Shurtleff taking bids for antitrust case against BCS

John O'Brien Jun. 29, 2011, 3:00pm


SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline) - Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced Tuesday he is accepting bids from private firms interested in representing the State in an antitrust lawsuit against college football's Bowl Championship Series.

Shurtleff has been planning a federal lawsuit since April, when he said he believed other state attorneys general would join him in the suit. Shurtleff posted the job on BidSync and gave firms that are interested an Aug. 8 deadline..

"There are serious antitrust violations in the BCS system that are robbing taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars," Shurtleff said. "Putting together the strongest legal team from around the country will give us the best chance of bringing equity back to college football."

The attorney general has been investigating the BCS since undefeated Utah was shut out of the national championship game in 2008.

The BCS has come under fire recently after it was discovered that the Fiesta Bowl, one of system's top bowl games, was at the center of a scandal that involved excessive spending and political contributions. Bowl President John Junker was fired in the wake.

Shurtleff told USA Today that the BCS is harming taxpayer-funded institutions to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Last year at a National Association of Attorneys General meeting, Shurtleff met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss his problems with the BCS. He also mailed a 90-page brief to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Shurtleff, a Republican, says teams from lesser-known conferences, like Utah's Mountain West Conference, do not get an automatic bid into a BCS bowl, placing them at a competitive and a financial disadvantage.

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