College Football Bowl System Apparently Warrants DOJ's Attention

Because antitrust investigators at the Justice Department made such quick work of their investigations into the United/Continental and NBC/Universal mergers, they apparently have plenty of free time to wonder why there are no playoffs in the Bowl Championship Series.

CNN reports that an assistant attorney general recently fired off a letter to the NCAA to ask questions and raise concerns about the BCS selection process.

“Serious questions continue to arise suggesting that the current BCS system may not be conducted consistent with the competition principles expressed in federal antitrust laws,” the assistant AG writes.

According to CNN, the letter to the NCAA asks the organization, “to explain why college football does not have a playoff when so many other college sports do… and whether the NCAA has determined that there are aspects of the BCS system that do not serve interests of fans, colleges, universities, and players.”

It’s not just the DOJ that has a bee in its bonnet over the BCS. CNN reports that this letter was only made public after Utah Senator Orrin Hatch — who has previously written to President Obama to ask him to invite all undefeated football teams to the White House, not just the BCS champ — made a personal plea to Attorney General Eric Holder for a proper investigation.

Among the concerns about the BCS is that the automatic bowl bids offered to certain conference winners effectively excludes many schools from smaller conferences, regardless of how well they played that season.

Justice Department asks for information on college bowl process [CNN]