Here’s a nicely disingenuous piece about the BCS by SI.com’s Austin Murphy, another scribe who thinks he knows a thing or two about antitrust law.
True, anti-trust lawyers at the Justice Department are seriously considering bringing charges against the BCS. But maybe they won’t! This is the thrust of a Sports Business Journal opinion piece forwarded to me by Hancock, and written by Gordon Schnell and David Scupp, partners at the New York City-based law firm Constantine Cannon, which specializes in anti-trust litigation.
First of all, the only person who claims that US Justice is “seriously considering bringing charges against the BCS” is the Utah Attorney General, who hasn’t exactly taken a neutral role as to college football’s postseason. But anyway, the SBJ piece is a load of hooey, according to Murphy. How does he know that? Well…
I ran that by Alan Fishel, a partner with the Washington, D.C.-based firm, Arent Fox. He and his colleagues described Schnell and Scupp’s analysis as “extremely superficial and one that ignores every argument for why it is actually an anti-trust violation.” Says Fishel, “The problem is that most attorneys have no idea of the facts behind this system. Once you fully know the facts, the conclusion that it is an anti-trust violation is an easy one to make.”
If it’s so easy to make, how come nobody will make it in court? What is everyone waiting for? And by “everyone”, I include Arent Fox, which Murphy conveniently fails to mention represents the Mountain West in its quest to get an AQ berth in the BCS.
One other thing about Fishel’s argument –
“… in many ways, the current system is worse than the old system.”
How? Look at the non-AQ teams now, and look at them 20 years ago. “Twenty years ago,” says Fishel, “Miami, Florida State, Penn State — those teams had chances to win national championships. Even BYU won a national championship” in 1984…”
– for anybody who doesn’t have a direct stake in seeing to it that the mid-majors get a bigger piece of the college football revenue pie, not allowing a repeat of the ’84 national title scenario is the BCS’ crowning achievement. To consider that a bug and not a feature of the BCS should tell you all you need to know about where these guys are coming from.