Bill Hancock on Changing BCS for Playoff System: “These are not grown-ups playing for pay. That’s a principal we will not yield on.”

January 13, 2012 – 6:15 am by Steven Cuce

All the advocates of the BCS may believe that the Alabama Crimson Tide were the undisputed best team in the country this season, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that the system is extremely flawed. There’s no sugar coating that this year’s BCS Championship wasn’t the most entertaining contest, and that’s being kind to say the least.

It would be refreshing to see a one-loss team get a shot at playing in a National Championship game by having some type of playoff system, and from the sound of it the NCAA may be changing their mind on the matter.

Bill Hancock, BCS Executive Director, believes things do change, but that’s not to say he’s giving a ringing endorsement of this idea either.

Bill Hancock joined 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland with Bull & Fox to discuss the outlook of the initial meetings to change the BCS system, the reason why the NCAA has looked into changing the BCS system at this particular time, the BCS not being a business as its perceived, the BCS playoffs potentially having to occur in December when students are preparing for and taking finals, student athletes losing time to take finals if a BCS playoff system were to be instituted, the NCAA being afraid to institute a playoff system because student athletes won’t be able to take finals, the BCS needing a bowl playoff system and what he’d say is one legitimate downside of changing to a playoff system.

What can you share with us so far if anything of what’s come out of these initial meetings to change the BCS system?

“Well this is a process. It happens every four years when we get close to the time to negotiate the contract and we do have two more years to go on this agreement, so now is the time. The process of that is pretty cool. We started with conversations on campus and then folks on campus conveyed their wishes to the commissioners and the commissioners came together this week and the first of what will be several this spring. We had some great conversation about what each of them would like to see become of this in the future.”

What has changed that now it seems like at the very least you guys will take this under serious consideration or more serious consideration?

“Oh that’s a good question. I think about this a lot and I think we have to be careful to read too much into what’s happening here. This is very preliminary and we are a long way from making any kind of decisions and I do not sense any ground swell for a large – that being 8 or 16 team playoff, but I just think things change. At this end of this contract for example it would have been 22 years since the old bowl system. A lot of people look at me when I said that and said, ‘That can’t be? It seemed like yesterday when the BCS got started.’ Things change over time. I think we are hearing that many fans would like to do something different, so it’s a matter of balancing that with balancing the important of the regular season and keeping the bowl tradition and also doing what is best for the student athletes.”

The BCS is a business correct?

“The BCS is an event the conferences manage to match #1 and #2.”

If the conferences cared about the players so much why would there be a tournament in March that takes the guys out of class forever? I don’t think many people are buying it because why would BCS bowl games be in January when the kids go back to school, when the games could take place in December when the kids have off?

“I think if you would compare playing football to a basketball game. As you know the comparison for wear and tear on the body? There’s no comparison.”

We are not talking about wear and tear on the body. I’m not buying that. If I had all the NCAA commissioners in the room with truth serum I doubt this has anything to do with kids going to class?

“I don’t think you heard what I said before. We think about the effect of this on the student athlete. It affects the student athletes in many ways. One is whole other series of football games. Another is conflicts with final exams. There’s no conflict with basketball and final exams, but there would be with a big December tournament.”

So you’re telling me there’s no playoff because we are afraid to take big time college football players out of class for finals?

“A lot of people don’t believe this, but it is true. These are college students and this a fundamental part of this endeavor. These are not grown-ups playing for pay. These are college students. That’s a principal we will not yield on.”

In your opinion do you think the BCS needs to have some sort of playoff system?

“I don’t know. Need to think more about it. There’s lots of downsides. There’s lots of upsides and that’s what they’ll be talking about over the next few months.”

What is one legitimate downside of a playoff system?

“Well the contention over No. 4 or No. 5 to me will always be a downside just the contention in the NCAA tournament between 60 and however many they have now and 68 and 69 [teams]. You also have to think about can fans travel to a quarterfinal in Miami one week, a semifinal in Pasadena the next week and back to Phoenix for a final next week.”

Listen to Bill Hancock on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland here

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  1. 6 Responses to “Bill Hancock on Changing BCS for Playoff System: “These are not grown-ups playing for pay. That’s a principal we will not yield on.””

  2. Hey Attorney General Eric Holder: Is the antitrust “vigorously pursuing” violators?

    Listen to this guy. The BCS is designed to match one vs. two yet stages four other games with eight other teams?

    Chalk up another lie for Bill.

    There is no conflict with basketball and final exams? Lie number two!

    The contention between No. 4 and No 5?

    Didn’t this guy just claim the BCS sets up No. 1 vs. No 2? I guess no contention between No. 3 and No.4. Nor No. 6 , No.7, and No. 8 .

    #KennedyProposal

    By Brandon Kennedy on Jan 13, 2012

  3. Brandon: Sorry but typical case of somebody hearing what they want to hear; the BCS was put in place to manage 1 vs 2 and maintain the other bowl tie-ins that have been in place the last 20+ years; the only conflict with basketball and final exams is limited to a few schools on the quarter system (and impacts MAYBE 15-30 student-athletes, not 100 per school)…the 15 per school can be handled with proctors if necessary, but 100 per school with dozens of different tests would be unmanageable; sure there is contention between 1 vs 2 but it gets magnified the deeper you go in the process. Finally, you miss the point about fans being able to follow teams through a playoff…it happens with 500 fans the first weekend of NCAA basketball, then maybe 1,500 the second and then 4,000 at the Final Four, but 15,000 won’t travel each weekend to a game across country.

    By Timthebow on Jan 13, 2012

  4. Not sure why people aren’t accepting the notion that these are students and there are exam issues as well as wear and tear issues. Final exams are rarely an issue in March and they are an issue for many schools in December, not just schools on the quarter system … Some schools have semester systems where the fall semester ends before Christmas. And what’s this about only impacts 15-30 students? So weird. Don’t know where these ideas are coming from! The students need to be considered and I know there are ADs and schools who care about this … So the BCS has to Paul attention too.

    By Andrea on Jan 13, 2012

  5. Are you sure that’s not Bill Handoncock?

    Just another guy in a bubble, keeping his salary safe.

    By Big Duck on Jan 13, 2012

  6. Let’s make this clear.
    1. FINALS ARE OVER before the 1st bowl game is even played.
    2. STUDENTS ARE NOT, for the most part, in class during the bowl season.
    3. The point about fans, well taken, but guess what fans do the same to follow their team in the Tourny. Fans also do the same in D1AA, DII and DIII.
    4. Events rarely make money, the Rose Parade is and event and runs in the red every year. This is a business model, it’s a business. If it looks like crap, smells like crap it’s probably crap.
    5. Not playing for pay? Schollies are compensation, stipends like the $2k one that is working its way through the system is PAY.

    By Scott on Jan 13, 2012

  7. Why does the FCS have a 16 team+ playoff system then?? Any defense of this guy is pure BS. It makes absolutely NO SENSE to say Div 1 has to have the BCS while Div 1-AA is okay having a playoff. There is no excuse why FBS does not have playoff, besides money. If the FCS has a playoff, no reason FBS can’t. Its as simple as that.

    The interviewers asked the wrong questions about the Basketball tournament. They shouldve asked, how can the FCS have a playoff system and then FBS can’t?? the FCS playoffs is the nail in the coffin. Im surprised more pro-playoff voices don’t put this out there. No way to argue against a playoff if FCS has one..

    By McClane on Jan 16, 2012

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