Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Stoops speaking truth on playoff committee
By David Ubben
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops turned heads with an eye-popping quote on Monday, but his most sensible quote unfortunately got overshadowed.
Asked if media should serve on the selection committee for the college football playoff, Stoops was short, succinct and headline-making.
"Oh, hell no," he told reporters.
The Oklahoma coach has never been the biggest fan of the folks who cover his team, but his quote was juicy and the "made for Twitter" fodder spread quickly.
"Regardless of what you want to say about your journalistic integrity, you have agendas. You in your local area, you have a team that's undefeated and you vote a one-loss team ahead of them and you're going to pay the price for it and you're gonna think about it," Stoops told reporters.
"Who doesn't have an agenda? You tell me."
Stoops is firmly anti-media on the panel, but he was on the money when he addressed the biggest problem the playoff faces for now: Filling the 15-20-person committee. Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer told The Oklahoman last year that he would love to do it, but anyone is kidding themselves if they think former coaches or administrators have lesser agendas than local media.
Stoops, though, isn't among those.
"(Athletic directors) have too much of a stake in it," Stoops said. "Coaches have too much of a stake in it. We all have agendas, and/or (want to) protect our conference. It doesn't work."
There's no good answer, and I can guarantee that whoever lands on the committee will cause a storm with somebody. It's inevitable and unavoidable. Whoever's on that committee will be braver than I, too.
"I don't know what's a good answer to that to be quite honest with you," Stoops said.
I'm not sure anybody does. There's no easy solution. Personally, I think national media makes the most sense for college football's purposes. Point to agendas if you'd like, but a media member's reputation would be staked on how it participated in that committee, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone anywhere who tracks the game closer and would be better informed on teams across conferences.
However, it also presents a lot of ethical issues for media folks who sign up to do it.
The argument that media should "report the news, not make it" holds up a ton of weight here, and I won't stand in the way of any media members who don't wish to vote for the Heisman or any other awards.
There's no easy solution here. The only sure thing is a whole bunch of people will be mad about the committee, no matter who is on it.