Sen. Hatch asks Obama to probe BCS

by | Oct. 22, 2009

Saints & Sports

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asked President Barack Obama on Wednesday to order the Justice Department to investigate whether college football's Bowl Championship Series violates antitrust laws.

"Mr. President, as you have publicly stated on multiple occasions, the BCS system is in dire need of reform," Hatch wrote.

He said that after reviewing testimony from a Senate hearing on the BCS earlier this year, "I believe a strong case can be made that the BCS is in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Therefore, I respectfully request that the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division look into this matter."

Hatch then outlined in a 10-page letter what he says is the legal case against the BCS.

Hatch noted that the champions of six "privileged" conferences receive automatic berths to play in one of the five big-money BCS bowl games each year. Excluded are five other conferences, which still have a chance at an at-large berth if they are ranked highly enough in several polls.

"Of the 10 available opportunities to participate in the BCS bowls, six have already been allotted to privileged conferences before the season even begins," Hatch wrote.

"However, for all practical purposes, nine of the 10 slots are ultimately reserved for the privileged conferences due to the selection criteria utilized by the BCS," he said.

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