April 13, 2011
Making the morning rounds.
• Good luck, fellas. Twenty-one law and economics professors from around the country have signed a letter urging the Justice Department to investigate the BCS as an illegal cartel. Specifically, the letter argues that the BCS violates antitrust laws because its rules:
• "Shield Preferred Schools from Competition"
• "Provide Preferred Schools with a Fixed Share," and
• "Injure Non-Preferred Schools and Ultimately Harm Consumers"
If that sounds familiar, we are on well-trod territory: Utah senator Orrin Hatch called for a DOJ probe on antitrust grounds in 2009, and the attorney general's office promised to look into it in January 2010. Still, somehow the department hasn't quite gotten around to the BCS, as if there was anything else going on in the last 14 months.
Read the latest letter here, along with the list of signatories, including influential University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler, leading sports economist Andrew Zimbalist and not one but two professors from SEC schools. [Wall Street Journal, Playoff PAC, OSKR, LLC]
• Calloway speaks. Alabama signee Brent Calloway, the prized running back/linebacker recruit at the center of a concerted effort by AuburnSports.com to prove recruiting violations by the Crimson Tide, told TideSports.com Tuesday that he backed out of a commitment to Auburn in part because he felt "that home-type feel" at Alabama on a trip to Tuscaloosa the weekend before signing day in February, and in part because the Tigers broke a promise not to add another running back to their incoming class: "On top of that, Auburn signed three other running backs before I even signed [with Alabama]. They were misleading me. Very misleading."
A family friend, Darren Woodruff — the central figure in charges that Calloway was either bought or otherwise influenced to sign with the Crimson Tide — also told the Birmingham News that running back depth was a factor in the switch. [TideSports.com, Birmingham News]
• In the works. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon told an alumni group in south Florida Monday that he's had "some preliminary discussions" with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alum, about playing a neutral site game at Sun Life Stadium. "We don't have anything scheduled," Brandon said, "but that's something we'd consider because this is an important recruiting area for us as well." The Wolverines are already on tap for a big neutral-site affair next year, when they open the season against Alabama in Dallas. [Naples Daily News]
• Opening the door. Ole Miss linebacker D.T. Shackelford, the vocal/emotional leader of an attrition-ravaged defense coming off an awful campaign in 2010, is likely out for the season with an ACL tear he suffered in Monday's practice. His likely replacement on the strong side: True freshman C.J. Johnson, five-star headliner of the Rebels' incoming recruiting class. [Clarion-Ledger]
Turns out he's a Florida fan. "We're actually big Gator fans because our headquarters is right here [in Williston, Fla.]," said Patrick Walsh, president of AirSign. "One of our sales people sold this thing. We're a standard company. We can't be discriminatory. Most of our other pilots didn't want to fly it. … I was getting all these hate text messages from people that we know. I was counting down the seconds until the hour was over." On the bright side, at least the rumors about him losing his pilot's license appear to be entirely unfounded. [Orlando Sentinel]
Quickly… The publisher of the Arizona Republic resigns from the Fiesta Bowl's board of directors. … Colorado officially names senior incumbent Tyler Hansen its starting quarterback, and picks up a former QB from Georgia. … N.C. State running back Mustafa Greene undergoes foot surgery that will keep him out for the rest of the spring. … Lane Kiffin isn't giving up on Markeith Ambles just yet. … Trinton Sturdivant has some decision to make after his third major knee injury in four years. … Oregon looks at Lavasier Tuinei as its next go-to- receiver. … Terrelle Pryor works around his bum foot to get in a few practice throws. … Texas might move a 2012 home date to make room for Austin's first Formula One race. … Politicians in Mark Ingram's native Michigan haven't given up on the Mark V. Ingram II Freeway. … Penn State's annual schedule cards are going old school for the 125th anniversary of the first football team on campus. … And Illinois' Memorial Stadium is losing 2,200 bleacher seats installed on a temporary basis in 1982.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.