Utah attorney general Shurtleff drops plan to file antitrust case vs. BCS
Salt Lake City, UT, United States (4E Sports) – Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has decided to drop his plan to file an antitrust lawsuit against the Bowl Championship Series, which he described as a system designed to give power conferences advantages.
Shurtleff reached the decision after the BCS changed its format from a championship game based on computer rankings and polls to a four-team playoff in 2014, leaving him without any evidence to back up his earlier claim that the system was “unfair”.
“At some point, you just have to make a decision with the evidence you have,” Shurtleff said. “We just don’t have the evidence right now because the playoff system is still in its forming stage.”
Though he is scheduled to retire at the end of the year, Shurtleff said the investigation into college football’s postseason would continue and could be pursued by his replacement.
“We have a core group of four antitrust experts working in our office, and whether to pursue it will be the decision of the next attorney general,” Shurtleff said. “I don’t see any other way I’m involved at all. I’ll still take a personal interest in it.”
Shurtleff began looking into the BCS in 2005 after an undefeated University of Utah was left out of the championship game.
He then argued the BCS was a system designed to give power conferences advantages. Teams outside automatic BCS qualifying conferences — such as Boise State, Texas Christian and the Utes — wouldn’t get a chance to play for the national championship.
He actively pursued his campaign despite the refusal of attorneys general from other states to join a potential antitrust suit.
When conference commissioners approved a four-team playoff system that could give more teams a shot to win it all, Shurtleff decided to end a crusade that took him several years to establish.