Montgomery Advertiser: Think the ‘BCS 15’ are bad? Think again

January 16, 2011

Think the ‘BCS 15’ are bad? Think again

by Josh Moon

January 16, 2011

We have a few problems around this state.

We’re essentially broke, with a large budget shortfall. Our schools, while improving, are still well below average. And the health of the state’s citizens would be considered average only in a Third World country.

On top of all of that, we just learned that numerous state lawmakers have been accused of participating in a bribery scandal in which investigators have recorded hours of conver sations that they allege will prove electronic bingo hall owners, through their reps, bought votes for bingo-friendly legislation.

I point all of this out because it has become painfully obvious that very few people care about any of it. People see the reports in the newspaper or on TV, sigh, and move on to something happier.

That is, until last week when a group of 13 state lawmakers, including Montgomery’s Jay Love, and two state officials fi nally stepped over the line by purchasing BCS National Championship Game tickets at face value through Auburn University.

And now it’s on.

You can rob people and misuse their money around here. You can take extravagant trips and have your votes blatantly purchased by special interest groups and corporations. You can live a lavish lifestyle on lobbyists’ credit cards and have a deplorable attendance mark.

But don’t you dare go messing with our football tickets.

As Auburn fans scrambled to scrape up enough cash to pay ridiculous prices at online tick et sites (tickets averaged $2,000 each), the university was dish ing out 56 tickets to 11 Republi cans, two Democrats, the dep uty director of the state’s retirement system and the state school superintendent. Most in that group were not season ticket holders at Auburn. The university limited its ticket sales to season ticket holders and longtime donors. Students were forced to enter a lottery in which they “won” the right to buy the seats.

The lawmakers, dubbed by activist and businessman Jim Metrock as the “BCS 15,” were allowed to buy their tickets for between $300 and $325 — the face value of the tickets.

Full story at:

Note from Jim Metrock:  I think virtually every Alabamian I have talked to this past year would agree with Mr. Moon. Cut out everything, not just football tickets.

When I decided to take my project on I knew legislators and other public officials received lots of other things, but I knew everybody knew Iron Bowl tickets.  It was symbolic.

My project hasn’t had the success I hoped for, but it has generated some discussion across our great state and that has to be helpful.