BCS Legality in Question By Obama Administration

Jerry Burnes@@JerryBurnesAnalyst IJanuary 29, 2010

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 25:  President Barack Obama addresses the National Basketball Association 2009 champions Los Angeles Lakers during an event with the team in the East Room of the White House January 25, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Lakers bested the Orlando Magic to win the NBA Finals in 2009.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On the heels of the Supreme Court hearing the NFL's claim that the NFL is a single entity, it appears the NCAA may also be headed to Capitol Hill. 

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) had asked for the Justice Department to look into the legality of the Bowl Championship Series. The Associated Press said the Justice Department responded in a letter to Hatch on Friday that said the department will begin research to determine if an investigation into antitrust laws is needed.

While this is not a formal investigation, it's hard to imagine there won't be one, especially after the high court's hearing of American Needle v. NFL.

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said it could also ask the Federal Trade Commission to review the legality of the BCS related to consumer protection laws.

President Barrack Obama has expressed his want for a playoff system since before his election in February 2008. After his election, Obama added that he would "throw his weight around."

It appears that time has come. The BCS has been under much scrutiny after undefeated Utah was denied the chance to play in the national championship game in 2008. The Utes went on to route Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

After both undefeated TCU and Boise State were denied title chances this season, the conspirators were all over the BCS. There was so much outrage by fans that the BCS teleconference involving BCS officials and sponsors was hijacked by prank calls.

One big blow to a possible investigation is the fact that the BCS reported this week the conferences that don't have automatic bids will receive a record $24 million resulting from this year's bowl games.