College football fans don’t agree on much. You’ve got your Michigans versus your Ohio States, your Floridas versus your Georgias, and your Notre Dames versus, well, everyone. One thing pretty much everybody agrees on, though, is that the BCS in its current format is a woefully corrupt system that needs revamping in some way shape or form.
The problem, of course, is the money involved - big schools, TV networks, and sponsors all make a killing out of the postseason farce that is the BCS. Not that they’d admit it, though. At congressional hearings this month, the BCS representatives in attendance claimed (under oath and with a straight face, no less) that the money in the college bowl scam goes to charity. YAHOO! SPORTS called BS and the results are pretty damning, as in, criminally damning.
Back on May 1, Alamo Bowl director Derrick Fox said that “almost all the postseason bowl games are put on by charitable groups” and “local charities receive tens of millions of dollars every year”, but YAHOO! found that:
In fact, 10 bowl games are privately owned and one is run by a branch of a local government. The remaining 23 games enjoy tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, but combined to give just $3.2 million to local charities on $186.3 million in revenue according to their most recent federal tax records and interviews with individual bowl executives.
For the record, that’s 1.7% of the bowls’ revenue that went to charity. I give more than that to charity in a year, but you can bet that Uncle Sam would laugh at me if I asked for tax-exempt status. So, does this mean Fox lied to Congress? YAHOO!’s reporters, Dan Wetzel and Jason Peters, wondered the same thing and took their findings to Texas congressman Joe Barton, one of the BCS’ leading opponents. He was not pleased:
“That doesn’t seem like something that’s really geared toward giving to charity, does it?” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) after being presented with Yahoo! Sports’ findings.
“It’s perjury if it’s knowingly said,” Barton said of the sworn testimony, which he called “misleading.” “It’s also contempt of Congress. You’ve got to give [him] some sort of due process, but ultimately the remedy is to hold [him] in contempt of Congress on the House floor or send it to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution of perjury under oath.”
Not to put too fine a point on things here, but “contempt of Congress” just puts the bowl rep in line with the majority of Americans’ feelings on our legislative branch. That said, it’s hard to pick a “good” side in this argument - BCS vs. Congress. I’ll take whatever’s behind Door Three, thanks.