Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Washinton Post Calls Spanier and His Cronies Swindlers

Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins has some advice for President Obama-how I love typing those words. Here the bit that caught my attention.
1. Liberate college football from the tyranny of the Bowl Championship Series. You've pledged to use your muscle to do away with the skewed BCS system and to create an eight-team playoff. Actually, this may be one of the easiest things to accomplish in your first term. Opposition to a playoff comes from the despotic cartel made up by the major football conferences, which seek to hoard the millions of dollars in bowl revenue for themselves -- and depend on the tax-exempt status they lobby for in Washington. Here the names of the college leaders on the BCS Presidental Oversight Committee: Chairman David Frohnmayer (Oregon), Rev. John Jenkins (Notre Dame), Robert Khayat (Mississippi), Mark Nordenberg (Pittsburgh), John Peters (Northern Illinois), Harvey Perlman (Nebraska), Graham Spanier (Penn State) and Charles Steger (Virginia Tech).

These individuals preside over a commercial swindle.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the bowls have become a $400 million-a-year industry, and bowl executives earn salaries of between $400,000 and $500,000. The bowls no longer serve any discernable educational purpose -- the participating teams often have graduations rates worse than 50 percent, for which they are rewarded with extravagance. Players in this year's BCS bowls received gifts such as Tourneau watches, Apple iPods and $300 worth of Sony electronics.

Take away their tax exemptions. Hand the BCS college presidents a bunch of 1120 forms and tell them to start filling them out. They'll buckle.

Additionally, we recommend that the college football season be shortened. Schools begin playing in phony made-for-TV money games in August and the championship isn't decided until the second week in January. A season should begin in autumn and end on New Year's Day, so that everyone can get back to school.
I think taking away the tax-exempt status of college sports is an excellent idea. Big time college sports has nothing at all to do with the educational mission of schools upon which the exemption is predicated. In fact, big time sports more often than not hinders that mission. Get rid of it.

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