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
Comments

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:04 am
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

Maomatt: With all due respect I think you are missing out on the big picture. I am a free market guy and if Alabama builds a huge program and puts 100,000 in the seats then yes they should be able to keep what they have built. My issues have to do with the fact that you have many bottom feeders in these BCS conferences that do not try to put a competitive product on the field that will rake 10 times the cash for being a doormat than a program that trys to build something with that 13% split. Should schools like Duke, Washington State, Indiana, Minnesota rake in 6 times more money year after year than Utah, TCU, Boise, or BYU? I dont think so.

In reality what TCU, Boise, and Utah have been able to do has been freakish. Its next to impossible to run the table no matter what conference you play in and thats what it takes plus a ton of debate for these schools to get a decent payday. Boise goes on the road and beats the ACC champion Virginia Tech one of the all time highest rated games on ESPN. Boise is ranked inside the top 8 all season and it is rewarded with a 1 million bowl game. Virginia Tech gets 18 million Fair? Uconn unranked 18 million? Unranked and barely a winning record Penn State 5 million fair? In your world Butler should be thrown out of the basketball tournament because in your opinion all the world wants to see is UNC vs Duke. Why play the games then. Why keep score? Why have a won loss record.

As far as the schedules go once the BCS allows for 1 game against a 1-AA to count twords the 6 wins to make a bowl game that was the end of seeing BCS teams playing schools like BYU, UCF, Hawaii, TCU, Utah and Boise. Lets face it TCU cant dictate their schedule the way Ohio State or Alabama can so its a pointless argument. If Ohio State wanted to play Utah they could but they choose to play Youngstown State and Akron and whatever cupcake they can get to come to Columbus.

Sports should be about competition games should be won or lost on the field not in some office where a system funnels buckets of cash to a select few programs while going out of its way to restrict the flow to others.



Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:01 am
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

What is so "corrupt" about giving the people what they want to see?  Check the TV ratings of games for the past decade and you will see that most college football viewers prefer watching games that include the so-called "powers."   It is what the fans want to see, and since the power teams in power conferences are being seen then they get the lions share of the money.  Should they give it to teams that AREN'T being watched?

I don't know about the other bowls, but the games in which Boise State appeared got good ratings.  Their two BCS games outdrew the Orange Bowl, and were just a little below the Sugar Bowl.  As for "critical reviews"  The 2007 Fiesta Bowl in which Boise defeated Oklahoma was rated as the 2nd best college football game ever played by Fox Sports and won two ESPY awards from ESPN.

Last year the highest rated regular season game on ESPN was, you guessed it, the Labor Day match-up between Boise St. and Virginia Tech.  This one was the second highest ESPN game ever, behind only the Ohio St./USC game from several years ago.

As a Boise fan, I'm very proud of the product that my team puts on the field.  You never know what you're going to get: a wide-open offense, a swarming defense, a whole bunch of trick plays, and who knows, maybe even a marriage proposal?  The only trouble, when it comes to the payout, Boise always gets less money.  Oklahoma made a million dollars more than Boise did, so did V-Tech.

It turns out that with the BCS, while the underdog might win, the overdog always gets the bigger pile of loot.


diffendale
Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 6:18 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 3:12 am
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news


   BCS bashing has become the latest favorite pastime on this site, but do you even remember what it was like before that?   Bowls with conference tie ins, and a #1 vs #2 game once in a blue moon.  Before the anti-trust lawsuits of the early 80's, you woud be lucky to see a team on TV more than once a year!   The BCS changed the landscape and now even the "have nots" of the football world have a chance to play in something more lucritive than the Holiday Bowl.   If they had better schedules, they might even make the national championship game one day.


Dude your comparing the 80s with 2011 it has more to do with technology progressing than the BCS. It's not really that big of a deal to put a game on TV like it used to be. And consider the fact that just about every american that lives in a house has a TV probably and every room now. That was not the case in the 80's you can go buy a 26" digital TV for under $30 now. We live in a world that revovles around LED screens of course more peeople watch football. More people watch just about every sport than they did in the 80s.
And are you so sure BCS bashing is just on this site? Pretty sure ESPN is flooded with it to.

The BCS changed the landscape and now even the "have nots" of the football world have a chance to play in something more lucritive than the Holiday Bowl.   If they had better schedules, they might even make the national championship game one day.
For that the BCS was a good idea it created money, lots of money. But the creaters of the BCS never anticipated these one and done games paying a million dollars for a team to come lose. This eventually caused a negative effect your an Alabama fan, why does Alabama not schedule Troy anymore instead of playing D2 Alabama teams like Samford. Because Troy took that money and used it to start not being a pushover anymore. The BCS founders did not anticipate these schools like UCF, Utah, ECU, so on using BCS money to build stadiums and dorms. Or for these smaller schools to be able to actually beat the bigger schools.

The BCS was a get rich quick plan that had many flaws arise in the last five years.  Trust me college football is not going to be pretty in this system when 60 percent of the non AQ teams have 40k - 50k stadiums. More 4 star recruits are going to start going wow this place has nice facilities, I have a chance at starting, and I will be on tv.

There's enough talent to go around and it's already wasted. Like my Trojans for example we could give up a five star WR and really not miss him actually we have one that may not even start till his senior year. Now picture a five star WR at Troy. He would have been a super star, setting school records, and actually playing opposed to sitting on the bench.

This system was good but it's going to give eventually.



Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2011 1:35 am
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

The system is corrupt plain and simple. You have 6 conferences taking 87% of the revenues while the 5 other D1 conferences must survive on the remaining 13%. Over the last 2 seasons we have had 11 non BCS programs finish in the top 25 the most of any conference and tied with the SEC. The SEC raked in 54 million from Bowls alone this season while if you take TCU out of the mix the biggest payday for a non AQ program was 1.25 million.
What is so "corrupt" about giving the people what they want to see?  Check the TV ratings of games for the past decade and you will see that most college football viewers prefer watching games that include the so-called "powers."   It is what the fans want to see, and since the power teams in power conferences are being seen then they get the lions share of the money.  Should they give it to teams that AREN'T being watched?

   BCS bashing has become the latest favorite pastime on this site, but do you even remember what it was like before that?   Bowls with conference tie ins, and a #1 vs #2 game once in a blue moon.  Before the anti-trust lawsuits of the early 80's, you woud be lucky to see a team on TV more than once a year!   The BCS changed the landscape and now even the "have nots" of the football world have a chance to play in something more lucritive than the Holiday Bowl.   If they had better schedules, they might even make the national championship game one day.



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:38 pm
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

I for one am fed up with annointing teams to the Big Bowl games because these programs feel as if its their birth right. How many times do we need to see a school like Butler make it to the final before the powers that be understand that the little can play to and deserve that right if they earn it on the field isnt that what we call competition?

The former athlete in me really despised that factor of the BCS I may be a USC fan but I hate the annointed attitude teams get when they are taked with AQ status.  Like I read some USF fans comments concerning USF and I ask myself, does USF have any D1 championships or BCS victories? Or do they actually compete for a conference that isn't that good in the first place on a regular basis?

Everyone may hate USC but there's no taking away that way USC fields some great teams year in and year out. Even in one of the worst seasons this decade USC probably was better than the Big East champ and had more wins.

Giving every conference a spot in a playoff is non sense but if a team goes undefeated and they finish in the top ten it's just non sense when has happened many times and will continue to. I feel like the competetion has been taken away from half of the schools in D1 and it seems like a 120 foot race with 16 teams driving cars. (Ohio St, WV, Georgia, Oregon, Texas, USC, Virgina Tech, Nebraska, OU, ND, Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Miami, FSU,)
Excluding Boise, Utah, TCU and the Big East teams that have to go to a BCS game. How many times have we had a championship not not involving one of these teams considering there's over a hundred teams that list of teams are the only ones who really are eligble to compete for a title.

Or how many BCS games have there been not invovling those teams (excluding the welfare BCS games like TCU vs Boise) just because they were obligated to.



Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 9:01 pm
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

LSU I totally disagree with your statement that they make the money because these are the teams people want to see. If you worked for the TV networks thats what they would say as well. On Saturday morning do I really want to see Minnesota play Indiana for the golden plow? No I do not but because they play in the Big 10 they are paid a fortune and put a lousy product on the field. Given the choice I would like to see something exciting other than the 2 yard and a cloud of dust offense of the 70's we get out of the Big 10 every weekend.

If I were to use your train of thought why should 80% of the schools field a team, keep score and have a record. The games are supposed to have meaning thats why you keep score and have a won loss record. I for one am fed up with annointing teams to the Big Bowl games because these programs feel as if its their birth right. How many times do we need to see a school like Butler make it to the final before the powers that be understand that the little can play to and deserve that right if they earn it on the field isnt that what we call competition?



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:09 pm
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

"Everyone would be happy if they just keep things the way they are and force the top 12 teams to do a playoff."

Chris, you know better than that.  This is college football, and there is nothing that will make everyone happy.  Laughing



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:15 pm
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

And guys concerning why would small schools want to go back to things they were because they make more money of BCS welfare checks now? See the problem is small schools are using that money to not be small anymore. When schools can make their own money of home games like UCF, TCU, Utah, and the list is adding another team every year they stop wanting to schedule suicide games.

Just think about how exactly can we call UCF and ECU small schools? They will have bigger stadiums than Oregon in a couple years and they actually aren't to far behind Oregon right now. But I really think teams like Boise and pretty much most of conference USA have something to be upset about. 

Isn't this a bad system when Big East has to add a Texas team to fight of the MWC and Conference USA? And it's just really bad when the Big East finishes with no ranked teams and their top team got less votes than Miami in Ohio. UCF even recruited a better class than every big east team except Louisville.

The BCS was a good idea right before the 2000's but all the money it has created is starting to mess it up. Shoot Troy of the Sunbelt is about to expand it's baseball stadium to the second largest in the state and the football stadium to about 40,000 within the next four years. The Big East is trying to add a team that's going to play in a soccer stadium and has twice as many people show up to basketball games than football.

Everyone would be happy if they just keep things the way they are and force the top 12 teams to do a playoff.



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 5:48 pm
 

Latest BCS attack; Fiesta news

Why should the government get involved in sports...

Maybe because without the government there would not be any college sports. I hope all of you are aware that most people in college have loans and grants from the government. And guess where most schools got the grants to build their stadiums, from the government. Guess what a state owned school means? The government owns the school.

Want some more? Guess who pays for schools to travel to these football games sometimes? Once again the state government which is still part of the government. I personally like the government grants that pay for most of my school so they can interfere with a SCHOOL activity all they want. One more thing, when X teacher goes crazy and starts shooting students does the BCS come save the day? The government may not be the best but imagine if there wasn't one.




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