Tag:Eastern Washington
Posted on: September 24, 2010 4:24 pm
 

Mailbag 9/24


I'm going to give PlayoffPAC its due.

(cue sound of crickets chirping)

If you missed it, and you probably did, the political action committee out of Washington D.C. this week blew the lid off of the BCS bowl system. PlayoffPAC said those bowls' CEOs make too much money. They play fast and loose with their tax exempt status by offering perks and doing undisclosed lobbying. That's from the lead of the Associated Press' "exclusive" detailing PlayoffPAC's legal complaint against the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls.

It probably didn't make your nightly news or even your in-box. Take the word of the Fiesta Bowl which called the accusations, "dated, tired and discredited." So why bring it up? Because I'm wondering what PlayoffPAC wants. It's one thing being a playoff proponent, it's another pouring over 2,300 pages of documents to "nail" these three bowls. Don't these people have families? I know a lot of people who favor a college football playoff. They don't have an unholy, demon-of-the-night compulsion to bring down the very system that would be the foundation of a playoff.

Look, I'll be the first one to say these bowls exist to keep themselves relevant and, yes, profitable. They think the bowl experience is unique and a playoff would wreck the system. I disagree, further evidence that no I'm a bowl honk. I've enjoyed these bowls' hospitality and stayed in really nice hotels set aside for the media. I've also walked back to my hotel at three in the morning after filing two stories on deadline. It's all part of the job. None of that changes if there is a playoff. Actually, I'm on the fence. A playoff would be fun, but it would have to be a 16-teamer from the start. Everything else has inherent exclusion problems that the PlayoffPAC folks should understand.

From what I've read in this complaint, the bowls in question look like they might have to pay a fine. If the IRS threatens to remove their tax-exempt status, then some deal will be cut. Either that or the Cotton Bowl or Gator Bowl or Chick-fil-A Bowl will take their place. But that won't happen. 

It won't happen because these bowls aren't criminal enterprises. Like it or not, they have friends in very high places whether they lobby or not. The Sugar Bowl is part of the fabric of New Orleans and the SEC. After the Cardinals and the Suns, the Fiesta Bowl might be the most significant sports entity in the Valley of the Sun. As a non-profit they have donated millions to charities.  These are institutions to their region, not Enron.

I don't think this is a big deal because virtually no other media outlet picked up on it. The Fiesta Bowl was accused of much of the same stuff in a series of Arizona Republic stories. Read the first sentence of this latest AP story.

Opponents of how college football crowns its champion accused three of the nation's premier bowls of violating their tax-exempt status by paying excessive salaries and perks, providing "sweetheart loans" and doing undisclosed lobbying.

If I didn't know better, I could have sworn they were describing the NCAA. Excessive salaries for executives? Luxury perks? The NCAA, you should know, is a non-profit too. It distributes the overwhelming majority of the money it takes it to its members. Former president Myles Brand made more than $800,000 per year. Seems a bit steep for a non-profit, don't you think? While they're at it PlayoffPAC might want to look into the tax exempt status of the 120 Division I-A schools too.

Maybe it will. Maybe this is the beginning of the end. One thing, though. I almost glossed over it. The PlayoffPAC came after three bowls with a combined age of 175 years with six lawyers and an accountant. I've seen bigger legal teams in a Grisham novel set in rural Mississippi. In the big, bad world of DC politics, this is the equivalent of a six-man football team taking on the Redskins.

Nice try, guys. You may want to wait for a book generating a lot of buzz being released next month. It's called, "Death to the BCS". A death threat? I'll read that. There might be something to it.


From: John

Please continue to pick against Nebraska. We're just a bunch of dumb farmers and bandwagoners huh? We know a thing or two about talent and teamwork.

Better Corn Fed Than Dead:

Little bit presumptuous aren't we? Nebraska has beaten two corpses (Western Kentucky, Idaho) and a Pac-10 cellar dweller. Each time Nebraska strings a couple of wins together Big Red Nation has little red kittens. How'd that Bill Callahan thing work out for you? Actually, how have the last 10 years worked out for you?

While I was more than impressed with the Washington victory, Nebraska has to get back before it can be back. Check back with me after the Texas game.

 
From: Phil

I love college football and watch games from 11 a.m. CST until midnight. Nothing personal against Boise State but I cannot stand to watch their home games on that ugly blue turf. Bad enough that the field is blue. They add to my dismay by wearing all blue uniforms. Too bad that the NCAA permits crap like this and the red field at Eastern Washington. They can penalize someone for buying a kid a hamburger but let this crap persist.

Fashionista:

That's the first I heard of an extra benefit being compared to Field Turf but what do I know?

Paint is in. Fans paint their faces. Mike Leach paints a different picture of the coaching profession. You might have heard that Oregon State painted its practice field blue this week.  That tells me the Beavers are beaten before they take the field. They're intimating that Boise's blue jerseys on the blue turf make it hard to pick up the ball. Maybe, but 63 times since 2000? That's the Broncos' home record (opposed to two losses) in the last 10 years.

Don't hate the color, hate the playah. The Broncos are darn good.


From: Steve

This year there are 35 bowl games, so 70 of 120 teams will go bowling. This probably means sub-.500 teams will be going bowling. What are the selection rules for sub-.500 teams to go to bowls? i.e. do ALL the 6-6 teams have to select first before a 5-7 teams can be selected? Can a 5-7 team from a conference with lots of bowl tie-ins be selected before a 6-6 at-large team from another conference?

Bowled Over:

Good questions. All the 6-6 teams will have to go before a 5-7 team. If there aren't enough bowl eligible teams to fill all 70 spots then a conference, or team, will have to apply to the NCAA for a waiver. They'll get it too. The NCAA has done the research and believes there will be enough .500-or-above teams. If there aren't, it's on the NCAA.

The exception might be the Sun Belt. It had its champion go to the New Orleans Bowl a few years ago at 5-6. I think it was North Texas. Sun Belt teams typically take guarantee games for the money. Sometimes good teams come into the conference season winless. Hope that helps.


From: Sam

Thought your UT Vols article was very interesting especially with the commentary from Fulmer. Phil needed to step away from the game since Tennessee had become stagnant. He would be a possible and interesting fit for Tennessee but not sure if he'd be the right one. Derek Dooley has his work cut out, but with so much promise from the first half of the Oregon game I look forward to see how all of the freshman squad grows together. I will give them a hug, most certainly! Go Vols!

Vol-ley:

It's clear that Fulmer is lobbying for the AD job. Don't know if you caught it last week but he ripped Lane Kiffin on CBS. This is a disguised shot at AD Mike Hamilton who, in hindsight, never should have hired Kiffin. I know Fulmer still wants to coach but there aren't many good fits out there for him.

I'm curious how the old coach would be accepted as the new AD.

From: Yossel

You write real good!

Yokel, er, Yossel:

You done made me proud.

 

Posted on: October 15, 2009 12:05 pm
 

One-Double-Hey!

Division I-AA was created in 1978, in part, to give disenfranchised smaller programs more attention. The NCAA even promised at the time that the new division would get more TV coverage because it was segregated from the big boys. The the big eye in the sky had to pay attention, right?

Not so much. I-AA, appallingly renamed the Football Championship Subdivision a couple of years ago, has become become a money-making venture – for Division I-A. The division exists basically to except paychecks and guarantee victories for their big brothers. Call them, what you want – bodybag games, Johnny Paycheck contests. We know this with the announcement that Washington will play Eastern Washington next season. That leaves only three programs that have never played a I-AA – USC, Notre Dame and UCLA. The Irish and Trojans will celebrate that fact by holding a fundraiser in the parking lot before they play their uber-game Saturday in South Bend.

No? We’ll just have to go back to watching all those nationally televised I-AA mis-matchups.

 

 
 
 
 
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