Blog Entry

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

Posted on: April 13, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 10:28 pm
Twenty-one economics, sports management and anti-trust experts have sent a letter to the Justice Department asking it to look into legality of the BCS.

While this isn't huge news -- opponents have attacked the BCS on anti-trust issues for years -- it comes at a time when the system seems to be somewhat vulnerable. The Fiesta Bowl will meet with a BCS task force on April 23 in Chicago as part of an ongoing investigation. The meeting has been characterized as "information sharing." Ultimately, the bowl basically must justify why it should stay in the BCS after an in-house review revealed vast wrongdoing and lavish spending. John Junker was fired as Fiesta executive director after it was revealed there may have been illegal campaign contributions. 

Here is the letter. It is interesting to note that only four of the 21 signatories are from BCS institutions. The highest profile member is economist Andrew Zimbalist who has been a critic and knowledgeable analyst of the college power elite.

" ... the core issue is that six conferences have bear hugged the goodies and agreed to run things for their mutual benefit," Len Simon told the Wall Street Journal. Simon, one of the 21, is an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego which has been in the news recently.  

The BCS has consistently maintained that it is not in violation of anti-trust laws. 

"The Justice Department has been asked to do that [look into the BCS] before," said Bill Hancock, BCS executive director. "We have not heard a word from Justice. I think that is because they know the BCS complies with the law."

Alan Fishel, counsel for the Mountain West and Boise State responded: “I think it’s rather presumptuous of the BCS to make that assumption. To my knowledge, the Department of Justice has yet to make a determination regarding this matter.”  

Eighteen months ago, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah sent a letter to President Obama asking him to urge the Justice Department to look into BCS anti-trust issues. A Justice official wrote back in January 2010 saying it was deciding whether to proceed. That caused much consternation among BCS types. If nothing else, the fact that Justice showed mild interest was a lot more threatening than just dismissing the matter. As recently as June, Hatch was urging Justice to investigate

Hatch's stance is notable because it was around that time that the University of Utah, in the senator's home state, was being admitted into the Pac-10 which is a BCS conference.

The comments by two officials from last year indicate that the BCS will not be given special treatment:

Hatch asked the head of Justice's anti-trust division, Christine Varney, and Federal Trade commission chairman Jonathan Leibowitz: “Would the fact that these issues revolve around college sports keep the Justice Department from bringing a case” (against the BCS)? 

Varney: “Senator, my view is that sports are business.  They’re a big business, whether they’re in college or out of college…  All of these enterprises are subject to the antitrust laws. We will obviously investigate, thoroughly pursue, and bring the appropriate action against any enterprise whether it’s sporting or otherwise that’s in violation of the antitrust laws.”

Leibowitz: “When Senator DeWine and Senator Kohl took over the Antitrust Subcommittee in, I think, 1997 and I was one of the staff directors, the first hearing we did was on the BCS. And at that time it seemed to us, and you know this, that it was a bunch of big, large competitors who got together … and excluded some of the little guys.”

Hancock added the Fiesta investigation won't be finished by the time of the annual BCS meetings April 26-28 in New Orleans.
Category: NCAAF

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:41 pm

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

The government cannot force a playoff. However, they can declare that this system is illegal.  What happens next is anyone's guess.

If you mean Congress of the President, no.

Supreme Court can declare it illegal.

Congress can pass legislation making it illegal.

The President can ask the Attoney General to investigate to make sure there are no illegal activities.

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: April 15, 2011 8:03 am

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

the BCS schools will just leave the NCAA. O i am sure there will be a few teams added . the B-12 and the Big East will have to get to 12 teams each. but there isn't a law against them leaving. The schools that will be left out will have a chance to win the 1st NCAA D-1 playoff. tho there will only be 60 teams and I doubt anyone watches the games. HAHAHA people are so dumb.

Since: Jul 8, 2007
Posted on: April 15, 2011 12:23 am

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

Stupid comment

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 11:02 pm

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

Diff: Back in the day most schools played as Independents. Teams like BC, PSU, WVU, Pitt, Rutgers would compete for the Lambert trophy awarded to the best team in the East. If you go back to 1980 you had roughly 43 that competed as Independents. Teams were basically forced to join a conference due to the fact that scheduling in the future would be next to impossible. Advance the clock 15 years forword after that and the BCS was formed.

The current system has 6 conferences that dictate what is going on and the other 5 spend their days getting bye on the crumbs left over. Recently the BCS allows for a game against a 1-AA school to count twords the 6 win total to make it to a bowl game. Once this rule was passed that marked the end of BCS programs playing upstart mid majors like Boise, Utah, TCU, UCF, Ect Ect.

Im sure most of these Mid major types would enjoy games against the nations best however its the nations best that dictate their own scheduling not the mid majors. Fresno States motto is anyone, anyplace, anytime, and once they deafeated a few Big 10 teams the motto became we aint playin them no more. 

Face facts the big boys call the shots its their place, their refs, their crowd, and under no circumstance no home and home. If Boise were offered a shot to split 54 million or the less than 5 million they currently receive I know there dumb out west but I bet they roll the bones and go with the 54 million and take a chance competing against such powers like Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, and Northwestern. Considering that the year before last The Big 10 had a total of 4 schools with winning records and their conference champion was taken down by TCU this year in the Rose Bowl I somehow think Boise would not be loosing any sleep if they were competing against the Big 10. As a fan I would like to see the games and if the Big 10 should win so be it I would tip my hat to them but please stop whining about scheduling when the Big 10 controls who they play. By the way good luck against South Dakota, Towson State, UMass, and Eastern Michigan.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 6:08 pm
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Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 6:07 pm
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Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 2:48 pm

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

As a Boise fan, I have no complaints about Boise getting left out in 2010.  Boise lost a game it needed to win.  Period.  Of course, the rules are different when a team is a nonAQ.  It's pretty much one loss and you are out.  Oklahoma could lose twice to A & M and Mizzou, Ohio St., VT, & Arkansas could have losses as well, but it didn't matter.  OU still got a chance to play a very inferior 5 loss UCONN team for their $18 million payday.  Of course, UConn got screwed over because they didn't sell their ticket allotment and had to pay for the unsold seats, but that's another isssue.  Boise has never had a problem putting rear ends into the seats.  In the 2009/10 Fiesta Bowl, Boise fans were nearly 2/3 of the crowd in Glendale, and TCU less than 1/3 (locals the rest).  Still the Frogs as the top rated nonAQ team, got more money for the game even though Boise sold more seats and brought more viewers.  TCU ended up with almost a million dollars more than Boise, but still less than every other AQ team.

The BCS rules are pretty clear, but also terribly unfair.  Only the top nonAQ school out of all five conferences is guaranteed a spot, and then only if they are rated ahead of a BCS AQ conference champion and also ranked high enough (above #12 or #16 depending on the other teams) in the polls.  Even then, the lords of the AQ conferences obligate the qualifying nonAQ school to share its portion with all five nonAQ conferences, some 53 other teams.  Thus, the $18 million dollar share is split and split until all that is left for the "little brothers" is somewhere between $200 and $400 thousand.  Meanwhile the AQ bottom feeders like Indiana or Washinton St.  get nearly $2 million each!

And still people wonder why the nonAQ teams complain?  It's simple, really, the BCS has carefully created a system in which the rich remain rich and the poor remain poor.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:53 am

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

My complaint is that you had schools ranked well below if not at all being paid 18 times more than Boise got because they missed a 24 yard field goal against the 12th ranked team in the country on the road. Did an unranked UConn team earn an 18 million dollar payday or a team like Virginia Tech who was beaten by Boise deserve one too?

My point is as a non BCS program you can go 11-1 and be ranked inside the top 8 all season long and the best you can get is a miilon dollar payday. meanwhile you have unranked 6 win teams getting 5 times more or in the case of the others I mentioned 18 times more again not based on performance but because they belong to a choosen conference. Why have won loss records or rankings if they have no meaning. If you wish to exclude them from the biggest paying game so be it but they should not be competing for 750,000 to a million while 6 win teams play for 5 million.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:45 am

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

You talk about earning it on the field as you whine about Boise St. getting screwed out of their big payday.  Boise had its chance to earn it on the field last season and tanked against Nevada.  TCU DID earn it on the field, ran the table, and was was awarded with a Rose Bowl appearance, earning a huge payday.  So what exactly are you complaining about?  The non-BCS team that played the best got paid big time.  The ones that didn't didn't.

So going undefeated and having the best defense with NFL caliber players only to be sent the the Rose Bowl is a reward, because of a one year EXCEPTION. In the end TCU was rewarded with nothing but money. They got no championship, in 20 years will it matter that TCU won a BCS game?

Boise lost to a very good Nevada team just like every other BCS team that had one loss. Still your a fool if you think UConn was better than Nevada or Boise. When you a non AQ you get punished for going 11-1 and Boise was probably better than TCU despite that loss. There is no such thing as earning it on the field anymore I don't know why we even call this a sport anymore. This football is a contest that has predetermined winners like fasion shows and american idol.

Yeah I just compred football to womens interest because it is that. The pretty girls in the BCS conferences always win.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:33 am

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

dcpirate28: You talk about earning it on the field as you whine about Boise St. getting screwed out of their big payday.  Boise had its chance to earn it on the field last season and tanked against Nevada.  TCU DID earn it on the field, ran the table, and was was awarded with a Rose Bowl appearance, earning a huge payday.  So what exactly are you complaining about?  The non-BCS team that played the best got paid big time.  The ones that didn't didn't.

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