Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Academics and Practitioners Ask Dept. of Justice to Investigate the BCS

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a group of 21 law and economics professors and practitioners have submitted a letter to the United States Department of Justice, urging the DoJ to launch a formal antitrust investigation of the Bowl Championship Series. The letter (which is available here) argues that the BCS violates antitrust law both by unfairly restricting schools in the so-called non-automatically qualifying conferences from competing in the BCS National Championship Game and other BCS sponsored bowl games, as well as by disproportionately distributing its revenue in favor of the six automatically qualifying conferences. Signatories to the letter include economists Andrew Zimbalist (Smith College) and Richard Thaler (Univ. of Chicago), as well as law professors Roger Abrams (Northeastern Univ.) and Raymond Yasser (Univ. of Tulsa).

For additional discussion of the antitrust issues surrounding the BCS, check out my article "Antitrust & The Bowl Championship Series," and Michael McCann's "Antitrust, Governance, and Postseason College Football."