By Fred Guzman
His official title is “Executive Director.” But the real duties of the newly named Bill Hancock is to serve as the chief apologist for the Bowl Championship Series and trying to convince critics that it is the best way to determine a college football champion.
It’s not an easy job, given the criticism and controversy aimed at the BCS from the politicians, the media and fans.
Hancock, who previously oversaw the wildly successful NCAA men’s Division-I basketball tournament, must convince critics that a scaled-down version of that event is not the answer for college football.
Hancock says, “A lot of the frustration with the BCS is because people don’t understand it. They think there is this hypothetical playoff which would just be a panacea. The fact is a playoff would be as contentious or more contentious than what we have now. A playoff is just not right for college football.”
So why are playoffs right for every other sport, including football, at every division of the NCAA, with the lone exception of D-I football?
The real answer is that the BCS is about making big money and not about fairness. The current system is a cash-producing monopoly involving the nation’s top football conferences and bowl-game organizers that has been a financial bonanza for those interests.
The challenge for Hancock is to sidetrack pressure from lawmakers to change the system, and defuse the threats of antitrust lawsuits.
RETIRING COACHES: Two veteran football coaches with ties to the Aloha State have called to an end to their respective careers.
Earlier this week, 71-year-old Dick Tomey announced his retirement at the end of the current San Jose State season. Yesterday, 67-year-old Jerry Glanville resigned as head coach at Portland State.
In each case, the coaches were brought in to turn around once-proud programs out of recent declines.
Tomey enjoyed success at Hawaii and Arizona, leading the Rainbows to their first Top 20 ranking in 1981 and the Wildcats to a 12-1 mark in 1998. His 63 wins were a record at UH until broken by June Jones. His 95 wins remain the most in Arizona history.
Tomey spent a few years as an assistant with the 49ers and Texas Longhorns, and another few years as a color commentator on telecasts of UH games before beginning a 5-year stint at San Jose State.
He led the Spartans to a 9-4 mark in 2006, but the team has sunk to 1-8 this year going into Saturday’s home game versus Hawaii. Tomey is 24-33 overall at San Jose State.
Glanville spent three seasons at Portland State, going 9-24 overall and 2-9 this year. He took the job after serving two years as defensive coordinator at UH under June Jones. He formerly served as head coach with the NFL’s Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons.
Glanville’s colorful personality did not translate into wins on the field or fans in the stands, and now he’s gone.