Meet The Woman Calling BCS on College Football

Earlier this week United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Christine Varney sent a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert (see below) asking why the NCAA has not implemented a college football playoff.

Christine Varney Photo

(At Varney’s confirmation hearing, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch brought up BCS)

Though BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock was also sent a copy of the inquiry, ironic that the person most responsible for keeping the BCS alive and well, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, was not publicly copied.

On Dec. 7, 2005, at a U.S. Congressional hearing titled, “Determing a Champion on the field, A comprehensive review of the BCS”, Delany - flanked by a then-unknown Hancock - said the following:

“I am absolutely sure that an NFL-style football playoff would provide maybe three or four times as many dollars to the Big Ten than the present system does. In fact, a number of corporations have come forward and tried to lure us into a playoff with those kinds of dollars. There is no doubt in my mind that we are leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table.”

That was 2005. Current market conditions suggest that an NCAA football playoff could now net as much as $1 billion per year for NCAA member institutions.

But why is the government once again sticking its nose in the BCS and NCAA’s business?

Might have something to do with Delany acknowledging in 2005 that with the continued implementation of the BCS - which by its own admission restricts trade and limits competition - the NCAA is losing out on hundreds of millions in annual revenue. Revenue which could go to settling massive shortfalls suffered by hundreds of intercollegiate athletic departments across the country.

By, as Delany put it in 2005, “leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table”, those school athletic program deficits are now mostly made up with taxpayer funds. In fact, Delany’s own Big Ten schools (most recently Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin) have accessed millions in taxpayer funds to balance athletic department budgets over the years.

DOJ Christine Varney Letter To Mark Emmert About BCS

Despite the direct rhetoric in the DOJ letter, United States Assistant Attorney General and designated illegal trust-buster Christine Varney and NCAA President Emmert are essentially allies in the quest to eliminate the BCS.

Varney’s May 3 letter is more a warning shot in the direction of the BCS - and a move to empower the NCAA - than it is an interrogation of Emmert. Varney knows full well that Emmert has little-to-no control over the BCS, so the letter is more an announcement of the Department of Justice’s intentions than a fact-finding missive to be taken literally.

No, the man left to answer Varney’s questions will eventually be Delany. But with the Department of Justice now officially on the case, I’d honestly be surprised if the Big Ten Commissioner continues to prop up a system which only exists by his design.

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Bottom Feed: SbB Powerless Rankings Are Here

Here’s my first SbB Powerless Rankings, which note the least influential prominent sports figures of the moment. The criteria is simple: The folks on the list would have no relevance if it weren’t for blind luck or undue support from their employers.

SbB Powerless Rankings: It's Nothing Personal

1 ) BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock: Most-despised man in sports, yet he has no power to do anything. Figurehead designed to distract fans from the actual, tiny cabal responsible for college football’s dark ages. Pie-in-the-face guy. Light a candle for him.

Baghdad Bill Hancock Executive Director Of The BCS

(‘Baghdad Bill’ Hancock)

2 ) Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio: Without relentless over-promotion by ESPN’s monopoly-enabled monolith, show wouldn’t exist. Perhaps the finest example of just how powerful ESPN has become as a sports marketing machine. Greenberg at least has a semblance of talent in a controlled setting - witness his SportsCenter performances.

Mike & Mike Mike Greenberg Mike Golic

3 ) The McCourts: The underfunded couple was handed the Dodgers by Bud Selig and MLB Owners to artificially limit payrolls in MLB’s larger markets and the NL West. Stole $120M from franchise to fund their personal lifestyles. Anonymous in L.A. outside the ownership suite - even despite the recent TMZ.com coverage.

Frank and Jamie McCourt Divorce

4 ) Mark Cuban: Great at selling tickets and advertising but too enamored with his own, overrated basketball IQ. Needs to hire good basketball people and get out of the way. By alienating other owners and David Stern, doesn’t have nearly the influence in league matters that he should.

Mark Cuban mad

5 ) Jim Nantz: Rakes in millions in salary and perks from CBS gig, but would one less person watch a CBS sports telecast if he wasn’t calling the game? From local radio appearances, appears to have an interesting personality and provocative opinions, but once he’s national he goes dullard on us.

Jim Nantz

Read more…

Time For ‘Unlikeliest Conversation Ever’ Theater!

BCS Executive Director “Baghdad Bill” Hancock is doing volunteer work for the Vancouver Olympics, and lucky for us he’s keeping a diary of his daily travails.

Baghdad Bill Hancock Executive Director Of The BCS

Yesterday Hancock was driving a bus for “speedskaters” and claims in his latest entry that this actual conversation took place:

“The rules of being a driver are simple: drive and keep quiet. I always introduce myself, ‘Hi, I’m Bill, and I’m your driver, but you already figured that out.’ Then I don’t speak unless spoken to. Nobody likes a gabby person behind the wheel.

One of the skaters asked what I was doing here. ‘Oh, I work in college football.’ Two of them: ‘Like what?’

Me: ‘Oh, I work with the bowl games.’

Them: ‘Cool! Like how?’ Me: ‘Oh, I work with an event that’s called the BCS.’

Them: ‘The BCS! Wow, that’s awesome! What do you do?’

Me, after thinking about it for a long time: ‘Oh, I’m the executive director.’

Them: ‘Hey, we’re pretty cool! The executive director of the BCS is driving us around!’ (I enjoy people who talk in exclamation points!)

Me: (silence).

Them: ‘So, Mr. Executive Director, when are we going to have a playoff?’

Me: ‘Not in my lifetime, probably.’

Them: ‘Great! I don’t want a playoff.’

Them: ‘I went to the Rose Bowl this year. It was SO cool.’ And they kept talking, which allowed me to revert to the comfortable role of quiet driver.

Hancock’s diary entries are being published by Berry Tramel of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN, which obviously isn’t lost on the author. (Not a knock on Tramel, makes for interesting fodder.)

The supposed conversation took place as part of Hancock’s second diary entry for The Oklahoman, with the first not mentioning the BCS. Only a matter of time before Hancock used his “diary” as a platform to propagandize.

Read more…

TV Ad To Bust On BCS Before Bama Texas Game

I’ve posted video below of a television ad that criticizes the Bowl Championship Series and will run in selected cities Thursday night before the ABC telecast of Alabama vs. Texas in the BCS Championship game.

Playoff Pac Ad During BCS Title Game

(Might wanna backoff on the powder next time)

The ad was paid for by Playoff PAC, a federal political action committee dedicated to setting up a college football playoff system. The AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN reports the ad will run in local markets Dallas, Boise and Salt Lake City before the BCS title game on Fox:

Coincidentally, those markets cover undefeated teams that have been snubbed in the past two years by the BCS championship — Boise State, Texas Christian and Utah.

As you might expect, the spot notes the undefeated status of TCU and Boise State and lampoons BCS Executive Director “Baghdad” Bill Hancock.

Baghdad Bill Hancock Executive Director Of The BCS

While I’d have appreciated a little of this spliced in there, the spot gets the job done.

Read more…

“Baghdad Bill”: Hancock Named BCS Exec Director

Bill Hancock, a former NCAA employee, was today granted what may be the worst job in sports: The first permanent executive director of college football’s Bowl Championship Series.

Baghdad Bill Hancock Executive Director Of The BCS

Previously, Hancock had the title of “BCS “coordinator”, but the NCAA, seeing that it needs someone out front to Baghdad Bob the jeri-rigged system to the media, fans, and Congress, *promoted* Hancock to executive director.

Worst job in sports?

View Results

Let’s just hope Hancock unlisted his home phone before the announcement this morning.