Roy Exum: Can The Truth Be Biased?

Monday, October 7, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

When college football goes to a much-needed playoff system next year, we are told that a select committee of 12 to 18 experts will choose the four teams that will be invited to the college version of the Super Bowl. But who on earth is choosing the experts? This weekend it was leaked that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be asked to serve on the august group and ESPN sports commentator David Pollack immediately found himself in hot water after questioning her selection on the air.

“Now I’m going to stick my foot in my mouth, probably,” Pollack said on Saturday’s College GameDay program. “(but) I want people on this committee, guys, that can watch tape ... Yes, that have played football, that are around football, that can tell you different teams, on tape, not on paper...”

Pollack, who starred at Georgia as a player, immediately had some on the show, and who were watching, call him out. “So no woman belongs on the committee, then?” interjected host Chris Fowler and Pollack didn’t back down. “You said that … I’ll say it, yeah. Yeah.”

Miss Rice, undeniably a great American icon and a wonderful statesman, is just perfect in her present role as a political science professor at Stanford but Pollack, who is equally adept on ESPN, obviously prefers the truth over political correctness. Later in the day he tweeted, “I want people on the committee that eat, sleep & breathe college football during the season. It has nothing to do with male or female.”

ESPN reported yesterday that Ms. Rice is indeed one of those who have been selected. The others include former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning, former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Gould (the former Air Force Academy superintendent), and former NCAA executive Tom Jernstedt, who worked with the basketball tournament selection committee.

Also chosen, according to ESPN sources, are former Nebraska athletic director and coach Tom Osborne, Tyrone Willingham, the former football coach at Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington, former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, athletic directors Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin, Jeff Long of Arkansas, Oliver Luck of West Virginia, and Dan Radakovich of Clemson. Steve Wieberg, a longtime former sportswriter at USA Today, will be a media representative.

Go back and study those names. There is an old saying that if you can’t spot the sucker at a poker table, then it is probably you. So while it has nothing to do with sex or race, any of us can identify the one person who has no business being included on such a committee. That isn’t mean-spirited or biased; it is the simple truth.

Last year Ms. Rice and businesswoman Darla Moore became the first two female members of Augusta National Golf Club. They both wore their green jackets, are active golfers, and greatly enjoy being included. But let’s recognize the Masters deal for what it is – big cats who like flaunting themselves in public and doing little else than rubbing elbows one weekend a year.

In my way of thinking, there is nothing wrong with having a female or even more women on the committee if they are qualified. Perhaps the most respected is Sally Jenkins, the longtime sports columnist for the Washington Post who just helped Pat Summitt write her best-seller, “Sum It Up.” Christine Brennan is an award-winning USA Today sports columnist and Bonnie Bernstein of “Campus Insiders” is good. So is Jackie MacMullan when she appears on “Around the Horn.” There are some other women who could add to the committee, too, but spare us the sideline cupcakes. Mercy.

The truth is that Condi Rice – no matter how much we admire her – has little to warrant being on a college football committee, other than she was born in Birmingham where the game is popular and defied great odds, as many of today’s college players have done, to get where she is today.

Selecting four teams for the 2014 playoffs is going to be a lot harder than we may imagine. Look at the Top 10 teams in America and seven are unbeaten. The other three – Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU – each have one loss because another Top 10 SEC team flexed its muscle. Could Georgia beat Florida State or can Alabama stop Oregon? Those questions have tough answers and college football deserves the best experts to decide.

In my way of thinking, all political correctness does is muddle the situation, just like it does in everything else that is true and good and pure.

royexum@aol.com


Chris Henderson Has Done Plenty For Alton Park

Three years ago today, I was canvassing in Alton Park. President Obama called for a day of action to help educate people about the Affordable Care Act and Chris Anderson responded by mobilizing his campaign volunteers to spread the word in the places in his district that needed it most.   I moved here a little over three years ago and the entire time I've worked with Chris ... (click for more)

General Mills Wildflower Seed Giveaway More Hypocritical Than Glorious

I am writing in reply to Roy Exum's opinion piece from March 21, entitled "Bring the Bees Back." I agree with Mr. Exum that it’s a wonderful idea to plant wildflower seeds and do everything we can to save the bee population, but I take issue with categorizing the General Mills program as a “glorious campaign.” The truth is that unless the giant multinational food and agribusiness ... (click for more)

Boyd Says $4.1 Million In County Budget Cuts Would Yield $43.1 Million For School Projects; Proposes That CSLA Move To Dalewood

County Commission Finance Chairman Tim Boyd on Wednesday recommended $4.1 million in county budget cuts, which he said would provide bond funds for $43,150,000 in county school projects. He recommended that $250,000 of the money from the cuts go to relocating Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) to Dalewood Middle School. He said Dalewood students could move to a portion ... (click for more)

Police Shoot And Kill Sheriff's Office Employee, Daniel Hendrix After Disorder At Brainerd Home; 2 Off-Duty City Officers Were At Scene Of Altercation Where Shot Was Fired

Chattanooga Police responded to an altercation at a house in Brainerd early Wednesday morning and wound up shooting and killing an armed man, who is an employee of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Police said two off-duty Chattanooga Police officers were at the scene of the disorder in the 300 block of Shawnee Trail. A shot was fired before officers arrived at 1:26 a.m. ... (click for more)

UTC Men's Basketball Coach Under Consideration For UMass Job

UTC men's basketball coach, Matt McCall, is under consideration for the UMass job, ESPN reported.   University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford last week  announced that men's basketball head coach Derek Kellogg had been relieved of his duties.   "Decisions like this are always difficult but after a thorough review of our men's basketball ... (click for more)

Bradley Holds Off Ooltewah 3-2 In District 5-3A Play

Before this season Bradley Central’s Colton Cross had not pitched since the eighth grade. Now, the senior right-hander has found his niche as a reliever with the Bears’ baseball team. That's in addition to being the Bears' starting second baseman. Cross entered Tuesday’s District 5-3A game against Ooltewah in the seventh with Bradley nursing a shaky one-run lead. ... (click for more)