Sports Law Blog
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008
President-elect Obama and College Football Playoffs
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times examines President-elect Barack Obama's desire for college football to adopt a playoff system.
Tim interviewed me for the story, which covers the economic, legal, and political angles of the President-elect's apparently genuine interest in reforming college football's post-season. Here's an excerpt:
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It's unclear how serious Obama is about the issue, and he has offered no specific plan of action nor promised he would push for action. But he has addressed the issue on multiple occasions.
"I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit," he said in the "60 Minutes" interview.
If, however, Obama did press the issue, he would have a number of options available to him, legal experts said - though they cautioned that few of them had strong legal backing.
For instance, they said Obama could potentially attempt to impose an executive order on the NCAA to create a playoff. But such a measure likely would be shot down because the NCAA has repeatedly defended its status as a private institution.
Obama also could ask the Justice Department to explore whether the BCS is a violation of antitrust law on grounds that the system often excludes teams from non-major conferences.
"I haven't seen a compelling argument," said Michael McCann, a professor at Boston College Law School and a contributor to Sports Illustrated. "I've seen different arguments offered that all seem somewhat flawed."
Note 1: The really cool photo above was taken by Rick Bowmer of the Associated Press. Note 2: Be sure to see Frank The Tank's excellent commentary on a college football playoff system.
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For the rest of the story, click here.