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Bill to keep Oregon teams out being punted

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon State Sen. Ryan Deckert, D-Beaverton, is
ready to punt a bill that would bar Oregon and
Oregon State from
appearing in college football's Bowl Championship Series.

Deckert, who introduced the bill because of his disdain for the
college football ranking system, says he will instead offer a
non-binding resolution that puts the BCS on notice without
penalizing Oregon schools.

"I feel that's the right tone right now," Deckert said
Thursday.

The BCS, a confederation of the major college football
conferences, uses the ranking system to decide which teams play in
the major bowl games and select the two teams that compete for the
national championship.

Pac-10 Conference fans have been miffed at some recent
pairings, including the 2001 decision that denied Oregon a shot at
the national championship.

More recent choices have bumped other Pac-10 teams out of bowl
or championship games, denying the conference the large payouts
that come with major bowl appearances. The conference splits that
revenue among all teams, meaning less money went to both the UO and
OSU.

That's what inspired Deckert to write Senate Bill 416. After
reciting a litany of grievances against the bowl series, the bill
declares BCS games off limits to the two Oregon schools beginning
with the 2008 season.

That soon caught the attention of Oregon officials, who went into a
quick huddle and decided to run a blocking pattern. University
President Dave Frohnmayer is playing a role in a current effort to
reform the BCS.

"We have talked to Sen. Deckert at great length and he
understands what our concerns are," said Dan Williams, Oregon's
vice president for administration. "It is our expectation that
this bill may not move out of committee."

The bill has also lost one of its co-sponsors. Sen. Floyd
Prozanski, D-Eugene, signed onto the bill thinking Deckert had
cleared it with the universities; when he found out that wasn't the
case, he withdrew his name and support.

Prozanski said he won't support a resolution without hearing
Frohnmayer's view. And Deckert said the university president's role in the
BCS reform effort played a role in his desire to limit the
legislation to a nonbinding resolution.

Deckert isn't the only legislator wanting to tackle the BCS. A
California lawmaker has filed a non-binding resolution calling for
the dissolution of the BCS, and a Texas legislator has proposed a
law that would ban schools in that state from playing in a BCS game
once at least four other states join the ban.