Blog Entry

Utah AG Shurtleff wants legal help in BCS lawsuit

Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:41 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The last time we checked in on Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff's increasingly quixotic attempt to tear down the BCS with an antitrust lawsuit, he was hoping to find other state AG's who might join as co-plaintiffs. He hasn't had much luck there.

He's also asked for help from the U.S. Department of Justice, which has made some noise about stepping in for a look at college football's antitrust status but hasn't yet seemed to do much more than basic fact-finding.

None of this has swayed Shurtleff from what he sees as his appointed mission, though, and he was back in headlines Wednesday when he began soliciting law firms to make up the legal team necessary to bring the suit. As the Salt Lake Tribune reports:
“There are serious antitrust violations in the BCS system that are robbing taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Shurtleff said in a prepared statement on Wednesday. “Putting together the strongest legal team from around the country will give us the best chance at bringing equity back to college football.”

Wednesday’s query is the second time Shurtleff has put out a “request for information” to law firms that handle antitrust cases. He first announced he was seeking requests for proposals in April. His latest pursuit to find a law firm to take the case is through BidSync (, where interested firms can file responses until Aug. 8.

Shurtleff's over-the-top statement (since when did college football ever have "equity"?) is met by an equally over-the-top statement from Bill Hancock, the BCS executive director. But rather than focus on either side's posturing, the better question is: Will Shurtleff actually be able to bring the suit?

Though there's been some doubt whether he'd have the financial muscle going it alone, a spokesman for his office says the suit is "right on track" to be filed this fall.

We remain somewhat skeptical. But with the DOJ paying some kind of attention and Shurtleff seemingly as committed than ever, it might be time to stop dismissing Shurtleff's chances of getting his day in court. He still needs the legal help he requested yesterday, of course, and a lot of other things (and that's before we even discuss his chances of winning if the suit is brought). But if he is indeed "on track," his story is one that will have to be followed this college football season.


Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: July 2, 2011 5:09 pm

Utah AG Shurtleff wants legal help in BCS lawsuit

Well. that's the point.  The restraint of trade was so pervasive that Utah and TCU both had to join BCS conferences in order to survive.  Its like when Microsoft forced all the box manufacturers to include an installed version of Explorer with every computer sold.  In order to survice, a school should not be forced to play in a particular conference. Boise State felt the repercussions last year when it lost one game.  The BCS decides who goes to the bowl games and imposeses monetary and performance restrictions upon non BCS schools.  That is illegal and is a textbook justification of anti-trust legislation.   In addition, schools do not pay taxes on the millions received when it goes to a BCS bowl game.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: July 1, 2011 6:49 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 3:44 am
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Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: July 1, 2011 2:45 am

Utah AG Shurtleff wants legal help in BCS lawsuit

It's hard to fault Shurtleff for trying so hard to get his beloved mormon church school to the big boy table. But the truth is they never will be invited, and Shurtleff knows it. So litigation is the only way that Provo Community College or also known as The University of Discrimination will have any fighting chance of ending the BCS. The ironic part of this mess, is that the fake 1984 National Championship that went to PCC/UofD is the very reason why the BCS was created. Silly Cougars, go enjoy the twenty leagues you just joined trying to be important. What a mess, who would want to be in the WAC/WCC/Independent 3.1 leagues?  

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2011 6:48 pm

Utah AG Shurtleff wants legal help in BCS lawsuit

Where's Mark Cuban's money he offered to throw at breaking the BCS? That dude could finance one heck of a legal team and finally make college football into what it COULD be with a playoff system.

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 2:21 pm

Utah AG Shurtleff wants legal help in BCS lawsuit

I'm sure all those financially strapped states are just jumping at the chance to spend taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit.  Good luck with that!

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