Utah AG still pursuing BCS antitrust lawsuit

Looking to file a federal lawsuit aimed at disbanding the BCS

system, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has put out a request

for proposals from national antitrust firms to help with the

case.

Shurtleff said Thursday he expects the suit, accusing the BCS of

being an illegal monopoly, will be filed this summer. It will seek

damages for schools including the University of Utah and Boise

State that have lost out on millions of dollars over the years

because the existing system keeps non-preferred conferences at a

competitive disadvantage, he said.

That Utah is making the jump to the BCS by joining the Pac-12

Conference in July doesn’t change anything, he said. The flawed

system would remain in place.

His legal threat, first reported by USA Today, comes as

conference commissioners and athletic directors prepare to meet

next week in New Orleans.

Shurtleff said it should take about a month or so to select an

antitrust firm. He is still trying to get more states to join in

filing the lawsuit, ”But if not, I’ll do it alone,” he said.

Shurtleff also deflected criticism that his time would be better

spent on other issues.

He said antitrust violations involving taxpayer-funded

institutions need to be examined especially when many such

institutions are hurting, raising tuition or asking for more

general fund money to help sustain them. ”It’s irresponsible to

look the other way and say, ‘Well, this is just sports,”’ he said.

”The Supreme Court has ruled that antitrust laws apply to the NCAA

and college sports and this needs to be rectified.”