SBD/28/Collegiate Sports

FOUR MORE AND STILL NO PLAYOFF GAMES TO GO: ABC UPS BCS DEAL

          ABC and the BCS have agreed to exercise the three-year
     option of their current contract along with an additional
     one-year extension through the 2006 season (See THE DAILY,
     1/27).  In Atlanta, Tony Barnhart reports the extension
     "will bring more dollars" to the BCS by raising ABC's
     current annual payment from $78M to "about" $100M.  The per-
     team payout of the four BCS bowl "is expected to jump" from
     $12.5M to "more than" $15M (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/28).  
          WHEEL-ER IS STILL TURNING: ISL VP/College Athletics Jim
     Wheeler, whose company was proposing a playoff format, said
     that by opting for the current agreement over ISL's plan,
     the BCS is "letting $600 million pass" from 2003 to 2006. 
     SEC Exec Associate Commissioner Mark Womack "admitted that
     ISL was offering more money than ABC," but said that the gap
     in payments "is not as wide as it seems when ISL's proposal
     is fully analyzed."  Womack: "Everybody evaluated the ISL
     proposal and discussed it over the past year, but upon full
     evaluation, we felt it was in our best interest to extend
     with ABC."  Womack added that there was "little interest" in
     a playoff among member of the BCS  (N.Y. TIMES, 1/28).  USA
     TODAY's Wieberg & Carey write that the Big 10 and Pac-10
     will "have to soften their anti-playoff stands," as "some
     shift might have been signaled this month" when the Div. I
     BOD "instructed NCAA President Cedric Dempsey to continue to
     discuss ISL's now-tabled playoff proposal."  Wheeler feels
     hie is "making headway" (USA TODAY, 1/28). 

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