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 HatchTreasury officials to meet with lawmakers on inversion rules A bipartisan bright spot we can’t afford to pass up: child welfare reform Medicare trust fund running out of money fast 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. HolderRacial undercurrents inflame Uber fight over background checks Chaffetz seeks to hold Obama official in contempt over water rule Eric Holder goes to bat for Uber 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.