12 Questions With Senator Orrin Hatch
2. Should the Senate Still Get Involved?
Posted On 05.17, 2013

3 of 13

‹‹ 1. BCS Reform 3. Effects and Likelihood of BCS Reform ››

RCS: A couple of months ago, you did an interview with Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports in which you said, "[T]he current BCS agreement expires next year and that there is a proposal on the table to extend it through 2014. The deal is not yet in place and a number of the conferences, particularly the Mountain West, have expressed serious concerns about the proposed extension. Frankly, I think this proposal is the reason for Congress to get involved right now."

The BCS television and bowl contracts have recently been agreed upon through 2014, including the Rose Bowl contract, which was signed with ESPN over the weekend. Now that these contracts have been agreed to, is there still a significant reason for the Senate to get involved now?

Sen. Hatch: If people conclude that they are violating the antitrust laws that could upset all of their plans, no matter what they've entered into, because the BCS is fundamentally unfair. I don't think there's any real fan of college football that would dispute that.

When you have a system that's been criticized and condemned by people ranging from the coaches and university officials to the President of the United States, you have a problem.

My biggest concern with the BCS is that it creates inherent disadvantages for those conferences that don't receive automatic bids. Nearly half of all the teams in college football are left to share relatively small amounts of BCS revenue, while the teams from the six automatic bid conferences each have a share in a much larger pot, even if they don't win a single game. Given this level of exclusion and coordination, I think there's a good chance of success should someone decide to file a lawsuit. If that's the case, it won't matter when they sign the television contract.

Now they go final with the contract, as I understand it, on July 9th. That's why I'm hopeful that the Chairman of the Subcommittee [Senator Herb Kohl] and I can hold a hearing before that date, and hopefully get them to wake up on that.

12 Questions with Sen. Orrin Hatch

‹‹ 1. BCS Reform 3. Effects and Likelihood of BCS Reform ››

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