On April 12, 2011, a group of law professors and economists drafted a letter to Assistant Attorney General Varney requesting that the antitrust division of the Department of Justice investigate the BCS. The group essentially sets forth three (3) arguments:
1) BCS market-access rules shield preferred schools from competition. The group argues the AQ schools that receive automatic bids deny market access to BCS bowl games and receive preferential treatment. Additionally, they argue the “BCS Bowl cartel” immunizes the BCS from competition by mandating that key championship contenders not invited to the BCS’s national championship game must accept BCS Bowl invitations rather than join a rival post-season system.
2) BCS revenue rules provide preferred schools with a fixed share of revenue. The group argues uneven distribution of revenue (i.e., AQs = 86-91% vs. Non-AQs = 7-12%) does not conform to commercial appeal. They cite several BCS games involving Non-AQs that garnered significantly better television ratings than some contests between AQ schools.
3) BCS market-access and revenue rules injure non-preferred schools and ultimately consumers. The group argues market-access rules prevent Non-AQs from competition for the institutional benefits that flow from playing opportunities (i.e., stronger alumni networks, increased admissions applications, and improved academic rankings).
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