League of Fans Says Cartel is Anti-Fan, Anti-Player, and Anti-Football
Ralph Nader announced today that his League of Fans organization is summoning passionate college football fans from all walks of life to step forward, come together, and stand up for justice in the fight against the anti-competitive Bowl Championship Series (BCS).
“The BCS has hijacked the game of college football in the name of greed,” said Nader. “It restricts competition on the field and prevents every NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS) program from having a fair chance to compete for a national championship. Moreover, it unjustly distributes the money from our major bowl games in a way that severely hinders non-BCS schools from being able to compete in the long-term. The BCS is an ugly power play negatively impacting a great game.”
Ken Reed, League of Fans’ sports policy director and author of the organization’s Sports Manifesto, said a 16-team playoff is clearly the fairest and most exciting way to determine a true national champion in the highest division of college football.
“Surveys consistently show that both fans and players overwhelmingly prefer a playoff system vs. the BCS abomination we’ve been forced to deal with the last 13 years,” said Reed. “We’re pushing for the Wetzel Playoff Plan, 16 teams, including automatic spots for all eleven conference champions. Five at-large teams, selected by an NCAA basketball-type committee using a common set of criteria, would complete the field. The college football playoff would eventually be more popular than basketball’s March Madness, and rival the popularity of the NFL playoffs.”
Reed said getting a college football playoff system in place won’t be easy. He argued that the BCS (which is made up of six conferences, the Big Ten, ACC, Big East, SEC, Big 12, and Pac 12) needs to be confronted from every angle possible.
“It will require a collective effort of reform-minded individuals and groups with a common goal: doing what’s right for players, fans, and the good of the game,” said Reed. “We must pursue every potential tool available to us, including investigations by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, antitrust lawsuits, Congressional legislation and inquiries into the tax-exempt status of the pertinent organizations involved. In addition, we need a comprehensive and integrated fan campaign. Moreover, the five non-BCS conferences (Mountain West, Conference USA, Western Athletic Conference, Mid-American, and Sun Belt) need to become more proactive and vocal on their own behalf. Their strategy in this volatile college football marketplace needs to be more than hope. And it wouldn’t hurt if President Obama fulfilled his early promise to challenge the BCS in favor of a college football playoff.”
Reed pointed out several individuals and groups that have been doing excellent work on the BCS issue, including Playoff PAC, Sports Fans Coalition, Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff, Tulane University president Scott Cowen, journalists Dan Wetzel, Austin Murphy, Josh Peter and Jeff Passan, economist Andrew Zimbalist, players’ rights activist Ramogi Huma and antitrust lawyers Alan Fishel, Paul Kaplan, and Christian Dennie.
“Players and fans overwhelmingly want a playoff in college football,” said Brian Frederick, executive director of Sports Fans Coalition and JustPlayoff.com. “The BCS system is unfair in how it determines a national champion and also in how it distributes revenue. It’s time for a change. We’re glad League of Fans is joining the fight.”
Click the following link to read the full Sports Manifesto report: “Abolish the BCS and Establish a College Football Playoff”
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.