Commentary: California Ready to Chase the Dollar

 In a world where money talks and participation trophies are becoming the norm, high school football state championships appear to be the next frontier for those that believe everyone is a winner and every revenue stream should be tapped until it runs dry. 
The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) is considering a proposal to expand from five state title winners to 13, possibly as soon as next season. 
California began playing down to state champions for the 2006 season when it crowned just three winners. It expanded to five champions two years later and stands to nearly triple that number in 2015. 
The proposed change is wrapped in the usual rhetoric about fairness to players and opportunities for all. “I think right now the commissioners are finding it harder and harder to leave deserving championship teams out of the regional championships,” CIF Associate Executive Director Ron Nocetti told Mitch Stephens of the San Francisco Chronicle. 
Currently the state plays down to 48 Section champions and then a committee selects the best team in SoCal to play the best team in NorCal for the Open Division Bowl. 
Then, based on enrollment, it selects two teams from each half of the state to play in a Regional Bowl for the right to advance into its designated Division I, Division II, Division III, and Division IV Bowl games.  
It still leaves 38 teams on the outside looking in after winning their respective Section. 
It also leaves dollars on the table as those extra games generate additional revenue that goes directly to the CIF before it is split by the schools. 
Coincidentally — or conveniently — the current contract with the StubHub Center in Carson expires after this season and the CIF is accepting bids for its new site, presenting partner, and advertising.  
The proposed divisions have been reported to be: open large, 1AA, 1A, 2AA, 2A, 3AA, 3A, 4AA, 4A, 5AA, 5A, 6AA and open small.  
It continues the march of more is better. 
New Jersey has expanded to 24 winners. Texas has 10 – 21 if private schools are taken into account. Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida have all approved expanding classes over the last five years. 
Each case came with the same denial of a watered down product that California is using.  
 “I don’t think that’s the case at all,” Nocetti told Stephens. “I just see the best teams in the state getting to play each other.  
“In other state championship sports, we have teams advancing to regional finals that lose in even section finals or semifinals. Many championship football teams don’t even have that chance to advance.”  
Now everyone will get a chance to be a champion and every dollar can be collected.