The College Football Playoff management committee officially recommended expanding the playoff from four to 12 teams on Thursday, news that was largely received well by college football fans who have longed for a larger playoff field.
A pair of Senators from Connecticut, however, weren’t happy with the announcement one bit.
“The only guaranteed outcome of an expanded playoff field and longer season is more league profit that the players won’t see a dime of. It’s just another cash grab,” democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said, via USA Today. “I doubt if the fact that this will increase the risk of player injury even came up.”
CFP expansion a ‘cash grab’
The 12-team playoff proposed by the management committee would feature the six highest-ranked conference champions and then six at-large teams. The top four conference champions would then receive a first round bye, while the other eight teams play the first round at home stadiums on campuses. The final rounds would be held at bowl games or at neutral locations.
The current format, which started in 2014, features just four teams.
The proposal will be considered at a CFP meeting next month, though there is no timetable or set plan to expand to this format.
A 12-team playoff, of course, would bring in large amounts of revenue for all schools involved. Several states have passed bills that will allow college athletes to start profiting off their name, image and likeness — something the NCAA has been working with Congress to implement nationwide for some time — later this summer.
How that works with an expanded playoff field, which can also bring an increased risk of injury, is puzzling to Blumenthal and fellow Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.
“This is another example of the big-time college sports executives and administrators making decisions just to increase their own revenue, while continuing to put the needs and health of college athletes on the back burner,” Murphy said, via USA Today.
“It's crazy that the athletes who create the product have zero say in a decision as big as this, and will get none of the millions in profit that will be created by additional games. This is exactly why I introduced legislation that would help these athletes organize and collectively bargain for themselves.”
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