Pres. Oversight Committee Chairman's statement

BY foxsports • July 9, 2009

Statement from David Frohnmayer, University of Oregon President and BCS Presidential Oversight Committee Chairman, Regarding the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee Teleconference, June 24, 2009

Each of the 10 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame athletics director gave a report that summarized his individual conference's or school's consideration of the Mountain West proposal.

There was frank and respectful discussion among the Presidential Oversight Committee members. These presidents and chancellors are dedicated to their universities, and also to the sport of college football. They want to do what's best for the game.

There was no overall support for the proposal, although some conferences were interested in considering certain elements of it in the future — particularly those related to revenue, access and governance of the BCS arrangement. As I have stated many times, the group will give full and due consideration to proposals submitted by the conferences. Each conference is encouraged to suggest ideas for improvement.

It is important to note that these reports came from Notre Dame and all 10 conferences. The reports were generated after discussions among a wide base within the conferences, including presidents and chancellors, faculty representatives, athletics directors and coaches. The feeling is the same from all 10 conferences; an agreement was reached last year, without dissent, to proceed with our television negotiations for the next four years on the basis of the current BCS format. That agreement is now embodied in our contract with ESPN for the games to be played in January 2011-14. The messages were clear: each of the 10 conferences and Notre Dame intends to comply with that contract.

I believe we all agree that no system will ever be considered perfect, particularly by those conferences and institutions whose teams are not chosen in any particular year. But the BCS is the best postseason arrangement that has ever existed in college football. I say that after reviewing the matter from all standpoints, including student-athlete welfare, fan enjoyment, the academic calendar, the significance of the regular season, preservation of the bowl system that benefits a broad base of universities, and business.

In the last six years, I've read pundits, heard the pronouncements of broadcasters and collected several cubic feet of e-mail printouts from advocates of an NFL-style playoff system. Even those that go beyond sound-bite certitude share two intertwined and fatal deficiencies: they disrespect our academic calendars and they utterly lack a business plan.

The BCS and the bowls generally reward student athletes of successful teams — and their supporters — with a holiday-season experience and memories they will cherish forever. The matching of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams that the BCS has provided has been remarkably successful through the years. Some Auburn Tiger fans, of course, still write to me; and our Oregon Ducks believed we, instead of Nebraska, should have faced the University of Miami in the Rose Bowl for the national championship. We got over it. While we all love our athletic teams, the enterprise of higher education is far more than what happens on the playing field. The BCS and the bowls serve our larger missions well.

At the conclusion of the bowl games of January 2014, the BCS will have been in existence for 16 years. The founders got it right. College football has never been more popular. Let's keep it that way.

New chairman named

The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee named University of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman as the group's new chair. He replaces retiring University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer.

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