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House Republicans and Democrats Agree: Protect College Football

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Hall of Fame Coach Barry Switzer, GE CEO Jeff Immelt, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey at the Congressional College Football Caucus’ kickoff event in September. Photo: williams.house.gov

Jeffrey Immelt is the CEO and Chairman of General Electric and is getting the National Football Foundation’s 2016 legacy award which should come as no surprise. Immelt played football at Dartmouth and went onto a career with General Electric which owned NBC at one point. NBC poured money into college football.

But there is something else in Immelt’s resume. In the news release announcing the award in a New York ceremony in December was this little nugget. Immelt, who has served on the National Football Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2012, was also important in the National Football Foundation’s creation of the first-ever Congressional College Football Caucus which took place in September in Washington, D.C.

That’s right college football not only has a lobbying presence on Capitol Hill but has a spot inside the building where the people’s business takes place. Texas Republican Roger Williams is the co-chair of the bipartisan committee which job seems to be to protect the best interests of college football’s revenue stream. Williams said all the committee wants to do is promote the game.

Of course, there is that pesky concussion and brain injury issue and whether football is safe, but Williams has left that to secondary status, “The main issue is look at all the futures and all the scholarships and all the education value it has.”

Alabama Democrat Terri Sewell is the co-chair. Just what issues that the committee will discuss is unknown except that college football is the greatest show on earth and no changes should be made and yes, the game is safe and yes, the players, who are the stars of the show should shut up play and be grateful that they got a scholarship and not worry about the possible long term effects of football injuries.

Still there is question that should be asked. Why is Congress protecting the best interests of college football?

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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