The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) may
be the object of a nationwide class-action lawsuit if Utah Attorney
General Mark Shurtleff gets his way. The suit was inspired by the
University of Utah’s exclusion from the BCS bowls. Teams from six
football conferences automatically get berths and $18 million or more
in revenue. Those from other conferences have to be invited and don’t
get as much money.
Shurtleff hopes to get other states to participate and intends to
file the suit in June. Antitrust experts say he might have a good case.
“There is no doubt that the BCS is a near-monopoly,” said one. “There
is no doubt that it uses its power to make unequal payoffs to
conferences and schools. And there is no doubt that its opportunities
for rewards are not equal. There is a good case to be made.”
Shurtleff also may get some help from U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch
(R-UT), who has scheduled a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on
Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights. “I am not itching
to have the government get into the business of regulating college
football, but the BCS is patently unfair,” Hatch told ESPN.com. “More
than half the schools have no chance of being in the championship game.
It’s exclusionary, and it hurts the schools that are not in the big