Wednesday, March 30, 2005

These Guys Are Playing Games...with Our Tax Dollars

Yet another ridiculous story came out of the Texas Legislature today. A state Senator from San Antonio, Jeff Wentworth, has filed a bill prohibiting Texas colleges from participating in postseason play if such games are not part of a national playoff system:
Wentworth's bill would prohibit Texas' NCAA teams from playing in "an intercollegiate post-regular-session competition that is part of a series that includes a national championship game unless that competition is part of a national playoff system."

That system would have to consist of "at least 16 teams competing in successive elimination games resulting in a final game for the national championship of that entire division or level of intercollegiate competition."

If at least four other states enact a similar law before Dec. 1, the law would stay in effect for Texas schools, according to the bill. (source)
Needless to say, I'm not at all in favor of this, since it appears that it would prohibit UNT from going to the New Orleans Bowl, since that bowl isn't even part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system that Sen. Wentworth is protesting. I've enjoyed going to that bowl the past two years, and it's been a huge boon for UNT athletics and the school in general.

This isn't likely to happen, of course; note the part about four other states being required to pass similar legislation in order to keep Texas' proposed law from expiring on the day that BCS bids go out. (That would still seem to mess up UNT if it won its conference, since their bowl bid has come sometime in November in years past.) There are plenty of people who don't like the BCS, but anyone in power who files a bill like this is just looking to get his name in the paper without considering the ramifications of this legislation for innocent bystanders like my alma mater and its fans.

And besides, as I said a while back when one of Wentworth's colleagues filed the "sexy cheerleading regulation bill," it sure seems like these guys could be making better use of their time in Austin. The Texas Legislature only meets every other year, and if they're filing bills like these, one would think that all the big problems--school finance, tax reform, etc.--have already been solved. One would, of course, be wrong for thinking that. Personally, I'm offended that these guys are wasting my tax money for this showboating nonsense.

I'll rail some more if this actually passes, but I think I have a better chance of winning the lottery than this bill does of actually becoming law.

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