Now, after reviewing these websites, let me ask you the following questions. Who is the NCAA 2004 Division 1 Field Hockey champion? Wake Forest. Who is the NCAA 2003 Division III Womens’ Hockey champion? Middlebury College. Who is the NCAA 2005 Division I Men’s Basketball champion? North Carolina. Who is the NCAA 2004 Division I-AA Football champion? James Madison University. Who is the NCAA 2004 Division I Women’s Team Gymnastics champion? UCLA. I could go on forever.
Now, who is the NCAA 2005 Division I-A Football champion? The answer is not USC.
There isn’t one. Don’t believe me. Here are pictures of the AP and BCS/Coaches Poll Trophies:
You will notice “NCAA” is not on it. Now, I could post pictures of the Division I-AA trophy, the Division II or Division III trophy, but trust me, the NCAA logo is there. For that matter, you can inspect the trophy of every NCAA sport and every division and find that the trophy is given by the NCAA, except Division I-A college football.
And that my friends is what is so frustrating. The issue is not that there is no college football playoff; the issue is that the NCAA completely abdicates any responsibility to crown the champion of the most popular sport it oversees.
What is more, the NCAA has no problem with the way things are. In 2004, Gateway Computers offered $10 million to the NCAA for a final playoff game between LSU and USC. Was it a cheap publicity stunt on the part of Gateway? Sure, it was. Was the NCAA ever going to accept it? Of course not. But this was the NCAA’s response:
Gateway Computers has it wrong about who will make the decision regarding postseason football in Division I-A. The decision will not be made by the NCAA staff. It will be made by college presidents in Division I-A. Many of those presidents have not been supportive of a playoff. Coaches are not supportive of a playoff.—Myles Brand, NCAA President.
Anyone who believes that higher education would jump at a cynical publicity stunt is mistaken and missing the point. This is exactly the type of inappropriate intrusion of commercialism that I warned the membership of yesterday in my speech to the NCAA Convention. It puts all the emphasis on intercollegiate athletics as entertainment and erodes the critical concept that the welfare of the student-athlete is paramount.
Dear Mr. Brand, Shut up! Do your job or find someone who will. For you to assert that the NCAA has no say whatsoever in the crowning of a national championship is disingenuous and only highlights the problem. Playoff or no playoff; BCS or no BCS; bowls plus one or no “plus one”. The NCAA needs to stand up and have its say. There will be no reform of this ridiculous system until the NCAA itself puts its name on the trophy, which means that every NCAA Division I-A school has some say in how the nation champion is decided.