfiguring the system. This commentary by Sen. Hatch explains both the flaws of the current BCS structure and the rationale for correcting the errors of its ways.
We at Boise State are fortunate to benefit from our two glorious moments at the BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, but college football and its fans deserve a process less dependent on the overwhelming odds that it took for us to get to a BCS bowl and more dependent on a level playing field as the NCAA provides leading up to the Final Four basketball championship.
Even with a BCS bowl victory, universities and conferences from the non-automatic qualifying conferences are subjected to a revenue distribution formula that favors only the six automatic qualifying conferences. Bowl revenues accrue to the benefit of the entire university, not just to the athletic department. To deprive some of the revenue that others enjoy is to create a second-class citizenship for some universities that speaks volumes about how the nation's flagship universities that govern the BCS treat their colleagues and collaborators.
President, Boise State University