Again, I want to be very clear to everyone. This is going to be a long, long and difficult and expensive process. There is a lot of power on the side of the incumbents. Which of course , as anyone who really knows me will tell you, is exactly the type of challenge I like to undertake. I may not win all of them, but there is quite a bit of satisfaction in taking on Goliath. This undertaking is no different. Win or lose (and i hate to lose) , it will be worth the journey.
I wanted to post the first update here on my blog, but going forward I will post them on facebook on this page. Why ? Because when people “like” the page I can communicate with them in the future. I don’t have a direct means of communicating from the blog. I can only “broadcast” my thoughts. The Facebook page allows me to post, respond to user posts and allows others to post their thoughts as well. Plus, I can pop the HDNet name and logo in there and get a shameless plug in for our network.
So on the the first order of business – our first roadblock.
Believe it or not among the hundreds of emails I got from everyone from those of you with playoff plans, to lobbying firms to Athletic Directors of major schools to those looking to volunteer to help to alums volunteering with withhold or donate more to help the cause, I also received this :
“Dear Mr. Cuban:
My advise is, don’t waste your money. There are three perfected alternatives to the BCS. I own one, a guy with CBS owns another
and a guy in Arizona owns the third. By that, I don’t mean the screw-ball ideas you see on the internet, but actual branded
I am represented by a major law firm in Washington D.C., as are other stake holders. The problems are insurmountable
and too many to delineate here
****Im leaving out some of his comments on why he thinks the playoffs wont work in order to get to the important stuff ******
*** Here is the “meat” of his email:
You should also consider that the playoffs are already owned by someone, as in, the patent for resolving the FBS championship by way of a playoff was issued long ago. It’s called a method patent, so be careful not to infringe it.
Anyway, if you want to know who owns assets in this field, let me know. I can put you in touch with one of my attorneys who can let you know what you’re in for. It’s much more complex that it’s commonly understood to be.
There you have it. In this great country of ours some one thinks they can patent a solution to this problem. Mind you, they aren’t saying they can do anything about it. They are not saying they even tried. Nor are they saying they are going to try to solve this problem and invest time and money. They are merely saying that they got the patent office to approve their idea and if anyone wants to try to solve this problem they have to go through them and their high powered patent attorneys.
The President of the United States wants a playoff system, and so does almost every college football fan, but forgettaboutit because there is a method patent on it.
This obviously is a symptom of a much bigger problem in this country where people who have no intention of solving a problem or building a business but want to get paid by those that do, leverage the courts as patent trolls in order to extort money. If you talk to anyone in the technology industry they will tell you that Patent Trolls are creating far more cost and uncertainty in doing business than any tax code could ever.
Maybe this effort to create a playoff system for college football can also solve a huge problem that is hampering the economy and adding to the unemployment rate as companies keep money in the bank to fight patent trolls and pay ever increasing insurance rates instead of hiring people. Am I sure this is happening ? Absolutely because we are facing the same issue in two of my companies. We continuously get sued by various patent trolls and spend money on lawyers and insurance rather than hiring new people or giving raises. And I hate it.
Sorry to get off on a tangent and back on my soapbox, but getting this email really hit a nerve and it gives me even more motivation !
Keep the emails coming. If you know of any Conference Commissioners or personnel, college football coaches, any university Athletic Directors, Asst ADs, University or College Presidents, major donors or any other stakeholders, encourage them to email me as well. I am in the information gathering and learning stage and want as much information and feedback as I can get. The challenge is not what the playoffs might look like. The challenge is what are the parameters or incentives that would make each conference and/or school gladly become part of a playoff system.
The best one I have heard so far ? A Student Experience Fund for the Southeastern Conference. Not a scholarship fund, but a Student Experience Fund. Someone suggested that I put up $50mm dollars to be made available to current SEC students in the amount of up to $3,000 for them to use on unique projects sponsored and endorsed by a professor. It can be anything that the professor feels enhances the overall education of the student. It is a one time grant. A student can not receive more than one. It can not be used for tuition, room or board. How many such grants are given out in any given year would be left to the discretion of the Schools in the Conference. As would the allocation among schools. I’m fine with the Commissioner of the SEC running the fund.
Why the SEC ? For obvious reasons. But it was also suggested that this offer also be made to a second conference on a first come first serve basis.
What does everyone think about the idea ? What ideas do you have that create a unique and compelling educational opportunity for students that can be tied to a playoff system ?