White House meddling in college football now too?

posted at 11:14 am on January 31, 2010 by Cassy Fiano

A wise politician knows when they’re reaching too far. They know when it’s time to draw the line. In Obama’s presidency, that wisdom is completely non-existent. Show him a problem, and he’ll get the government involved. It doesn’t matter how much is on his plate or how annoyed Americans are about the expansion of government already, he just doesn’t know how to say no. The president likes to constantly remind everyone just how much he’s juggling — two wars, a skyrocketing deficit, record high unemployment, health care, cap and trade, amnesty — but he wants to add government regulation of college football to that list. Yep, that’s right. The White House is investigating the BCS system so that Obama can force a playoff system onto college football.

The Obama administration is considering several steps that would review the legality of the controversial Bowl Championship Series, the Justice Department said in a letter Friday to a senator who had asked for an antitrust review.

In the letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, obtained by The Associated Press, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that the Justice Department is reviewing Hatch’s request and other materials to determine whether to open an investigation into whether the BCS violates antitrust laws.

… Several lawmakers and many critics want the BCS to switch to a playoff system, rather than the ratings system it uses to determine the teams that play in the championship game.

“The administration shares your belief that the current lack of a college football national championship playoff with respect to the highest division of college football … raises important questions affecting millions of fans, colleges and universities, players and other interested parties,” Weich wrote.

Weich made note of the fact that President Barack Obama, before he was sworn in, had stated his preference for a playoff system. In 2008, Obama said he was going to “to throw my weight around a little bit” to nudge college football toward a playoff system, a point that Hatch stressed when he urged Obama last fall to ask the department to investigate the BCS.

This largely stems from a temper tantrum thrown by Orrin Hatch last year because his team — the University of Utah — didn’t make it to a championship game. And hey, I want a playoff system as much as every other college football fan out there. The BCS system stinks. But what gives the government the right to force it on us? Start interfering with college football and you’re going to start seeing a lot of very angry people. And Americans are fed up already. The government under Democrats has become some kind of monster, trying to slide its tentacles into every facet of our lives. If there’s anything that they think needs to be remedied, the government will be there to take it over. Failing automakers? They’ll bail them out and fire the CEOs for good measure. Some Americans don’t have health care? Well, they’ll nationalize the entire health care system. Economy’s not doing too well and unemployment numbers are rising? They’ll spend massive amounts of money causing the economy to get even worse. And one whiny senator doesn’t like that his team didn’t get to play in a championship game? The government can regulate college football, too.

There comes a point when one needs to simply stop. Many Americans want a playoff system in college football, granted, but they won’t take too kindly to the government deciding how college football is played. Some things the government just needs to leave alone, and this is one of them. Obama has enough to be worrying about as it is, and whether college football champions are determined by a playoff system or the BCS is not exactly a priority. Maybe Obama should be focusing on, I don’t know, our struggling economy? The war in Afghanistan? The fact that a terrorist came very close to murdering hundreds of people on Christmas day? What he’s going to do with the jihadis at Gitmo? He clearly is in over his head already, and now he’s trying to take on college football as well. And I think this is one issue he (and Orrin Hatch) needs to leave alone. As he constantly reminds us, he’s got enough on his plate as it is.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary, or follow her on Twitter!

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