Saturday, January 30, 2010

Government as "Referee"?

I guess I have seen all of it now. President Obama plans to bring the heavy hand of the Entity Formerly Known as the U.S. Department of "Justice" into the college football mix. Egged on by Sen. Orrin Hatch, Obama promises to see whether the Bowl Championship Series that determines the Division-I football national champions each year is, well, legal:
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.

"The administration shares your belief that the current lack of a college football national championship playoff with respect to the highest division of college football ... raises important questions affecting millions of fans, colleges and universities, players and other interested parties," Weich wrote.

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