The NCAA Needs to Reform the BCS, Not Lawmakers

Rachel ScallContributor IJanuary 8, 2009

When President-Elect Barack Obama went on ESPN and said that he would like to see playoffs in college football, he probably could not have foreseen the barrage of other lawmakers who would want to get in on the anti-BCS battle.

Lawmakers started their campaign against the BCS in December when Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) introduced a Congressional bill that, if passed, would eliminate the BCS in favor of a playoff format.

The bill does not specify what type of playoff would be put in place, but it "will prohibit the marketing, promotion, and advertising of a postseason game as a 'national championship' football game, unless it is the result of a playoff system. Violations of the prohibition will be treated as violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act as an unfair or deceptive act or practice."

The anti-BCS bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

Now Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is investigating the BCS for possible violations of federal antitrust laws. Shurtleff says that the BCS system puts a competitive and financial disadvantage on schools, such as Utah, that are in conferences that do not receive automatic bowl bids.

This is the second year in which Utah completed an undefeated season and did not have the chance to play for a national championship. Both Florida and Oklahoma have one loss apiece on the season.

The BCS coordinator has stated that the BCS postseason system is in compliance with federal laws.

My question is, why do lawmakers have time to worry about the BCS? The economy is crashing down around us, our nation is at war, and the Middle East is a mess.

Lawmakers should be concentrating on government, not college sports. There are much more important laws that lawmakers can work towards passing, no matter how badly the BCS needs to be repealed—or at least reformed.

Instead, NCAA personnel, college athletics directors, and conference and BCS leaders should be the people making headlines in the fight against the BCS. It is pathetic that after years of talk about the flaws of the BCS changes have not been made to the college football championship series.

If college football wants a playoff, the change should come from those whose job it is to reform college football—not from the government.