Hancock: colleges, not Congress, in charge

Published 2:24 am Friday, May 21, 2010

WASHINGTON — BCS executive director Bill Hancock responded to a letter from two U.S. Senators who are unhappy about the way the sport determines its champion.

A five-page letter and six more pages of information pulled from the BCS website about how revenue is distributed, teams are selected and the system is run were sent to Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

“While I appreciate your interest, I believe that decisions about college football should be made by university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and conference commissioners rather than by members of Congress,” Hancock said in the letter, repeating a stance he has taken when lawmakers and public officials have threatened the BCS.

His answers seem unlikely to satisfy Hatch, whose home state team from the University of Utah didn’t play for the national title at the end of the 2008 season despite going undefeated.

Hancock pointed out that the five non-automatic qualifying conferences — such as the Mountain West, where Utah plays — received $24 million dollars from BCS games in 2010, the most in the 12-year history of the system.

The five non-AQ leagues — MWC, Western Athletic Conference, Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA — agreed to share their BCS revenue.

Critics of the BCS point out that the Mountain West, which has sent a team to the BCS each of the last two seasons, and the WAC, which twice has had a BCS team, have had little choice but to share with the three other conferences that have never sent a team to the five marquee bowl games.