57 Okla. L. Rev. 333 (2004)
Antitrust in Amateur Athletics: Fourth and Long: Why Non-BCS Universies Should Punt Rather than Go for an Antitrust Challenge to the Bowl Championship Series

handle is hein.journals/oklrv57 and id is 349 raw text is: COMMENT
Antitrust in Amateur Athletics: Fourth and Long: Why
Non-BCS Universities Should Punt Rather Than Go For an
Antitrust Challenge to the Bowl Championship Series*
L Introduction
Against the backdrop of bowl game traditions and several failed attempts
to pair the top two teams in a championship game, the Bowl Championship
Series (BCS) emerged in 1998 to address college football fans' deep-seated
frustration with the lack of a true national championship game.' The BCS
arrangement encompasses four2 bowl games whose participants are primarily
selected from sixty-three universities within certain conferences,3 leaving the
* The author would like to thank Dean Andrew M. Coats, C. Brent Dishman, and
Professors D. Kent Meyers, Mary Margaret Penrose, and Carrie Sperling for their helpful
comments on earlier drafts. The author would also like to dedicate this comment in memory of
her father, Gary Warmbrod, who loved college football.
1. See Competition in College Athletic Conferences and Antitrust Aspects of the Bowl
Championship Series: Hearing Before the House Comm. on the Judiciary, 108th Cong. 10
(2003) (testimony of Jim Delany, Commissioner, Big Ten Conference) [hereinafter Delany
House Testimony] (noting that the BCS was created in 1998 to strengthen the bowl system);
Competition in College Athletic Conferences and Antitrust Aspects of the Bowl Championship
Series: Hearing Before the House Comm. on the Judiciary, 108th Cong. 11 (2003) (statement
of Jim Delany, Commissioner, Big Ten Conference) [hereinafter Delany House Statement]
(arguing that without the BCS, college football fans would have been denied a true national
championship game under the previous bowl game structure of conference-bowl relationships).
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) does not sponsor a Division I-A national
championship in college football. See infra Parts U.A-B.
2. The BCS recently added a fifth BCS bowl game to its postseason structure; the new
structure will go into effect after the 2006 regular season. Calvin Watkins, As Expected, BCS
Adds Bowl - Planned Fifth Game Would Rotate Between Four Current Sites, DALLAS
MORNING NEWS, June 11, 2004, at 10C. This change to the BCS will not alter the current bowl
locations, with the Fiesta, Orange, Rose, and Sugar Bowls continuing to host the BCS bowl
games. Id. Under the new format, each of the four BCS bowls will host two games once every
four years, with the first game being its regular game and the second game being the national
title game. Id.; see also Mark Alesia, TV Will Get Final Say on New BCS Lineup: Major Bowls
Will Host Extra Game Once Every Four Years, Title Game Is One Week Later, INDIANAPOLIS
STAR, June 11, 2004, at ID (noting that the current changes to the BCS system happened after
the non-BCS schools formed a coalition and threatened an antitrust lawsuit).
3. See BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: BCS BOWL ELIGIBILITY, at http://www.bcsfootball.
org/index.cfm?page=eligibility (last visited Aug. 30, 2004) [hereinafter BCS BOWLELIGIBILITY]
(noting that the conference champions of the BCS conferences - Atlantic Coast Conference
(ACC), Big East Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big Twelve Conference (Big 12), Pacific-10
Conference (Pac-10), and Southeastern Conference (SEC) - have guaranteed berths to BCS

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