As are we all (fans will take the empire crumbling any way they can get it, but the government probably has more say in that than sports writers.) Bill Hancock will meet with DOJ lawyers sometime this summer for what he's calling a "voluntary background briefing." Basically, they want to know how the BCS operates, and to my hopeful ears, that sounds a lot like they're ramping up their research for the antitrust lawsuit they threatened last month.
Is Hancock worried? Of course not! In fact, he talks a lot about this being an"opportunity:
"We view it as an opportunity to make it clear that the BCS was crafted very carefully with antitrust laws in mind," Hancock said."
"We take seriously any connection in Washington, and we're certainly taking this seriously," he said. "But I view it as an opportunity, because we're confident that the BCS is on strong legal ground."
You only need the "opportunity" to clear your name if everyone thinks you're doing something wrong in the first place. That aside, Hancock's tune appears to have changed in these past few weeks. His initial response to the DOJ's interest in the BCS:
"Goodness gracious, with all that's going on in the world right now and with national and state budgets being what they are, it seems like a waste of taxpayers' money to have the government looking into how college football games are played."
Running a cartel without any concern for laws or fairness or fans didn't work. Dismissing the government's investigation as frivolous didn't work. Hancock's only remaining strategy is to give the DOJ what they want. And if the BCS is half as awful as everything we've ever heard about it would lead us to believe, opening the books and hoping to forestall a lawsuit won't work either. This is the beginning of the beginning of the end.