The United States Justice Department says it has opened an inquiry into whether the much-despised Bowl Championship Series violates anti-trust laws. This step has likely been a long time coming, especially with Utah senator Orrin Hatch having been a vocal opponent of the BCS.
Justice Department officials informed the NCAA of the probe via a letter before holding a meeting with reporters to discuss the reasons why.
The decision to release the letter came hours after Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a major opponent of the current system, demanded further consideration of the issue in a face-to-face appearance with Attorney General Eric Holder at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Holder then disclosed the Justice Department had sent the letter to the NCAA on the issue.
In her letter, Varney asked Emmert to explain why college football does not have a playoff when so many other college sports do. She also asked what steps, if any, the NCAA has taken to create a playoff, and whether the NCAA has determined that there are aspects of the BCS system that do not serve interests of fans, colleges, universities, and players.While most fans (myself included) would love to see the demise of the BCS, it still isn't the kind of issue that the U.S. government needs to be getting involved with. However, it should shake college football's gatekeepers a little bit. Especially after BCS mouthpiece Bill Hancock said less than a month ago that he had not been contacted since, in his belief, "they know the BCS complies with the law."
Of course with the Pac-12 just signing a monster television contract, it means more money in the coffers of another BCS conference. That means a stronger claim on any BCS games and the revenue they bring. Stay tuned, this could just be getting started.