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NO PLAYOFF, NO WAY

Nov. 29, 2004
Nov. 29, 2004

Table of Contents
Nov. 29, 2004

SCORECARD
Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus
PRO FOOTBALL
LETTERS
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
SI Players
Pro Basketball
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
MOTOR SPORTS
Tennis
  • In a spectacular flameout after he retired from tennis, Roscoe Tanner deceived his friends and family and ended up penniless and in jail. Now he hopes to heal the wounds he's inflicted and repay all his debts--but it won't be easy

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NO PLAYOFF, NO WAY

Six years ago a Swiss firm called ISL proposed a 16-team college football playoff with a rights fee of $350 million per year. Insiders were skeptical of the figure, and the proposal was quickly dismissed. "The ISL people were naive to think they could come take over something the NCAA would probably wind up running," says one network executive. "But there's no doubt that a playoff would make significantly more money than the current bowl system."

This is an article from the Nov. 29, 2004 issue Original Layout

Don't hold your breath waiting for one. "[Division I-A] presidents have completely rejected an NFL-style playoff," says Penn State president Graham Spainer. "The principal concerns have been the creation of an extra game in the schedule, the potential lengthening of the season and over-commercialization. These factors have outweighed sentiments about increased revenue. So far there has been no dollar figure that has swayed presidential thinking, and most presidents say it isn't, in the long run, about money."

Critics of the presidents' stance are quick to point out that, in the long run, many other aspects of college sports--most notably, the $600 million-per-year NCAA basketball tournament--are, in fact, precisely about money. --T.L.

COLOR PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONIllustration by Slim Films