Hancock to respond to Senators' letter

WASHINGTON -- The head of the Bowl Championship Series thinks Congress "has more important things to do" than look into the way his group distributes money to college football conferences.

Still, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Wednesday he will respond to a question-filled letter sent to him by two U.S. Senators.

"I'm looking forward to taking a longer look at the letter. I sure do think that Congress has more important things to do, with all the issues facing our country," Hancock said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "The BCS is fair. Access is fair. Revenue is distributed fairly. And frankly, we welcome the opportunity to tell our story every chance we get."

Hancock did not give a timeline for when he will answer the queries sent to him this week by Sens. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, and Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat.

Their letter, which was posted on Hatch's official Web site, asks for details about how the BCS calculates which conferences get automatic bowl bids, how money will be divvied up under a new TV deal and what sort of legal status the organization has.

Under the BCS, the champions of six major conferences receive automatic bids to play in top-tier bowl games, and those conferences receive more money than the other leagues. Hatch has asked for a Justice Department investigation into whether the BCS violates antitrust laws, arguing that the millions of dollars at stake justify oversight by the federal government.

Hatch's home-state team, Utah, didn't play for the national title at the end of the 2008 season despite going undefeated.

In their letter to Hancock, Hatch and Baucus wrote that the "conclusion of the 2009 college football season has raised a number of additional questions." Two undefeated teams, Boise State and TCU, didn't get a chance to play for the national title, instead facing each other in a bowl game.