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Saturday, May 02, 2009

BCS gets raked over the coals 

The Congressional Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection had a hearing in the Washington, D.C. this week to examine issues of competitive fairness and the extent to which public colleges and universities are adversely impacted by the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system.

Noted monopolist, coordinator of the BCS and commissioner of the ACC, John Swofford was lambasted by Texas Congressman Joe Barton. Congressman Barton has introduced the College Football Playoff Act of 2009, legislation that would prohibit the marketing, promotion, and advertising of a postseason game as a "national championship" game, unless it is the result of a playoff system. Brilliant!

The Seattle Post Intelligencer quoted Barton, "This system is patently unfair. Before the first game, half the teams in the country don't have a prayer at winning or even playing for a national championship. You could have a playoff system that makes just as much money, but has the added benefit of determining the championship on the field."

The Seattle PI went on to note, "There are eleven Division I conferences within football and under the BCS format six of those - the ACC, SEC, Big East, Big 12, Big 10, and Pac-10 - are guaranteed $18 million each to distribute among their schools. Rush's contention was that the other five conferences - the Sun Belt, WAC, MAC, Conference USA, and Mountain West - only get $9.5 million combined whereas Notre Dame, an independent, receives $1.3 million."

As Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) pointed out, "Colleges and universities are funded by taxpayer money, and we have to ask whether or not the big, dominant conferences are engaged in uncompetitive behavior and negotiating contracts at the expense of smaller conferences and their schools. In other words, are the big guys getting together and shutting out the little guys?"

Sounds like anti-competitive, illegal, predatory, monopolistic practice to the Clarion Content's ears.

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