Good for the Arizona Republic for doing the damn thang on the Fiesta Bowl and exposing the hypocrisy of the BCS system. I’ll give you the short details and a preview in here but this is another MUST READ report this morning and couldn’t have been timed any better with March Madness, the PBS report, and the HBO special tonight. This particular investigation found that officials for the Fiesta Bowl seriously abused their non-profit status by using funds from the bowl to spend excessively (including strip club runs and lavish personal birthday parties), reimburse political donations (a big no no for non-profits), and several contract irregularities (huge deals were made that seemed to be cash payoffs to various individuals and organizations with close relations to the bowl and its employees). From the Arizona Republic:
An investigation by the Fiesta Bowl has found evidence of potentially illegal employee conduct and spending irregularities that could jeopardize the bowl’s non-profit status and prestigious role in college football’s national-championship series.
As a result of the five-month internal probe released Tuesday, the bowl fired its longtime public face, CEO John Junker, and accepted the resignations of two other top bowl officers.
The 276-page report, commissioned by a Fiesta Bowl Special Committee in October, details a culture of excessive spending on bowl employees, politicians and business associates despite rules barring the bowl from using its money to benefit individuals; a system of campaign contributions that could run afoul of state and federal campaign laws; and accounts of efforts by bowl staffers to mislead government investigators.
Junker declined comment. However, his lawyer said the Fiesta Bowl had posted the report on its website before it had given a copy to Junker, and that Junker would not comment until reviewing the report in detail.
The big sham of college football right now is that all of the bowls do stuff like this and that’s the biggest reason we can’t get a damn playoff implemented. There’s too many rich dudes who get to become the CEO of the “insert coporate sponsor here” Bowl and then get paid $800,000 to wear a funny colored blazer once a year. This could be a tipping point towards eliminating the BCS.
That or the Cotton Bowl is about to enter the BCS rotation.