Blog Entry

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

Posted on: January 30, 2010 9:27 am

Ari Fleischer was hired as the BCS’ PR flack because it was assumed he knew his way around Capitol Hill.

Let’s put it this way – he better.

W’s former White House spokesman is about to earn his money. The Justice Department is threatening to look into the legality of the BCS. The word came down Friday when, incredibly, Justice responded favorably to a letter from Sen. Orrin Hatch asking for an antitrust review of the BCS.

You know Hatch. The powerful senator from Utah has been the BCS’ worst nightmare from the get go. Now it’s getting serious. A staunch Republican is getting some support from the Democratic administration. Remember when Obama kiddingly said he would “throw my weight around a little bit” in getting a college football playoff.

Maybe he wasn’t kidding.

This is not good news for the BCS which has stated its case under Fleischer with a Facebook page, a twitter account and reams of rhetoric. All of that will be mere kindling if this fire burns bright enough to bring about a Justice Department hearing.

Here’s what Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote to Hatch:

"The administration shares your belief that the current lack of a college football national championship playoff with respect to the highest division of college football … raises important questions affecting millions of fans, colleges and universities, players and other interested parties …

"Importantly, and in addition, the administration also is exploring other options that might be available to address concerns with the college football postseason.” That includes, according to the Associated Press, asking the Federal Trade Commission to review the legality of the BCS under consumer protection laws.”

Of course the BCS maintains that it is protected legally. I wrote a column last year expanding on that topic after talking to a powerful antitrust lawyer Tom Rhodes.

Rhodes' key argument remains: An antitrust fight might drag on for three-to-five years. Obama could be out of office by then. And there are a few small issues for President Playoff to fix first like unemployment and a couple of wars. The prez himself probably favors a health plan over a playoff plan.

Predictably, the BCS raised that question in its response: Doesn’t the administration have better things to do?

"This letter is nothing new and if the Justice Department thought there was a case to be made, they likely would have made it already,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “There is much less to this letter than meets the eye.  The White House knows that with all the serious issues facing the country, the last thing they should do is increase the deficit by spending money to investigate how the college football playoffs are played.  With all due respect to Senator Hatch, he is overstating this importance of the letter he received from the Office of Legislative Affairs."

One thing is sure. This issue isn’t going away soon. Ari, start spinning, baby.


Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS

Since: Apr 21, 2010
Posted on: May 5, 2010 7:45 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely"

The BCS just sickens me. Who doesn't love seeing an IVY League or huge underdog team win in college basketball? It's the best thing about March Madness. How about when George Mason made the final four? That's one of the best things that's happened in sports in a long time. Or even Butler this year, what a great story.

The Problem with the BCS is that things like that can't happen. Maybe Boise State could have defeated Alabama or Texas, or even Florida? You can argue all you want about it, but we'll never know. We'll never know. If everything in sports wasn't about money, maybe this could happen. Too bad the BCS is so corrupt that they don't care what the actual fans want. Fans? You know the people who pay $100 dollars to go see Boise State dominate they're bowl game every year. Give them a chance to win a national championship. How about the Statue of Liberty game with Ian Johnson? Bet that made some BCS people mad. 


Congrats Virginia Tech and Oregon, you showed a little bit of guts by going out and playing Boise. I truly think that last year, Boise would have defeated Florida and TCU would have dominated Cincinnati. But unfotunately, College Football is so corrupt that they wouldn't let that happen. I mean, why would they? If TCU and Boise State win, they we have to go to a playoff, it's inevitable. If the Broncos continue to get tough schedules and continue to win, they'll be in a BCS conference eventually, or who knows? Maybe they can lead us to a playoff.

Thanks BCS, for making one of the best sports in the world, especially with college kids, so corrupt and so controversial.

Since: Jul 12, 2007
Posted on: February 1, 2010 4:57 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

The BCS anti-trust is typical of where our country is going under Obama-----spread the wealth, let's get some socialism into every facit of our lives, the Federal Gov't knows best how we should live our lives.
I love how everyone blames Obama. I feel bad for the guy because no matter what he does it will be wrong in most everyones eyes. He took over after someone who burried us in the ground yet its all his fault. Dont be mad at Obama for doing the right thing. Yes there are more important things going on but we can do more than one thing at a time. The unemployment and economy are not going to be fixed overnight. That will take years. This BCS thing can be handled pretty quickly and wont be an ongoing issue if they are found to be violating trust laws.

By your logic though I guess it is wrong for soccer to get any of the football money. Using your logic there wouldnt be soccer, track & field, or golf team. Probably even baseball too. Typical republican I see. Let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Priorities, priorities.  Logic, logic.

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2010 3:30 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

Michaw, you are truly naive if you think that would happen.  If the Feds busted the BCS, it would simply dissolve, and CFB would just revert back to the old bowl system.  Then we would return to the pollsters for our "mythical" national champions every year.  Then Orrin Hatch's Utah or Boing State High would NEVER get any consideration for #1. 

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: February 1, 2010 11:23 am

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

You want a playoff?

Go watch a bunch of mulit-millionaires running around on Sundays and Mondays.

College football is the last amateur sport left in this world. Go ruin the economy or the personal lives of the rest of America with your CENTRALIZED planning schemes, COMRADE!! Leave College Football to the people who actually PAY for it. Not you fat-assed illiterate couch potatoes watching on your subsidized flat-screens in the trailer parks.
Lets see.  The NCAA has tournaments and playoffs for ALL THE OTHER AMATEUR SPORTS ... YES AMATEUR sports.  Division 3 and Division 2 and Field Hockey and Rifle and Water Polo.  And College Hockey.  they all have a playoff.

Do we need one. YES OH YES in the worst way.

Does the US Government need to be involved with this ... NO ABSOLUTELY NOT.

The only thing the US Government has done well in the past 100 years is build roads, win wars (except one), and deregulate some facets of our industries (airlines, power, etc).  Everything else FAIL. 

I am a LIBERTARIAN .. NOT IN ANY WAY associated with the Libertarian Party. but what I mean is.  Government get out of my wallet and get out of my life and give me liberty.  so in this case. Get the he!! out of the amateur sports.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2010 11:44 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

 If you were Cincinnati, TCU, or Boise St you never had a chance even though you had an undefeated season
Cincinnati is in the Big East.  A BCS conference.
Before your opinion is respected it helps to not be a moron

Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2010 11:02 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

Just another way for this jack-a$$ of a president to distract the public, from the horrible job he`s done this last year.

Since: Jul 19, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2010 10:17 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

The Rose Bowl doesn't mean everything to those 2 conferences! Are you joking?!?!?! USC got bored with the Rose Bowl a couple years ago. All of those teams would be just as content to play anywhere else in a bowl game, more importantly, a PLAYOFF. This isn't freaking 1974 anymore. Nobody cares about tradition or pageantry......true college FB fans want to know why this is the ONLY sport at ANY level of competition that doesn't decide it's champion with a playoff.

And give me a break with the "importance of the regular season will be diminshed with a playoff" BS. The NFL's regular season is a JUGGERNAUT!!! College FB's would continue to be also.

Since: Dec 24, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2010 6:34 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

If College Football changes to a playoff system, it MUST also pay the players. Also, there must be no requirement for a player to make grades or do anything that will impede his playing in a game. Not only that, the rosters must be expanded and some sort of taxi squad should be implemented. College Football is becoming more and more like an NFL minor league, so let's treat it that way by treating the players fairly.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2010 3:58 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

football is the last amateur sport left in this world.

That's funny. You should replace Leno.

Wait, you were serious? Wow. I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that happens to be for sale.

Since: Apr 3, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2010 12:41 pm

Justice Dept. getting serious about the BCS?

Why is dragging Washington into college football EVERYTHING the answer to "We don't like this"?  Fixed it for you.  Welcome to the post-partisan, post-racial, most transparent administration evah!!

You have a problem?  The answer is always

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