Longform

Insiders use the college bowl system to loot American universities

Page 5 of 5

Then there are the university presidents. Faced with continuous funding cuts, they're bound to go looking for new revenue at some point.

Because college basketball's March Madness generates more than $600 million a year, schools might belatedly realize that a playoff for football, the more popular sport, is sure to bring a torrent of cash.

Hancock seems to know the end is near, though he won't say it outright. The BCS contract expires in 2014, and he acknowledges that dozens of new proposals are floating around college football.

History says the insiders will try to change as little as possible. Every few years since the dawning of the BCS, they've offered minor concessions, just enough to keep attorneys general and nosy congressmen at bay. But the bowls' duplicity is so obvious they can't hold on much longer.

"I want what's best for the students," Hancock says.

If he's being honest with himself, he can't help but push for reform. After all, he has to know that at the bottom of this insiders' pyramid are those who can afford it least — the kids paying tuition.

"What's really egregious," Morgan says, "is they shift that burden to their students."

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink
Pete Kotz