12 Questions With Senator Orrin Hatch
1. BCS Reform
Posted On 05.17, 2013

2 of 13

‹‹ RCS Interviews Senator Orrin Hatch 2. Should the Senate Still Get Involved? ››

RCS: Most college football fans wouldn't know it, but you may represent the best hope to reform the nearly universally detested BCS. Other than the President, you have been the most prominent and outspoken BCS opponent in Washington. In fact, you've previously held hearings about the BCS and you're on the record calling the BCS "Un-American."

But, although loathed, the BCS is the status quo, has some powerful support and has proven resilient. Practically speaking, what can Congress do to bring about BCS reform?

Sen. Hatch: As far as I'm concerned there are antitrust issues involved here, and I don't think there's any doubt that college football fits as a commercial enterprise. These BCS schools - in fact all of the schools of any size - market their teams like they would a commercial product. In the case of BCS schools they receive substantial revenue in return. Some of them outside of BCS do too, but certainly they get an advantage if they play in a BCS conference. Also, it isn't just the schools and conferences that are involved here. There are the TV networks, the corporate bowl sponsors, and others as well.

Our antitrust laws are designed to prevent people from acting in agreement and coordination to reduce competition. I think that's precisely what we have going on with the BCS.

I'm a member of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, and its Ranking Member. We already have plans to hold another hearing to look into the antitrust implications of the BCS. Hopefully we'll be having that hearing within the next few weeks. And we'll look at these issues very soon. Like I say, I think there's a pretty clear case that the BCS is exclusionary. There's no question that the way they've designed it, has a negative impact on the schools left on the outside. So I think it's important for us to determine whether or not the system is legal, and personally I don't think it is.

12 Questions with Sen. Orrin Hatch

‹‹ RCS Interviews Senator Orrin Hatch 2. Should the Senate Still Get Involved? ››

Recent Lists