Bowl Championship Series could face multistate action

By Chris Rizo | Jan 5, 2010

Mark Shurtleff (R)

SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is still planning to take legal action against a college football playoff system that he says disadvantages his and other states.

The attorney general's office told Legal Newsline on Tuesday that Shurtleff is planning to sue the Bowl Championship Series either alone or with other state attorneys general.

Shurtleff spokesman, Paul Murphy, said that his boss plans to meet with the antitrust chief at the U.S. Department of Justice in the coming months.

There are federal antitrust issues because 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 financial disadvantage, Shurtleff has alleged.

"He is hoping to work with the DOJ but plans to go it alone or with other (state) attorneys general if necessary," Murphy said.

Shurtleff became sharply critical of the BCS after his home-state's University of Utah Utes were excluded from the title game last season despite their perfect record.

Utah finished the season as Division I's only undefeated team, posting a 13-0 and record including wins over four ranked football teams.

The BCS two title game participants are chosen by a complicated system that uses such things as polls, strength of schedule and other factors to determine the top two teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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