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Utah politician weighs in on BCS

Wire services
Published November 16, 2003

If the leaders of the Bowl Championship Series don't come to a resolution with the system's critics at a meeting today, Utah's attorney general might call for an antitrust investigation.

Mark Shurtleff sent a letter Thursday to New York's attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, the chairman of the Antitrust Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General, criticizing the postseason system in major college football.

Leaders from the six conferences that started the BCS in 1998 meet today in New Orleans with representatives of the five Division I-A conferences that are trying to improve their access to the nation's most lucrative bowl games.

"If a resolution does not emerge from that meeting, I will consider formally requesting that the Antitrust Committee ... open an investigation to examine whether or not competition is restrained and consumers are harmed under the current BCS arrangement," Shurtleff wrote in the letter obtained by the Associated Press.

Shurtleff represents a state that is home to three schools - BYU, Utah and Utah State - that are outside the BCS.

Created by the six most powerful conferences, the BCS guarantees the champions of those leagues - Big East, ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-10 - will play in one of the four most lucrative postseason bowl games, leaving only two at-large berths.

GAGLIARDI INVITE: St. John's coach John Gagliardi has been invited to the White House on Monday to be honored as the winningest coach. Gagliardi got win No.409 when his Johnnies rallied to beat Bethel 29-26 on Nov.8. In his 55th season and 51st at St. John's, Gagliardi passed Eddie Robinson, who retired in 1997 after winning 408 with I-AA Grambling State.

MEAN GREEN IN BOWL: North Texas accepted its third straight invitation to the New Orleans Bowl after clinching the Sun Belt title with a 58-14 win over Arkansas State. The Mean Green will face a C-USA team in the Dec.16 game. North Texas beat Cincinnati 24-19 last year in New Orleans and lost to Colorado State in 2001.

KANSAS: Freshman quarterback Adam Barmann, making his third start for injured Bill Whittemore, hurt his right ankle when Oklahoma State's Greg Richmond sacked him in the first quarter. He played three series in the second half, and his status was unknown.

LOUISVILLE: Leading rusher Eric Shelton is expected to miss Saturday's game against Houston because of a neck injury. Shelton sprained his neck when he was hit during a 31-28 loss at TCU on Nov.5. Shelton, a Florida State transfer, has four 100-yard rushing games this season and leads the team with 10 touchdowns.

MICHIGAN: John Navarre had two TD passes and needs three to become the school's career leader. Elvis Grbac has the record with 71.

TCU: The Horned Frogs clinched at least a share of the C-USA title for the second year in a row and broke a 69-year-old school record with their 13th straight home win.

TENNESSEE: The sister of defensive tackle Greg Jones was killed, and his mother and grandmother were hurt in an accident as they traveled to the game, coach Phil Fulmer said. Coaches told Jones, a sophomore from Jonesboro, Ark., the news before the home game against Mississippi State. Jones started but left in the third quarter to meet his family. Fulmer said Jones' sister was seven-months' pregnant.

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