Utah AG: Duty is to protect university
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's attorney general is using his personal blog to answer criticism that he's wasting state resources by investigating whether the Bowl Championship Series violates federal antitrust laws.
Mark Shurtleff contends the BCS unfairly puts Utah, and schools in other conferences like the Mountain West that don't get an automatic bid to a BCS bowl, at a competitive and financial disadvantage. For the second time in five years, Utah finished the season undefeated and was shut out of playing in the BCS national title game, which was won by Florida.
Utah finished the season ranked No. 2 in The Associated Press poll after upsetting Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl.
Shurtleff's staff plans to review the Sherman Antitrust Act to see if a lawsuit can be filed. To succeed, Shurtleff, a Republican, would have to prove a conspiracy exists that creates a monopoly.
He has received widespread support -- and criticism -- for involving himself in a dispute over how college football's national champion is crowned. Like other politicians who have chimed in on the issue, he wants the national champion decided through a playoff system.
On Saturday, The Salt Lake Tribune -- Utah's largest newspaper -- criticized Shurtleff in an editorial for wasting taxpayer money.
"Our economy is imploding. Utahns are losing their jobs and homes. Budget cuts will be required. And our state's top lawyer is preoccupied with scoring a political touchdown with Utah football fans," the Tribune wrote.
Saturday evening, Shurtleff used his blog to respond to his critics by noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled antitrust laws apply to NCAA athletics and that it is his duty to enforce state and federal laws.
"The University of Utah and some other NCAA Division I-A schools in Utah are taxpayer funded institutions and I have a duty to protect and defend them against violations of the law," he wrote.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
FEDEX BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
From the announcement to breakdowns to the final gun, we have the FedEx BCS National Championship Game between Florida and Oklahoma covered.Columnists
• Forde/Maisel: Reasons Florida/Oklahoma will win
• Forde: Title game tale of the tape
• Forde: No breaking the SEC-Big 12 duopoly soon
• Maisel: Style points: Big 12 O vs. SEC D
• Forde: Appreciate the Tim Tebow experience
• Maisel: Bradford puts OU in right frame of mind
• Forde: Stoops, Meyer deliver points of impact
• Maisel: Stoops focused on the task
• Schlabach: Meyer keeps it real
• BCS Championship Game roundtable
• Low: Gators have speed to burn
• Griffin: Lewis overcomes inexperience at LB
• Low: James ready to bust loose for Gators
• Griffin: Sooners focused on kick coverage
• Low: Hernandez has been a catch for Gators
• Griffin: Gresham sparks OU's offensive surge
• Low: Gators find born leader in Spikes
• Griffin: No Murray, no worries for Sooners
• Low: Ahmad Black makes the most of his chance
• Griffin: Mammoth OU OL ready for speedy Gators
• Low: Trackin' the Florida Gators
• Griffin: Trackin' the Oklahoma Sooners
• Forde/Maisel/Woj: BCS title countdown
• McShay: Keys to victory for OU, Florida
• Collision Course: Gator O Vs. Sooner D
• OU's McCoy honors mother's memory
• EA Virtual Playbook: Jermaine Gresham
• Bradford and Tebow's HS coaches
• Tuesday quick hits: Florida
• Tuesday quick hits: Oklahoma
• Forde/Maisel: Recapping media day with QBs
• Forde/Low: Sooners smack talk continues
• Maisel: Chemistry that makes Sooners click
• Quick Hits: Sooners Media Day
• Quick Hits: Gators Media Day
• Coaching duel: Stoops vs. Meyer
• McShay: Title game X factors
• Breaking down Florida vs. Oklahoma
• Forde/Maisel: Early look at the title game
• ACC commish says BCS complies with law • Tebow laughs off jab of Sooners corner
• Gators' Harvin '90 percent' for BCS title game
• OU corner says Tebow ranks below Big 12 best
• OU's Stoops says he's not up for Broncos' job
• Gators' Harvin to play vs. Sooners in title game Bowl Coverage
• BCS title game | Complete bowl coverage