College Football's BCS Hires Ari Fleischer

(CBS)
College Football's Bowl Championship Series has turned to Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary to President George W. Bush, to spiff up its image.

The much-debated BCS is facing organized opposition in the form of a federal political action committee "dedicated to discarding the Bowl Championship Series and instituting a competitive post-season championship for college football."

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) have backed the PAC effort, calling the BCS ranking system "arbitrary and anti-competitive," "fundamentally unfair" and "a farce."

Opponents want the BCS ranking system, which relies in part on polls and complicated data calculations to determine the top teams in the country, replaced with a more traditional playoff system. They say the current system effectively freezes out teams that do not come from the bigger conferences.

Politico, which first reported Fleischer's hire, quotes the former press secretary saying, "Playoff advocates have had an easy ride where they have never been called on to explain exactly how they would create an alternative."

"While the BCS has its share of critics, once people see both sides of the issue, they will see why the system has its great support," he said.

Fleischer currently oversees a firm that trains athletes and sports organizations, including Major Leage Baseball, on media relations.

Matthew Sanderson, the spokesman and co-founder of the PAC trying to bring down the BCS, told Politico "the BCS needs a hired mercenary to sell" what he characterizes as an "arbitrary system" opposed by most college football fans.

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