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Shurtleff has talks about a BCS inquiry

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 14 2009 12:53 a.m. MST

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is moving forward with his inquiry into college football's Bowl Championship Series.

On Tuesday, Shurtleff met with attorneys and investigators for more than two hours to discuss whether to pursue an antitrust action against the BCS.

"They agreed that they would move forward, but they need to talk to more people and gather more information," attorney general's spokesman Paul Murphy told the Deseret News after the meeting had ended.

Murphy said the Utah Attorney General's Office has not launched a formal investigation.

"They also did not want to discuss what they will do next or what the strategy will be," he said of the attorney general and his legal team.

The Deseret News first reported on Shurtleff's decision to pursue an antitrust probe of the BCS after he returned from New Orleans, where he watched the undefeated University of

Utah football team take down Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

"This game proved that it's an unfair system," he said at the time.

Utah was not declared a national champion, nor did it rank No. 1 in The Associated Press' final poll.

Shurtleff has found support for his controversial probe among football fans, politicians and, most recently, attorneys across the country with expertise in sports and antitrust law. Three congressmen — including Utah's Jim Matheson — have urged the U.S. Justice Department to launch its own investigation.

BCS officials have defended themselves, saying they are within the law and that the system they have for postseason football is one agreed upon by all 11 conferences.


E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com

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