I like to watch all the afternoon sports debate shows on ESPN every day. As you might expect, yesterday was dominated by talk of the BCS and what a travesty it is that five undefeated college football teams don't get to decide the National Championship on the field. While the talking heads were more than happy to take shots at University and College Presidents for being "greedy" no one had the cajones to point to the real reason we don't have a playoff in major college football--women.
No, there is not a women's group secretly pulling strings at the NCAA preventing all efforts to have a playoff. I am talking about Title IX of the US Justice Code--which requires "equal educational opportunities for both sexes." In college sports, Title IX means that the number of scholarships offered to female athletes must match the percentage of female students enrolled at the school. If you have a 55-percent female population, 55-percent of the scholarships must go to women. This places a huge strain on men's football to carry the entire athletic department at most Division I universities and colleges.
That is the reason Wisconsin plays home games against Wofford or The Citadel every year--another opportunity to put 85-thousand people into $50 dollar seats at Camp Randall Stadium. It's also why Wisconsin has a women's softball team--but not a men's baseball team. I was going to school there at the time that baseball--along with men's gymnastics was dropped due to budget concerns--and let me tell you, it was not pretty.
The reason we the BCS and the 39-other bowl games is really dollars and cents. Until the NCAA can guarantee the schools as much money from a playoff system as the current setup generates, there will never be a playoff.
Now, I am certainly not calling for the dissolution of Title IX. I'm sure that if I ever have a daughter I will want as many opportunities for her as possible. And let's be honest here--women's hockey is never going to come close to breaking even at any college. But let's at least acknowledge why the major schools are trying to milk as much money as they can from their biggest cash cow.