Congress vs. BCS is BS

bcs-logoA bill barring the NCAA from using the phrase “national championship game unless such game is the culmination of a fair and equitable playoff system” had passed the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection where, one presumes, it will die a deserved death.  And, thankfully, “There is no Senate version, although Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has pressed for a Justice Department antitrust investigation into the BCS.”

I join President Obama and most right-thinking Americans in favoring a playoff system, a position I maintain despite my Alabama Crimson Tide being ranked #1 in the BCS and set to vie for their 13th national championship on January 7.

But this is not a job for Congress.  As Steven Taylor (whose Texas Longhorns will also be in the game) points out, this is not only a ridiculous waste of time given the state of the economy, the budget, two major wars, health care, and all the rest but would seem rather obviously to “run afoul of that thing I like to call the First Amendment.”

There are issues in higher education, intercollegiate athletics, and sports in general where the national government has a legitimate role.  But this isn’t one of them.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Actually, whether it’s a job for Congress or not, I’d prefer they drop everything they’re doing and focus on this. Unlike most things, it’s not like they can screw it up any worse than it is.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    If we are going to accept the general welfare clause then we should expect Congress to meddle in everything. If we started pushing back on some of it perhaps they would finally realize their powers are limited.

  3. JKB says:

    No worries. Once Obamacare passes, football will be outlawed. It is the direct cause of countless injuries in youth and is responsible for much debilitation in mid-life. Really, it you run the cost-benefit, we just can’t afford to continue such a dangerous activity.

    If you think this can’t happen, I won’t disillusion you by speaking the truth about Santa.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Once Obamacare passes, football will be outlawed. It is the direct cause of countless injuries in youth and is responsible for much debilitation in mid-life. Really, it you run the cost-benefit, we just can’t afford to continue such a dangerous activity.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see it regulated very soon if they don’t regulate themselves more heavily. But, while American football is unusually dangerous, countries with socialized medicine and much more robust regulatory cultures continue to allow dangerous sports.