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College football

Does BCS violate antitrust laws?

Utah’s attorney general is investigating the Bowl Championship Series for a possible violation of federal antitrust laws after an undefeated Utes team was left out of the BCS title game for the second time in five years.

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (above) contends the BCS unfairly puts schools such as Utah, which is a member of a conference without an automatic bid to the lucrative bowl games, at a competitive and financial disadvantage.

Shurtleff said Tuesday that his office is still in the initial stages of reviewing the Sherman Antitrust Act to see if a lawsuit can be filed. To succeed in a lawsuit, Shurtleff would have to prove a conspiracy exists that creates a monopoly.

A message left with BCS administrator Bill Hancock was not immediately returned.


Mariners open Valentine’s Day

On Feb. 14, the Seattle Mariners not only hope there will be love in the air on Valentine’s Day, but also baseballs.

That’s the date of the Mariners’ first scheduled spring training workout at their facility in Peoria, Ariz. Reporting day for pitchers and catchers is Feb. 13, with their first workout the next morning.

The rest of the team will report Feb. 16, with the first full-squad workout the following morning.

The Mariners will begin a 39-game exhibition schedule on Feb. 25 against San Diego in the annual charity game in Peoria. Tickets to the 18 home games in Arizona, plus the April 3 exhibition against Colorado in Las Vegas, will go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Meanwhile, Seattle announced that reliever Tyler Walker signed a one-year contract. The announcement came weeks after Seattle traded former All-Star closer J.J. Putz to the New York Mets.

Walker, 32, was 5-8 with a 4.56 ERA in 65 games last season with San Francisco.


Huskies will pay Holt well

Nick Holt is leaving behind the sunshine of Los Angeles and the assembly line of top recruits who cycle into USC’s program yearly to take over a Washington defense that was the worst in school history a season ago.

Even Holt thinks it sounds a little crazy.

“A lot of people are probably looking at this move and scratching their heads,” Holt said.

Lured by money, power and challenge, the former Idaho head coach agreed to a $2.1 million, three-year contract to become Washington’s new defensive coordinator, the biggest coup so far for new Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian.

His acquisition comes at a steep price to Washington – $600,000 for 2009, $650,000 in 2010 and ’11, plus a $200,000 retention bonus paid up front that Holt must repay a portion of if he leaves before his contract ends.

Associated Press Associated Press Associated Press