Bravo to the Associated Press -dlh

Anthony Totoraitis

The current state of postseason play in college football is harming the sport. College football has gone away from its staples and ventured into a new era. All its purest rivalries and legions of undying fans have become secondary to the almighty dollar. Winning in college football has changed. The amateur status of the student athlete is difficult to defend after reviewing the bastion of evidence exposing its illegitimacy.
When an aspiring program sets its sights on a successful season, a national audience at some point is required. Under the current format, programs that excel in both their conference and non-conferences schedule receive bids to play in nationally televised games. With this bid comes a bountiful amount of attention to the school. Great revenues are created by this attention. Many parties prosper greatly because of said success.
Head football coaches are then in turn under enormous pressures to win. Millions of dollars are potentially on the line with every season. They, in turn, pass this attitude of winning being more important than the simple purity of football to their recruits. The recent alleged recruiting scandals of Ohio State and Colorado should open the eyes of the common fan.
Talented high school players are treated as gods and are opened up to a world similar to that of a celebrity. I do not need proof to confirm my suspicions of wrongdoing. It is clear that prime-time players receive special treatment. And why not? They are the ones that the NCAA is selling every time the Nokia Sugar Bowl or the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is played. If the NCAA wishes to maintain its amateur status, change is necessary. Take the power away from the fortune seekers.
The broadcasting rights along with the advertising rights generate billions of dollars every year. Yet Larry Fitzgerald can only receive compensation for his likeness on the cover of “EA Sports 2005 NCAA Football” after he is officially through with his “amateur status.” When I bought a copy of that game, I was buying college football. That the NCAA approves of its name appearing in the title is clear; the product is stained with its official logos. The NCAA is selling college football.
A playoff system is the only true solution to the NCAA’s postseason woes. Tough luck to Nokia and Tostitos, marketing will have to find another means of peddling their products to the working man. A change from the Bowl system would also solve the glaring errors in the Bowl Championship Series’ attempts to declare a legitimate national champion.
To be the best, a team should prove its worth by beating everyone else, not by getting excessive love from sportswriters who need news to validate their existence. Auburn and Utah and a host of other powerhouses proved their worthiness of a title shot. Take the fervor created by the NCAA basketball tournaments; some would say it is near the pinnacle of sports. And college football could easily challenge that with a similar system.
The BCS is now slowly degrading college football. A standard playoff system is the only alternative to this money-grubbing approach. What should be more important to the NCAA, content CEOs assured of large marketing contracts, or protecting the student athlete from being exploited? I believe that the current BCS system for postseason play is challenging the legitimacy of the game.