CNN is reporting this afternoon that the United States Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into the current NCAA Bowl Championship Series (BCS). According to CNN, Assistant Attorney general Christine Varney told reporters, “Serious questions continue to arise suggesting the current BCS system may not be conducted consistent with competition principals expressed in federal antitrust laws”.
This investigation likely stems from a letter sent to the Justice Department by a group of 21 professors and lawyers as reported in the Connecticut Sports Law website April 14th of this year. The 21 associated parties wrote to the Justice Department stating that, “The BCS shields preferred schools from competition by errecting barriers to cometitive post-season entry, provides favored schools with fixed benefits, and harms consumers of post-season college football”. Huh?
Consumers are deprived of post-season college football? There is nearly a month of post-season college football. There are a slew of bowl games, and even the NCAA is looking at putting a moratorium or reducing the number of bowl games. At the current rate of expansion of bowl games, within two years, there could be thepigskinreport Bowl played December 6th in Ocala, Florida. There were so many bowl games this season that the NCAA was concerned that there was going to be a shortage of games featuring teams with winning records.There are so many games featuring poor teams, I rarely watch the majority of the bowl games.
Do we really need the Justice Department looking into the BCS system? Really? Aren’t there enough issues affecting the Nation right now? Are things so slow in Washington that one branch of government needs to poke their noses into sports once again?
According to the CNN report, Varney has sent a letter to the NCAA asking them to explain why college football does not have a playoff system when other college sports do. Is the current system perfect? No. Will a playoff system make the process perfect? No. There will then be the discussion of which teams were excluded from playoff selection, (simply witness how the NCAA has now expanded the number of basketball teams in March Madness and there is still discussion of who was left out).
The truth is, there is always going to be a team or two or four which get shut out of the process. And there is nothing the government or an act of Congress is going to do about it.
Filed under: NCAA