BCS head: Colleges, not Congress, should run sport
WASHINGTON (AP) – BCS executive director Bill Hancock responded to a letter from two U.S. Senators who are unhappy about the way the sport determines its champion – and Sen. Orrin Hatch wasn’t please with the answers to his questions.
A five-page letter and six more pages of information pulled from the BCS website about how revenue is distributed, teams are selected and the system is run were sent to Hatch (R-Utah) and fellow Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
“While I appreciate your interest, I believe that decisions about college football should be made by university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and conference commissioners rather than by members of Congress,” Hancock said in the letter, repeating a stance he has taken when lawmakers and public officials have threatened the BCS.
His answers did not satisfy Hatch, whose home state team from the University of Utah didn’t play for the national title at the end of the 2008 season despite going undefeated.
“Today, the BCS simply confirmed what most fans of college football have known for some time, that the BCS system is biased, secretive and harmful to schools and competitors,” Hatch said in a statement.
“I agree that university presidents and conference commissioners should be able to make the proper decisions regarding college football,” Hatch said. “The problem is that the small number of privileged schools that participate in the closed system have been unwilling to provide students, athletes and fans with what they deserve a fair, unbiased system like the kind they have in literally every other NCAA sport. No one wants to see Congress get involved here, including me. But if this response is any indication, there may not be any other option.”
Hancock pointed out that the five non-automatic qualifying conferences – such as the Mountain West, where Utah plays – received $24 million dollars from BCS games in 2010, the most in the 12-year history of the system.
The five non-AQ leagues – MWC, Western Athletic Conference, Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA – agreed to share their BCS revenue.
Hatch said the system leaves the Mountain West, which has sent a team to the BCS each of the last two seasons, and the WAC, which twice has had a BCS team, little choice but to share with the three other conferences that have never sent a team to the five marquee bowl games.