MORGANTOWN — Ah, what a week this has been.
The banking crisis is over, the economy back operating at full throttle.
The national debt has been erased and the budget back in balance.
Chrysler, Ford and General Motors are turning a profit.
The swine flu has been eradicated.
Everyone in America is getting a $5,000 tax refund and every Sunday has been proclaimed Easter.
As Louis Armstrong once said, “What a wonderful world.”
What’s that? You say that hasn’t happened?
Can’t be. I mean, if all those problems still exist, how is it that Congress could take time this week to look into that great blight upon American life — the BCS football championship — and threaten the collegiate powers that be with legislation unless they change it to a playoff system?
Despite all the problems Congress has to worry about, Congressman Joe Barton introduced a bill aimed at preventing the NCAA from holding a championship game unless it came out of a playoff.
Joe Barton, by the way, is from Texas.
The Longhorns must be loaded next year.
Now what business Congress has trying to regulate the way college football is run borders upon the absurd.
It is football, folks.
A game, a diversion.
And it ain’t broke.
Should there be a playoff? Of course. Anyone who has seen the thrills that are generated each March knows there should be a playoff.
But the public will make that call, not a group of politicians in pinstriped suits or who reside in Utah, where, it seems, Utah and BYU football spend half their time practicing and the other time complaining about being spurned by the BCS.
Personally, it is my belief that Rep. Barton is right. The BCS ought to drop the “C” because it isn’t really a championship. “Call it the BS system,” he said.
With almost 30 bowls now, the bowl system has become a bad joke where bad teams get to play bad games in bad matchups before bad crowds.
But so what!
College football is a proven commodity without a playoff system. If the public doesn’t like it, it will let the colleges know.
If the colleges don’t like it, the colleges will change it.
They do every other year, anyway.
If Congress really wants to involve itself in college athletics, there are a number of areas where it can actually serve a purpose.
Why not look into what has happened to college coaches’ salaries.
Think your college coach should earn $4 million a year? Or $3 million or $2 million?
We can’t find enough nurses but we have college coaches coming out of the woodwork.
While the coaches get rich, the players get nothing. You don’t read of a college coach getting arrested for stealing one of his players’ stereos, now do you, or pilfering a pair of shoes from the local K-Mart because they can’t afford to buy a pair.
Not in the stores the coaches shop. They have security.
Should players share in the profits with something more than a sweatsuit and a pair of sneakers? Let Congress take a peek there.
Oh, and then there’s Title IX.
Think that hasn’t had become a drag on the world of college sports? It worked in getting equal opportunity for women, all right, but only partially by lifting women’s sports up.
Instead, it has torn men’s sports down.
The University of Cincinnati just dropped its men’s track team. Men’s track teams have been falling by the wayside for years, including here at WVU. Wrestling teams are going the way of the dinosaur. Men’s tennis, too.
All of them once offered a diversity of sports to the student body but now are gone while women’s track, gymnastics, tennis, softball and rowing continue to thrive while creating almost no interest and failing to support themselves.
If Congress wants to get involved in athletics, how about finding a way to spread the wealth so that the players who give of their time and sweat and muscle get some financial benefit, even if it means shaving coaches salaries or by dropping some women’s — and men’s — sports that are a drain on the financial status of the athletic department.
It's time to stop playing the worst of all collegiate sports — political football.
E-mail Bob Hertzel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORGANTOWN — Ah, what a week this has been.
- Bob Herzel
WVU loses close battle to Baylor, 74-71
West Virginia University’s dream of a Big 12 Tournament championship did not come true, but it wasn’t because they didn’t play like champions.
HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU’s fate lies in Big 12 record
West Virginia University’s men’s basketball team finds itself in really a strange situation, looking at its move from the Big East to the Big 12 as being the reason it will make the NCAA Tournament this year or the reason it will miss the NCAAs.
WVU women topple Texas, advance to Big 12 championship
Buckle your seatbelts. It’s time for West Virginia-Baylor III, and this time the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament championship is the prize.
HERTZEL COLUMN- Ejim’s season wasn’t better than Staten’s
You’ll pardon a little old-fashioned outrage this morning, I hope.
It doesn’t come as often from this old body as it used to.
Staten, Harris tabbed with Big 12 honors
West Virginia’s point guard Juwan Staten was named to the All-Big 12 team and selected as a member of the league’s All-Defensive team but lost out to Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim in the Player of the Year voting.
WVU riding Kansas win into Big 12 Tournament
All season long, whenever anyone would ask coach Bob Huggins what his West Virginia team had to do to win games — and believe it, that question came up before almost every game — Huggins always had the same answer.
Mountaineers stun No. 8 Kansas, 92-86
The missing link finally showed itself for West Virginia University on Saturday, maybe just in time to save the season for the Mountaineers.
“Better late than never,” is the way WVU guard Eron Harris put it after freshman center Devin Williams stepped out of the shadows and put together the game everyone has been waiting for in leading the Mountaineers to a crucial 92-86 victory over Kansas.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Eron Harris bounces back to spark WVU
One minute and forty-seven seconds had ticked off the Coliseum clock on Saturday afternoon and things were off to the kind of start most people had expected, Kansas in the lead, albeit as slender as a one-point lead can be.
That was when Juwan Staten spotted Eron Harris open beyond the 3-point arc.
Staten plans to test NBA after season
To the surprise of no one, West Virginia University guard Juwan Staten is going to explore his opportunities in the NBA at the end of this season, a season in which he has become perhaps the best player in the Big 12.
WVU women outlast TCU to advance in Big 12 tournament
In the afternoon, West Virginia’s men’s team gave up a career-high 41 points to Andrew Wiggins but found a way to tough out a victory over Kansas.
Then Saturday evening, the West Virginia women’s team gave up a career-high 32 points to Zahna Medley but found a way to tough out a victory over TCU in the second round of the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championships in Oklahoma City.
- More Bob Herzel Headlines
- WVU loses close battle to Baylor, 74-71