• Rich Haglund

Using legal powers for good. Or football.

Who knew corporate bylaws could be so exciting? And what creative, visionary idea are you not pursuing because you think it's not allowed?

A recent article celebrated the genesis of today's College Football Playoff (CFP). The CFP grew out of the Southeastern Conference's (SEC) then "creative (and controversial) idea of playing a conference championship game."

Roy Kramer, the commissioner of the SEC at the time, noticed the NCAA bylaws allowed conferences to divide into divisions and play a championship game once they had 12 teams. "The bylaw was originally put in for Division III conferences," Kramer explained in the article, "but it applied to everybody."

The ideas was risky. Playing a championship meant teams risked a loss and decreasing chances of playing for the national title. At that time, the national champion won based on the votes of a committee of sportswriters, not a playoff like the format for every other NCAA championship.

The conference championship spread and the college playoff as we know it today was born. The SEC's bold decision will continue to have an impact on college athletics, particularly for conferences willing to take more risks today.

So, what creative idea have you let fall victim to assumptions about what's allowed or possible? What will you do about it, today?

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