CHICAGO –– Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer expressed his concerns with the new College Football Playoff system during day two of the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago.
Meyer said Tuesday that while he believes the new system will be “great,” he worries about “fan fatigue, student-athlete fatigue and student-athlete family fatigue.”
“We were talking about that at dinner last night,” Meyer said. “If I am (OSU senior defensive lineman) Michael Bennett’s family, and we go on a nice run, you can plan on spending $20,000 going to the Big Ten Championship Game, going to the semi-final game and going to the championship game.”
Meyer said he was worried about his players’ families’ ability to watch their sons play and said he believes something needs to be done.
“I think the NCAA — that needs to be addressed,” Meyer said. “How is that family going to not go watch their kid play? If I was on that committee I would have addressed that first.”
Meyer went as far to say that be believes the players should be involved.
“I think the student-athlete should have a say-so in that,” Meyer said. “It is not just a commissioner’s role. I got a feeling their families will go for free to the national championship game but my starting centers can’t? That’s not right.”
Bennett said he thinks the playoff will be fun, but had not yet thought about the cost of travel for families.
“That is three big vacation trips in about a month,” Bennett said. “That would be something that families have got to save up for and a lot of families won’t be able to afford.”
College Football Playoff Chief Operating Officer Michael Kelly said he was excited about the playoff process, and said that the semi-final and national championship festivities will be similar to those in years past.
“We’re going to take the former template of the BCS National Championship game week and transfer that into the College Football Playoff semifinal week,” Kelly said. “And by that they’ll be in town for six nights, but the first half of the event and activities in the community will be front loaded. They’ll have a great time. They’ll enjoy that.”
Meyer said he is not so sure.
“The kids get to go but the parents have to pay,” Meyer said. “They (parents) drive in the day of the game and they watch the game, and they go home.”
Meyer said he believes that a “very small percentage” of his players’ families would be able to afford to travel to the bowl games and “do it the right way.”
Bennett said he believes some money could be given to players’ families so that they could attend their sons’ games.
“I think that would be nice, and not too much to ask for,” Bennett said of possible funding for the families. “It is not like they need anything extravagant, but to be able to see their children play in big time games instead of having to pick and choose. You don’t want to watch the Big Ten Championship and not have money to watch the national championship.”
Meyer said he is not sure if the issue has been addressed yet, but believes it needs to be.
“Doesn’t it have to?” Meyer said. “It might have been already discussed. I am hoping it has been. I have not sat in those meetings.”
Meyer’s Buckeyes are scheduled to begin the 2014 season at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., against Navy Aug. 30. Kickoff is set for noon.
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