A moment of silence, please, for the dearly departed.
The NCAA Division I Management Council granted tentative approval this week to support a proposal that will allow schools to add a 12th football game starting with the 2006 season. The legislation is expected to be approved by the NCAA Board of Directors (presidents) later this month.
By a landslide.
Major college football as we used to know it - may it Rest In Peace.
The only things missing are Paul Tagliabue, John Madden and a salary cap.
Must be the money.
These same presidents who continue to insist they can't play an additional game to determine a legitimate BCS national champion all agree they can play an additional game for money.
Forget what you've been brought up to believe about the sanctity of college athletics.
That's gone the way of the DeLorean and the T-Rex.
This isn't about presidents doing what's right for college football - doing right by their "student-athletes" who generate millions of dollars in revenue for their schools, presidents, athletic directors and coaches.
This is about those same presidents - supposed paragons of virtue - burning both ends of the candle to keep the cash flowing.
This is about Gordon Gekko moving from Wall Street to an ivory tower on campus.
Greed is good.
"From a revenue standpoint, it's a great thing, because it gives athletic departments, including ours, an opportunity for additional revenue," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel told reporters this week through a school spokesperson.
"It's an added challenge for players and coaches alike to get ready for one more game.
''It's been my experience that longer seasons, which demand increased focus and discipline, result in better academic performances."
Funny, but weren't academic concerns the reason most given for not switching to a playoff system in college football?
Didn't want to burden the kids with another game at the end of the season, right?
Evidently, playing an additional game at the start of the season is OK.
Must be the money.
Here's some advice for all you college football purists who respond to fall Saturday afternoons like the dog in that old cartoon who floated back to earth every time he ate one of his special biscuits.
Instead of writing your local congressperson, write the president of your favorite university.
Threaten to cut off all future financial contributions until serious consideration is given to a playoff system.
Imagine the impact that thousands of similar letters sent to university presidents across the country would have on making the NCAA think twice before playing fast and loose with the rules.
Don't take my word for it. Just follow the trail of $100 bills.
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