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Florida’s Federal Lawmakers Are Going After the College Football Playoff

  • On Thursday, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) asked the CFP to schedule a briefing with his office to explain FSU’s playoff omission.
  • Earlier this week, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) wrote a letter demanding the CFP release internal communications.
Two federal lawmakers from Florida have asked the CFP for more transparency in its decision-making process after FSU's omission from the playoff.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Playoff (CFP) has now caught the ire of multiple federal lawmakers from Florida over its omission of Florida State.

On Sunday, the CFP awarded its fourth spot to Alabama instead of FSU despite the Seminoles’ undefeated record and conference title. 

On Thursday, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) followed suit and asked the CFP Selection Committee to schedule a briefing with his office to explain. Bilirakis sent the request as chair of the House Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee, which he noted has jurisdiction over “commercial practices, including sports-related matters.” 

“When there are millions of dollars hanging in the balance, and with many of these funds slated to support publicly funded schools, there must be more transparency in the process when deciding who is in and who is out,” Bilirakis said in a statement.

Bilirakis was referring to the millions of dollars the CFP awards to conferences based on their schools’ performance in the postseason, including New Year’s Six bowl appearances and the four-team CFP.

Curiously, he asked the NCAA to schedule a briefing even though it has no jurisdiction over the FBS football championship.

Bilirakis isn’t the only one. Earlier this week, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) wrote the CFP a letter demanding that they release an explanation of their decision and internal communications like emails and text messages from the committee. (As governor of Florida, Scott had declared the UCF Knights champions when the CFP left them out of the playoff despite their undefeated record in 2017.)

Other state politicians have initiated actions of their own.

Governor Ron DeSantis has allocated $1 million of the state budget to aid FSU with litigation costs should it pursue a lawsuit. State lawmakers are discussing potential legislation to protest the decision, as Front Office Sports reported on Sunday.

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