This week while visiting Omaha, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany responded to the academic misfortune recently visited upon newly-admitted Big Ten member Nebraska.
On April 29, Nebraska Chancellor and former Chair of the NCAA Board of Directors Harvey Perlman noted in a letter to the public that the Association of American Universities (AAU) had voted to discontinue Nebraska’s membership in that organization.
Last June, Nebraska was admitted to the Big Ten by unanimous vote of Big Ten Presidents and Delany, with the vote being taken while Big Ten school Presidents attended an AAU conference in Washington, DC. Less than 24 hours after that vote from the AAU’s bi-annual meetings, NU Chancellor Perlman was asked by CHICAGO TRIBUNE reporter Chris Hines what role AAU membership played in Nebraska being invited to join the conference: Read more…
(They BCS is not a “they” or an “it”; It’s a “him”)
Answer: For the benefit of one person and his small constituency.One person is pulling the strings, along with a collection of mostly unwitting accomplices.To find that person, we have to identify who we indisputably know is not responsible for the BCS.1) NCAA President Mark Emmert: On Nov. 7, 2008, 16 months before he took office as new NCAA President, then-Univ. of Washington President Mark Emmert told the SEATTLE TIMES, “I happen to be one that thinks it’s inevitable we’ll have a [college football] playoff.”One week after watching his own organization, led by NCAA office colleague Greg Shaheen, reportedly internally initiate the expansion of the NCAA basketball tournament to 68 - and possibly 96 - teams in the future, new NCAA President Emmert said of the NCAA’s role in a future college football playoff system:
“It’s not particularly relevant what I want as an individual in this one (NCAA football playoff). The NCAA knows how to run championships, if they (BCS) want us to be involved being helpful then I stand ready to do it.“
So though the NCAA initiated the expansion of March Madness, NCAA President Emmert said his organization would have no role in initiating any changes in major college football’s postseason.2) ESPN (Disney): ESPN prints money not because of original programming, but because it has a death grip on broadcast rights to so many premium play-by-play properties - like major college football. (And the BCS.)The ability to exclusively broadcast the best and biggest games allows ESPN to charge cable operators - and viewers - by far the largest fees of any cable channel to carry its programming. Take away the games, and you take away ESPN’s leverage to charge cable operators those exorbitant fees, which are nearly the sole source of ESPN’s hefty profit margins.To lose the ability to air college football games would strike at the core of ESPN’s business model. So in order to hold onto plum college football broadcast rights, ESPN does as it’s told.The next comment an official representative of ESPN’s business side makes in public about the validity of the BCS will be the first - and last.3) SEC Commissioner Mike Slive: The strongest public proponent of a playoff, and ditching the BCS, is also the man who presides over the BCS conference with the best collection of college football teams - by far.During the decade of the ’00s, SEC teams went 48-31 in bowl games while Big Ten teams went 28-41. In BCS bowl games during that 10-year span, the Big Ten went 6-11 while the SEC went 12-3. (SEC teams were 6-0 in BCS Championship Game.)Despite the SEC’s lopsided on-field advantage over the Big Ten, from 2000-2009 the conference actually received less at-large BCS bowl invitations than the Big Ten - which is why in 2008 SEC Commissioner Slive pushed harder than any other BCS conference commissioner for a limited playoff option but was reportedly blocked by the Big Ten.And why in 2006 Slive said of his term serving as “BCS Coordinator”: “These are my two years in the penalty box.”That same year, final entry to the BCS Championship game came down to the SEC’s 12-1 Florida Gators and the Big Ten’s 11-1 Michigan Wolverines. SEC Commissioner and BCS Coordinator Slive said at the time:
“I think any team that wins our league with one loss should have the chance to play for the national championship.”
When asked what his reaction would be if Michigan won out because of BCS computers and polling, the acknowledged leading public proponent of the BCS, Slive, said at the time, “I’d be disappointed.”So the man most responsible for representing the BCS to the public in 2006 said that had Michigan been awarded the BCS title game spot over Florida, he would’ve disagreed with the conclusion of the very system he was charged to support.To recap where we are so far:The NCAA President, the world’s largest and most influential sports television network and the man who oversees the top football conference in college football, the SEC Commissioner, have no power to remove or modify the BCS. 4) Chairman of NCAA Board of Directors and former Chair of the BCS Governance Oversight Committee Harvey Perlman: As current Chairman of the NCAA’s Board of Directors, many would argue that Perlman is the most powerful man in college athletics. But the NCAA Board of Directors is the final deciding mechanism on all things NCAA except the BCS.While Chairman of the BCS Governance Oversight Committee in 2009, Perlman appeared before the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights:
During his appearance, Senator Orrin Hatch asked Perlman: “Is it fair to pick teams when you do not even go and see–when the criteria does not require you to even go and see a game? And let us use the Mountain West Conference as a perfect illustration.”Perlman: “I appreciate that it may seem unfair and it may, in fact, be unfair.”When Perlman said that, “in fact,” the BCS “may be unfair,” he occupied the highest position that the BCS could provide.5) NCAA championships and business strategies guru Greg Shaheen: Shaheen is the man I first exposed early this year as the NCAA’s architect of the expansion of March Madness to 96 teams.An expansion that happened for one reason and one reason only: Increased revenue to cover the brutal shortfalls that result from staging nearly 100 NCAA championship events every year. (But not including the BCS.)Shaheen, who recently got a promotion from new NCAA President Emmert, said of the reported hundreds of millions of dollars a college football playoff could add to the NCAA and its member school coffers, “If I had the authority, I’d address that.”6) Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee: As president of the school with the largest athletic budget in the country, overlord of one of the highest-profile college football programs in the nation and probably the most vocal supporter of the BCS in the past decade, one would assume Gee exerts considerable influence in BCS matters.Remember Gee recently telling the ASSOCIATED PRESS that TCU and Boise State - despite BCS-enabled spots in the national championship race - did not face a difficult enough schedule to play in the national championship game?
“Well, I don’t know enough about the X’s and O’s of college football. I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day. “So I think until a university runs through that gantlet that there’s some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to [be] in the big ballgame.”
Since Gee made his comments, have you heard any representative of the BCS come out in support of the Ohio State President?The only people who supported Gee’s contradictory stance on the BCS are the attorneys trying to use the BCS to get the NCAA’s anti-trust exemption removed.For someone long known as a leading proponent of the BCS, Gee’s criticism is rather ironic considering he sold the same BCS in 2007 to the CINCINNATI POST as inclusive to all schools:
“The rich would get richer and all the others would be excluded. Now, I happen to be at a school that’s at the top of the heap, but I recognize that this would be wrong. It would be against the university values system.“You would have to pry a national championship (tournament) from my cold, dead fingers. My view is a simple one. Any notion of a college football playoff system is absolute nonsense.”
“I’m sure we’re headed for change, playoffs one day I’m certain will be part of the package. Within five years we will be positioned for a playoff of sorts.”
With the nonexistent public support Gee received from colleagues after his statements about Boise State and TCU, who now has the more relevant opinion about the future of the BCS, Gee or Tressel?To recap, here are the people who are not responsible for the BCS:1) The NCAA President2) The Chairman of the NCAA Board of Directors3) The 2009-10 former Chairman of the BCS Governance Oversight Commitee (Top BCS Position)4) The NCAA employee most responsible for initiating and carrying out the recent expansion of the NCAA basketball tournament - and the accompanying television rights negotiation5) BCS game broadcaster ESPN: the world’s most powerful sports television network6) The man who oversees the top BCS college football conference in America, the SEC Commissioner7) The University President presiding over the largest school athletic budget in the country and prominent BCS college football programs in the nation You and me.My god. Who then does that leave?Who is still out there who benefits enough to want to do everything in his power to keep the BCS alive?THIS: Read more…
Sean Callahan of KFAB-AM in Omaha also has this official statement from NU on Wednesday afternoon: “No action was taken during today’s (Regents executive committee) conference call, and none will be taken prior to Friday’s meeting.”
The LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR reports Wednesday that the Executive Committee of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents will meet today at 2:15p ET to discuss the school’s possible future conference affiliation.
When NU Regent Kent Schroeder was asked if he believed they would be discussing the realignment issue on the conference call, he said: “I anticipate that’s what it will be (about).”
NU Regents Bob Phares, Bob Whitehouse, Schroeder and Howard Hawks will be on the call.
More from Schroeder:
“It may be the purpose of this conference call today is for (University of Nebraska) President (J.B.) Milliken to get some input from the executive committee as if we do talk about (conference realignment) in closed session, who do we want to be there?
“Is Chancellor (Harvey) Perlman and athletic director (Tom) Osborne enough, or do you want to talk to other people? One of the things I’ve been reading about in the newspaper, and frankly that’s all I know about is what I’ve read, is it’s possible the research dollars would increase coming to the University of Nebraska because the Big Ten is more prestigious than the Big 12 in that regard.
So I might want to have (vice chancellor for research and economic development) Prem Paul there and ask him that question.”
Though information gathering is apparently one reason for the conference call today, there’s another factor in the hasty arrangement. Read more…
Lee Barfknecht of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD reports today, “an executive at a Big 12 school relayed to The World-Herald on Tuesday that he expects Nebraska to become a member of the Big Ten as early as Friday.”
Barfknecht added that NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman, “is expected to address the topic with the Board of Regents at its Friday meeting in Lincoln.”
Brian Rosenthal of the LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR though reports that, “as of Tuesday, the topic is not on the agenda, although an item can be added as late as 24 hours in advance — in this case, 1 p.m. Thursday.”
NU Board of Regents member Randy Ferlic told the Journal-Star that he hasn’t heard anything yet from Perlman or Osborne.
“I have not had any official or unofficial notification of anything other than what I’ve read in the newspapers and heard on the news. If they were going to do something on Friday, I’d certainly want to get some backup data to support whichever way I want to vote. I don’t feel like I was ever elected to be a nod, and I’m not a nod.”
NU Communications Manager Melissa Lee said Tuesday that approval from the Board of Regents wouldn’t necessarily be required for the school to change conference affiliations.
In response to Lee’s assertion, NU Regent Ferlic scoffed at that possibility. Read more…
(Tom Osborne Holds Key To Future Of Big 12 Conference)
Recognizing the defection of Nebraska to the Big 10 could create a mass exodus of Big 12 schools to the Pac-10, Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little called Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman today to “urge” her counterpart to keep the school in the Big 12.
Gray-Little said she planned to call Missouri chancellor Brady J. Deaton “with the same message.”
The Lakers are already the defending champs, and while the Cavs are adding an over-the-hill Shaq and Boston is making overtures to the shell that once housed Rasheed Wallace, the champs may have made the biggest splash of all — adding the insane, yet extremely talented, Ron Artest.
(Odds Ron’s going to forget he’s Kobe’s teammate and gets a flagrant 2 on him? About 2-to-1.)
The news came somewhat out of nowhere last night, as ESPN was still reporting during the early evening hours on the east coast that LeBron James had been reaching out to Artest in an effort to get him to Cleveland. ESPN expert Chris Broussard went on Sportscenter downplaying that situation, and within a couple of hours Artest was in ESPN’s L.A. studio announcing his intention to sign with the Lakers for the mid-level exception.
This is all fine and dandy, but does nobody remember about this?
Although, to be honest, Artest is just about the only guy in the league who could do this and then ask Kobe to go out to Applebee’s afterward. This guy doesn’t exactly go about things the normal way. I mean, we are talking about a guy who once tried to work at Circuit City in the offseason to get the employee discount.
All the clamoring for the Lakers to pony up the cash to keep Trevor Ariza sure went away quickly, considering that Artest is accepting the mid-level (which will be under $6 million next year) while Ariza was looking for something in the $7 million+ range. And now word is out that Ariza will be taking Artest’s place in Houston, and will in fact accept the mid-level (though over the full term of five years).
(”Here’s how many titles I’m going to win in Houston.”)
Apparently, the swarm’s queen bee took up residence inside the coat, which led to thousands of workers, or drones, or whatever they are, descending on the area around the jacket. It was nearly an hour before a beekeeper arrived on the scene to take care of the bees. He dove right into the jacket, sprayed the bees (which were in a mass about the size of a soccer ball) with some sort of agent, then shoveled the presumably dead bees into the jacket (PETA is already preparing to complain about this I’m sure), which was put into a plastic bag and carried away. Eyewitnesses report that the beekeeper received the biggest ovation of the day, as the Astros cruised to a 7-2 win.
• A suspected rapist who was attempting to assault a woman yesterday in San Diego was fought off successfully by the woman, then he tried to run away from her. Which might have worked…if the woman wasn’t a marathon runner. Let’s just say the future’s not looking too bright for this guy right now.
• The World Series of Poker’s main event starts today at the Rio in Las Vegas, and among the thousands registered to play over the next few days is none other than Barack Obama. No, the Prez didn’t buy in himself — a poker pro named Richard Sklar (who also happens to be an ex-con) put up the $10,000 to enter him into the event. Sklar then made a number of bets with other pros that Obama would show up to play at least one hand. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Phil Gordon are among the pros who said they’d pony up big cash for charity if he does show. GAMBLING ONLINE has details, as does this thread at poker site TWO PLUS TWO.
“If you look at college football now, it’s the greatest sporting event spread over September, October, November, December and a little bit of January that the country has. A playoff would seriously diminish the regular season, as it has in college basketball… This isn’t basketball. This isn’t March Madness. Football’s a different game, different environment. We have different traditions. It’s hard to see why a playoff is a good idea.”
I’m with you, Harvey. I don’t even know why any of these silly sports with their useless playoffs even have a regular season. An arbitrary, invitation-based system guided by a perplexing computer formula is obviously the way to go for any sport that wants to be taken seriously.