How do you fix the image of arguably the most hated thing in college sports? Hire a PR guy with experience working for an unpopular entity. At least that's what the Bowl Championship Series did yesterday when it hired George W. Bush's former press secretary, Ari Fleischer.
Fleischer will try to help the BCS, which uses computer rankings to decide which college football teams play in the national championship game, in its fight against a new political action committee determined to end the BCS, Politico reports.
The new PAC—called Playoff PAC—will target the BCS with negative messaging. The group has the bipartisan backing of several big-name politicians, including Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie, a CBS News report says. Hatch's distaste for the BCS is no secret—the six-term Republican wanted a Justice Department investigation of the BCS back in July.
The BCS has been under fire since its inception. Opponents of the system argue that it's unfair and flawed and that a playoff system similar to the NCAA basketball tournament would suit football better. But proponents, like Fleischer, say the BCS computer rankings are the best option to determine the best teams in college football. Now it's Fleischer's new job to keep the BCS in place.
"While the BCS has its share of critics, once people see both sides of the issue, they will see why the system has its great support," Fleischer tells Politico.
Fleischer's hiring immediately drew strong reactions on Twitter.
"BCS hiring PR firm is like IRS hiring PR," ESPN.com's Pat Forde wrote yesterday. "Not gonna help."