Three months ago, the American Football Coaches Association caused somewhat of a shitstorm when they announced that they would seal their final Coaches Poll votes in 2010, ending five years of glasnost in that regard. Being that the poll plays a significant part in determining who gets to play for a near $20M payout, the outrage, in our eyes, was justified.
Sports Illustrated agrees. And then some. In a great Andy Staples piece, the organization announced plans lob FOIA requests at the participating coaches that are working at public universities:
So beginning Tuesday, SI.com will file records requests with the employer of each of the 51 public school coaches who vote in the 2009 poll. If the schools comply with the law, we should get a look at every ballot. Legal action may be required if schools refuse to comply, but if a recent case involving Florida State and the NCAA is any indication, judges likely will support the people asking that highly paid public employees be held accountable for their actions. Every ballot we receive will be published.
He goes on to highlight past quasi-shenanigans such as the slide of the Ducks on 2004, Missouri topping Oklahoma in 2007 despite the Sooners taking two from the Tigers that year and finally Tressel's move with his final ballot of 20061.
It's true that the collective results haven't produced an avoidable controversy in some time and universities will figure out clever ways to avoid compliance, but it's the principle here in my eyes. Every chink in the wall of the cartel that routinely excludes unbeaten teams from championship contention is a good chink.
- 1 I still don't know why what Tressel did makes for such controversy. The guy basically did what any responsible party would do and he recused himself from the situation. He showed no favoritism for or against his own conference mate and that's the right play despite what Wolverine or Gator fans might feel (in their vapid little hearts).