Insert Pigskin Joke Here


These people need to not have power:

Chuck Grassley Chuck Grassley Chuck Grassley

Plains state senators fretted Thursday over a major impending realignment in college football's major conferences.

Lawmakers representing states with universities in the Big 12 conference urged against moves that would break up the conference, and explored options to affect the schools' decisions. […]

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) […] said his staff is exploring options through nonprofit and antitrust laws to approach the realignments.

"I'm concerned about what's happening the Texas universities and the PAC 10 and what would possibly be leaving some Big 12 teams out in the cold," Grassley said in a Wednesday conference call. "All I can tell you is my staff's looking into what can be done from a non-profit, anti-trust standpoint."

Link via Doug Mataconis' promiscuous Twitter feed.

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  1. Asshats.

    1. I share your revulsion at the duckist alt-text of that cartoon.

      1. Say, isn’t that London’s new Olympic mascot?

      2. A crocodile designed by committee?

  2. I’m concerned about what’s happening the Texas universities and the PAC 10

    I, on the other hand, couldn’t possibly care less.

    Why don’t you just tend your tomato plants, Grassley?

  3. Yeah Grassley sucks. But I would feel a little more sympathy for the Universities if they were not sucking on the government tit so much. It is not like even the private ones are in any way independent or anything but fucking welfare queens. Pox on all of them.

  4. Get off my conference!

  5. It was a week ago that Steve Chapman wrote an article in Reason “The Big Ten and Midwestern Identit, (here…..estern-ide), bitching about the proposed changes. If it’s good enough for Reason, it’s good enough for Grassley.

    1. Reporters are the same as Senators? Shut the fuck up, Vanneman.

    2. Come on Alan, we all know that Steve Chapman doesn’t really count.

    3. Hey Alan, why don’t you go review Rudy instead of making stupid, failed attempts at equivocation?

      1. Frankly, I find it a little unbelievable that a hobbit could play football with men. Unless he had a magic ring or something, I guess.

        1. He didn’t play football with men, ProL. his heart did. His huge, deformed heart.

          1. Which ring does that?

            1. One of the dwarf lord rings, I think.

              1. Actually, I think it’s ringworm.

                1. I saw a parody of Rudy where he was running after the team bus, and they just slammed the door on him and took off. Too bad I can’t remember where it was from.

                  1. A Simpsons episode, I think.

              2. One Ring to play football. . . .

            2. Sam, when I asked you to give me The Ring, I didn’t mean THAT one…

    4. Shut your neck, Herpes.

    5. Shouldn’t you be at home working on your next John Grisham novel?

    6. Looks like Nebraska is probably moving to the Big Ten.

    7. Who reads Chapman?

  6. As always, I’m torn:

    OTOH, none of this is any of the Senate’s business.

    OTOH, if their time is finite, and the more of it they waste, the better.

    1. Gridiron gridlock!

    2. You are assuming that they won’t fork over a billion bucks or so to each college so it can build a new stadium.

    3. It doesn’t work. They waste time on stuff like this, then spend little bits of time shoving legislative horrors our way.

      This is the kind of thing that happens when the concept of limited government goes out the window. When’s the last time a president or Congressperson has said something was outside of his power to do anything about?

      1. Did you plug the hole yet?

        1. Don’t talk about his wife like that, sage, you boor.

      2. There aren’t many votes in MYOB.

  7. Heh heh…”insert.”

  8. I think we should be a little concerned that they no longer even bother to pretend that the laws they use exist for the reasons stated when those laws were passed.

    Basically they openly admit now that just about all federal law is a series of pretexts for the exercise of arbitrary power. Even in the pursuit of trivialities.

    As the mask continues to slip, and as everyone continues to not give a shit, we can expect greater and greater general lawlessness in the future.

    1. You might even call it trivial Pursuit…

    2. Very true. They’re not even making any kind of pretense here that there is some valid reason for federal involvement; they just don’t like it, and will stop it if they can.

      And no one calls them on it.

      1. I’m calling them on it, Episiarch!

        Dammit, maybe I should just self-declare myself Censor.

        1. “I’m calling them on it,”
          Tank guy had better odds.

  9. Jesus. It’s like I’m living on Planet Crazy.

    People complain about the ballooning cost of college education…

    and talk about the gigantic for-all-intents-and-purposes professional sports leagues operated by the “higher education sector”…

    and practically no-one seems to connect the two.

    1. You make it sound like they don’t charge money for tickets to watch these “for-all-intents and purposes professional sports leagues” and don’t generate any revenue.

      1. It has been proven conclusively, by the NCAA and others, that the vast majority of college sports programs (including football and basketball) don’t cover their costs; a few break even. For the most part, high-level sports programs are a total waste of (mainly) taxpayer money.

        1. e.g., see this

          1. That article only highlights typical accounting flim-flam. It doesn’t provide solid evidence that D1 sports are financial burdens.

        2. Maybe. But that’s likely only if you include all schools. If the focus is on Division I exclusively, I’d bet that Football, Basketball, and even Hockey are all positive revenue generators.

        3. Actually with the revenue sharing, they do make money. If they only had college football and men’s basketball, they would make a fortune. Now most athletic departments lose money as you point out. But they don’t lose money because of football and basketball. They lose money because Title IX requires them to carry a ton of non revenue producing women’s sports.

          1. You know, I’m pretty sure we’ve had this exact argument in the past. But whether or not most schools lose money, or whether on average they break even, is beside the point.

            The state should not be underwriting and funding activities — such as the provision of sports leagues — that are well within what the private sector can handle. The arguments for subsidizing higher education are one thing, but they sure as hell don’t extend to what the NCAA has become. I can’t believe this is even an argument on a libertarian website.

            1. People lose their minds when in comes to sports. They try to make all kinds of rationalizations for why they make such a big deal out of a game. Taxpayers should never have to fund other peoples recreation.

              1. Cabeza,

                You’re dead-on. I think libertarians can legtimately disagree on a lot of things (aid to poor, military spending etc.), but surely there is no way you can be a libertarian and support the state spending millions and millions of dollars in order to fund the entertainment of others (even aside from the question of whether a profit is made). It is just simply not a legitimate function of government.

            2. Whether state schools should have sports programs at all is a different argument than whether and why those programs are losing money.

              1. I think they should have sports programs, I believe in mens sana in corpore sano as much as anyone else. Football, basketball, and everything else. What I don’t think is necessary (to say the least) is to have a de facto professional set up, with coaches getting paid millions, stadia costing hundreds of millions etc.

                I only got diverted into the empirical question of whether these teams actually make profits or not in order to respond to the knee-jerk argument that these programs are huge money-spinners for the school. I think the data show that, if nothing else, that the financial benefits are not exactly clear-cut.

          2. Most universities lose a ton of money due to football. Football is keeping most athletic departments that play it in the red, and the reason, for the most part, is the ridiculous salaries the coaches and “support staff” demand. Check this out and you just might cry…


            1. Than link doesn’t prove that at all. It links to a USA Today report on overall athletic budgets. It doesn’t break out football from the other sports.

              1. No, but look at a few of them. You’ll see plenty of cases where even in the best cases — i.e., mens basketball and football programs at D1 schools — plenty are not even breaking even.

                1. I know they are not. But they are not breaking even because they have to carry a ton of non-revenue producing sports.

                  1. John is absolutely right on this one. My father was the head of budget planning for a large state school with top 25 basketball and football programs. The basketball and football programs made a shitload of money through tickets, merchandise, and private donations. It was due to having to use football and basketball revenue to subsidize other sports like soccer, gymnastics, volleyball, etc. that the athletic department only broke even.

                    1. Kiwi Dave is right on target, though. Regardless of whether they make money or not, the state should not be financing them in the first place.

                      This really annoys me at the junior high / high school level. They talk about all the cuts the schools are going to have to make, yet sports never seem to make it on the list. Well, schools exist to teach academics, not sports. If the kids want to play, fine – I have no problem with that. But their parents can pay for it – there’s no reason why taxpayers should have to finance their damn hobby.

                    2. If the sports activities turn a profit, the state isn’t financing them; rather the sports activities are financing the state!

                      But in any case, I don’t see any problem with public schools having sports programs (or bands, or debate teams, or math teams, or other extracurricular activities). These things have been traditionally part of the Academy concept.

                      Now, I don’t think we should have public schools at all — but given that we have them, there’s nothing wrong with having extracurricular activities funded by them.

                    3. Hear! Hear! It’s good to read someone else say this. I’ve been saying the exact same thing for the last twenty years, but I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness. When the local schools have budget problems, people show up at board meetings demanding that the problem be solved by cutting back the chemistry program or the foreign language program. Just don’t touch our sports! Morons.

                    4. I clicked on the reply link to BakedPenguin’s post, but for some reason my comment was placed further down.

  10. This is what our ancestors fought and died for?

    1. That and unlimited free health care.

      1. And eminent domain.

        1. And the War on [Some] Drugs!

    2. Don’t forget carbon cap-and-trade!

  11. Ah, another alumni-funded generation of entitlement-addicted endorsement whores. If we’re lucky only a few will be rapists.

    1. It’s funny because it’s true.

  12. Hmmm.

    I wonder exactly what article of the Constitution empowers the federal government to be regulating college football?

    1. That would be Article 7, section are you serious?

    2. The Commerce Clause. It regulates everything, apparently.

      1. Yep. Everything else in the Constitution is superfluous.

        1. Why they even bothered with that “We the people…” shit is beyond me.

  13. Did they ‘take action’ yet on the blown call for the perfect game!?
    I mean, let’s get the priorities straight here!

    1. Yup.…..oclamation

      “Michigan Governor Proclaims Armando Galarraga Pitched Perfect Game Despite Blown Call”

      1. I guess there it’s impossible to satirize government officials; they *are* their own caricatures.

  14. Fuck the NCAA. I hope this breaks the monopoly that profits off the indentured servitude of young atheletes, and ends the illusion that a college education is worthy compensation for the millions of dollars of profit a major university can see from a sports program.

    1. When jocks start protests about their “indentured servitude”, I’ll place a little more credence in that argument.

      1. And with the exception of football, they can all go pro after one year if they don’t like it. And no one tells them they have to play sports in college. They could pay for college themselves like everyone else.

        1. Kind of a big exception, huh? 50+% of the money?

        2. I hate to nitpick but Baseball players can get drafted out of highschool but if they choose to go to college they can’t go pro again until the end of their junior year.

          1. However, these “cans” and “can’ts” are all products of the rules of the pro leagues, who’ve formed a cartel with the colleges.

    2. I’d like to see the end of college athletics to. But not because of any alleged “millions of dollars of profit” that any college may be making.

      For the vast majority of schools athletic programs (incliuding football) are a net drain on revenues and a serious distraction from the core mission. Even the possible boost in alumnae donations that they supposedly attract is highly overrated.

      Mind you with the status of the modern American University as a vocational training institution, the same could be said of about fifty percent of the academic classes taught there as well.

      1. QFMFT. The fact that any public money goes to fucking sports is insane. Unfortunately, rather than fight it, the arts crowd has simply used it to get their own welfare goodies.

        Isaac and I got to witness this first hand, when Orlando gave multi-billionaire rich deVos $400 MM for a new stadium, to be built in tandem with a new arts center.

        1. I haven’t seen the arts center yet. I remember some drawings the city put out in the late 80s/early 90s for one on the site across Orange Ave from the City Hall.

          I always thought they included the arts center to get the NPR listening crowd on board with new O-rena. I doubt it will ever actually come to fruition.

          I always wondered WTF UCF needed a stadium for given that the T-Bowl (or whatever the fuck they call it now) is available most of the time and perfectly adequate for home games (as long as city cops can keep from shooting campus cops, that is).

          1. You guys just don’t like Amway.

            1. The same could be said for anyone who is not an Amway “Distributor”.

      2. Aw, come on, Isaac!

        You know there is a huge market for Mayan Studies majors.

      3. ACADEME, n.
        An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.
        ACADEMY, n.
        [from ACADEME] A modern school where football is taught.

      4. Even the possible boost in alumnae donations that they supposedly attract is highly overrated

        That’s because most of the donations come from male alumni, not alumnae.

        Also, it’s been stated before that Title IX is a large drag on budgets.

  15. Can they use antitrust laws to prevent Brazil from winning yet another World Cup?

    (Please note that I know nothing about soccer, and have no idea if Brazil is favored to win)

  16. Nobody listens to me anymore.

    *sniff, sniff*

  17. Maybe we should privatize education, and let the individual schools succeed or fail on their ability to satisfy their customers….

    Naah, that would never work.

  18. Meh. Until you can get the state(s) out of the business of subsidizing universities in the first place, don’t whine about the details. Let’s get a handle on, I dunno, the endless stream of federal subsidies needlessly inflating the cost of a college education first. Or the existence of the Dept of Education.

    That said, Grassley is an ass for assuming this is any of his fucking business. I’m just waiting for the dust to settle so I can figure out what conference my teams are going to be in this fall. If Texas doesn’t play Oklahoma and A&M every year, though, Deloss Dodds head may end up on a stick outside Belmont Hall.

    1. Well, this fall they’ll still be in the Big-12. The moves won’t happen until the 2012 season. Lots of sources are saying Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are a “done deal” to go to the Pac-16 (or whatever it will be called) with CU and… ?? A&M is the lone hold-out right now for a number of reasons.

    2. The Texas-OU game is fine.

      A&M can take their little brother syndrome to the SEC and never be on another Texas schedule in any sport before the sun swallows the earth as far as I am concerned.

      And as for the money whiners, the Texas athletics department is self-supporting.

  19. People should keep in mind how the NCAA started. Intercollegiate sports began as an entirely student-organized affair — what would be called club sports today. But when football became more prominent, it eventually ran into opposition. It’s not clear whether the anti-football forces would’ve stopped at kicking football off campus, or would’ve tried to regulate it with commissions having the power of states behind them (like boxing). The NCAA was formed as the culmination of the effort to appease the anti-football forces, which involved the creation of varsity (i.e. official school) sports as we know them today.

    So it was pretty much a choice between sucking of the gov’t teat and becoming an outlaw activity. Today they’re strong enough to tell gov’t to shove it, but now they don’t want to.

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