Florida’s top prosecutor on Tuesday announced an antitrust probe against the College Football Playoff selection committee, seeking answers about why the undefeated Florida State Seminoles were kept out of the four-team competition this month.
State Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a statement that her office is seeking communications from the 13-person committee about how it reached its decision on Dec. 3 that the playoff teams would be Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama.
The latter two schools were selected while having one loss each.
“My Office is launching an investigation to examine if the Committee was involved in any anticompetitive conduct. As it stands, the Committee’s decision reeks of partiality, so we are demanding answers — not only for FSU, but for all schools, teams and fans of college football,” Moody wrote. “In Florida, merit matters. If it’s attention they were looking for, the Committee certainly has our attention now.”
In a video statement recorded on Florida State’s campus in Tallahassee, Moody declares she’s a lifelong Gator, referring to the University of Florida, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Moody said the playoff committee’s decision has angered both Floridians and college football fans across the country. She said FSU and the Atlantic Coast Conference are losing out on a big pot of revenue.
“What’s clear is the need for more information about the unprecedented decision made by a group of 13 in secret, that for the first time ever, left an undefeated Power Five conference champion out of the playoff,” Moody said. “This stunning decision not only disappointed millions of fans — it cost this university and the ACC millions of dollars.”
Selection committee chairman Boo Corrigan commented this month on why the Seminoles were shut out of the playoff.
“Florida State is a different team than they were through the first 11 weeks,” Corrigan said, referring to how the team lost its star quarterback, Jordan Travis, to an injury late in the season.
FSU athletic director Michael Alford called the committee’s decision “unforgivable.”
“To eliminate them from a chance to compete for a national championship is an unwarranted injustice that shows complete disregard and disrespect for their performance and accomplishments. It is unforgivable,” he said.
This is the final season the playoff includes four teams. Next season, it expands to 12 teams.