Well, I think a couple things. One is the precedent of the postseason playoff for basketball has been established for a long time. Secondly, it can be implemented much more easily and quickly ... And then you're off one day if you win and the next day you play and all that. So, for football, to me, I guess I don't have the same desire as to, quote, see who is the national champion. I'm really much more interested in who wins the ACC.
And I don't have a great interest in professional football except for when Virginia Tech players are on the team, then I'll watch them but I'm really interested in the teams we play on a regular basis, and who comes out ahead on that, and after that the interest kind of drops off for me.
And the bowl games are kind of fun; they're good for our players to get national visibility if they're candidates for the NFL and all that. But I think it kind of drags out too long. And then you got the other issues of player welfare ... How many games is it good for the players to have to play? Is one more postseason game and the risk of injury, which could jeopardize somebody's pro career, is it really worth it? How much time are they away from the classroom? Only 1.5 percent of the college players go on to the NFL, so the other 98.5 percent need to walk away with a very good education ... So you've got to balance all those things ... It's not just the welfare of the TV fans, it's the welfare of the fans that travel to the games, it's the welfare of the players and it's also important for our students.
All the student fees that go into athletics -- you guys are entitled to benefit from that. You're not subsidizing the national TV networks.
Did you notice, working in collaboration with the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, any dissenting opinions about the postseason system?
There are a lot of different views having to do with the history of a lot of the conferences ... You've got Notre Dame who's independent, and then you've got the PAC 10 and the Big 10 who still want to preserve their right to play in the Rose Bowl.
So it's a pretty complicated thing, and we are respectful of all those sorts of things, but at the same time ... you have the different tiers of the bowls and the payouts. Some of the bowls now, it costs more to go than the bowl pays, which is an expensive proposition ... And also, playing out four years from now what the sequence will be: is that Rose Bowl contention still going to be viable?
Probably will be. Is Notre Dame signing another contract with NBC, which is separate because they're not in a conference, how long is that going to go on? ...
Where do you all meet and how often?
The last big meeting was in Chicago, but we would meet most of the time on a telephone conference call ... and Frohnmayer was the chairman on that group. Then, for two years, starting this year, John Swofford ... is the chairman of the BCS commissioners committee. So you've got the presidents committee, you've got the commissioners committee, and then you've got the athletic directors and they all kind of feed it all up to work together on this stuff. A lot of committees.
I didn't realize until I got involved in this a few years ago how complicated it was. And of course the financial stakes are very high, and the impact on the schools is quite significant.
Had you been involved with BCS planning at all before that in any capacity?
Only as any other president would have been involved -- and it was discussed at each of our presidents' meetings -- but no more or no less than any of the other presidents ... For whatever reason, Commissioner Swofford asked me to do it, and I thought it was a good thing to do, and I agreed.
I read that there's some rumbling in Congress about the BCS, especially from representatives who happen to be from Texas. What are your thoughts on that in trying to enact changes through the U.S. government?