The Irresponsible — And Unnecessary — Behavior of the College Football Playoff Committee
By Ken Reed
I have witnessed a lot of irresponsible behavior in SportsWorld during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the actions of the College Football Playoff (CFP) committee take the cake for the most unnecessary, irresponsible behavior during the pandemic.
The CFP committee, led by executive director Bill Hancock, insists on meeting in person for the next five weeks during a raging pandemic. The committee members, which include several college athletic directors, fly in from all over the country to meet for 12-14 hours over two days, in a hotel meeting room.
All this risky behavior to come up with a Top 25 list?
It’s important to note that these rankings are meaningless until the final one, which sets the postseason matchups at the FBS level.
These weekly meetings could easily be conducted over Zoom, but Hancock argues that would simply be unbearable.
“The most robust conversation we all have is face to face. Our meeting runs 7 to 8 hours on Monday and 3 to 4 more hours on Tuesday. Anyone who has done a Zoom meeting knows it’s fine for an hour, but not a 12-hour meeting,” said Hancock, regarding the need for the committee to meet in person.
Remember, these face-to-face meetings are taking place at a time when the CDC is discouraging travel. Positive Covid cases and hospitalizations are spiking across the country.
Here are the CDC guidelines on travel:
Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
You can get COVID-19 during your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.
Instead of supporting these CFP boondoggles, the ADs on the committee should be setting a good example for their universities by refusing to travel for this completely unnecessary exercise.
Now, given that the last rankings are the only ones that matter for establishing college football’s postseason lineup, an argument can be made that it would be beneficial for committee members to hash out their final Top 25 list in person. But at the very least, the next three in-person weekly meetings should be cancelled and re-scheduled as Zoom meetings.
That’s the type of decision that responsible executives in other industries across the country are making. College athletics administrators should be doing the same.
Really, is it too much to ask that the leaders in college sports act in a responsible, safe manner?
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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