Hatch’s grilling spells more trouble for BCS


Wednesday was a bad day for collegiate football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and a good day for Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR nominee Lighthizer Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (R-Utah) and Utah college football.

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During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing early in the day, Hatch grilled Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderOvernight Tech: Senate moving to kill FCC's internet privacy rules | Bill Gates pushes for foreign aid | Verizon, AT&T pull Google ads | Q&A with IBM's VP for cyber threat intel Uber leadership sticking by CEO Top Dems prep for future while out of the spotlight MORE about the BCS system, which favors larger schools from major conferences.

Hours later, Holder announced that the Justice Department had informed the NCAA that it has opened an antitrust inquiry into the BCS system.

Hatch has long been working on this issue. He complained in 2009 that the BCS system “excludes teams like the [University of] Utah team ... from national championship contention.” Another Utah school, Brigham Young University, has also felt the sting of the BCS system.

According to the statement from Holder, Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney requested that NCAA President Mark Emmert explain the absence of a playoff system in college football, and what steps the NCAA might have taken to create one.

Hatch’s office had yet to respond to the letter as of press time, but score one for the underdogs and the Utah senator, who is up for reelection in 2012.