Saturday, January 30, 2010

The BCS "Problem"

Last month I wrote about congressional attempts to interfere with college football's Bowl Championship Series. Here's another story on that same topic:

The Obama administration is considering several steps that would review the legality of the controversial Bowl Championship Series, the Justice Department said in a letter Friday to a senator who had asked for an antitrust review.

In the letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, obtained by The Associated Press, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that the Justice Department is reviewing Hatch's request and other materials to determine whether to open an investigation into whether the BCS violates antitrust laws.

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

Several lawmakers and many critics want the BCS to switch to a playoff system, rather than the ratings system it uses to determine the teams that play in the championship game.


Again I ask, is there any reason government should involve itself in how bowl game teams are chosen? What's next, government rules about whether a movie can be called a "thriller" or a "drama"?

7 comments:

Rhymes With Right said...

I agree -- the BCS is a national crisis!

No, not the Bowl Championship Series.

I mean the Baack Competence Situation.

ChrisA said...

Repeat after me... "It's just not that important". End of story.

Ellen K said...

It appears this administration and Congress will not be happy until they control Every Single Aspect of our lives. God help us. Or should I say Ford help us?

mazenko said...

And, again, it is interstate commerce and equal access to millions in funding. Texas automatically gets a bid to a potential $10 million payoff and Boise State is automatically excluded for the chance.

It's called equal access under the law, and the NCAA, in accepting its tax-exempt status for "education" agrees to regulation and fair business practice.

I look to the government for few things - and regulation of fair business practice is one of them. I'm surprised that all the free-market capitalists on this blog are opposed to this one clearly defined job of the federal government.

I guess all their kids are going to Divsion 1 schools, which are interestingly tax-payer funded.

Darren said...

Not just anything is interstate commerce, and deciding if a football game is a "championship" or not, or determining what teams will play in a football game, is *not* the purview of the federal government.

"Equal access"? We're not talking civil rights for all citizens here. We're talking about a football game. The NCAA is the appropriate place to address such concerns, *not* the Capitol.

maxutils said...

Except for the fact that D1 football is a huge money maker, whose largest games are regulated by a self appointed cartel. There is absolutely cause to investigate the NCAA for anti-trust violations, and Hatch, representative of a state demonstrably harmed by it is absolutely correct to pursue it. There is also precedent: Congress played a large part in settling the last ML Baseball labor dispute by threatening to revoke MLB's anti-trust exemption (one which exists for very little reason, and which goes a long way to explaining why baseball is the only professional sport never to have competing leagues (save for the Negro Leagues, which were socially dictaed rather than econmically)).

There you go, Mazenko.

mazenko said...

Thanks for the support and astute explanation.