And it’s for exactly the reasons you would think. Remember how one of the committee members I told you about yesterday had received a free cruise from the Orange Bowl? It turns out another one of these “investigators” let the Fiesta Bowl pay his resort golf habit. The committee is basically sticking the finger to the American public and the IRS, daring them to come after them. Check out this remarkable arrogance, from the Arizona Republic (still doing the damn thang):
A top official of the Bowl Championship Series softened his stance Wednesday on expelling the Fiesta Bowl amid disclosure that he and other members of a BCS task force accepted gifts from the Fiesta and Orange bowls.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the coalition of college football’s top bowls, said in an interview that discussion of eliminating the Fiesta Bowl from the BCS was “way premature.” He called it “irresponsible” for media to speculate which bowls, if any, would replace the Fiesta Bowl in the four-bowl BCS.
Earlier, in reaction to an internal Fiesta Bowl report detailing misconduct by bowl executives, Hancock had told The Arizona Republic that “the BCS group takes this matter very seriously and will consider whether they (Fiesta Bowl) keep a BCS bowl game, and we will consider other appropriate sanctions.”
The BCS created the task force Tuesday to examine a 276-page report by Fiesta Bowl investigators detailing a culture of excessive spending on Fiesta Bowl employees, politicians and business associates. The BCS will review the report and decide whether and how to punish the Fiesta Bowl.
Its seven-member task force includes a member who for years let the Fiesta Bowl pay for his golf at a resort, and another who took a free Caribbean trip last year from the Orange Bowl, The Republic has learned.
In addition, Hancock said Wednesday that for at least five years, while attending Fiesta Frolic, he let the Fiesta Bowl cover his golf tab and accepted free gifts from Nike.
The Frolic is an annual, multiday spring gathering the bowl stages for college-football officials at a Phoenix resort.
Hancock called the Frolic, which costs the Fiesta Bowl several hundred thousand dollars a year, a “remarkable business opportunity” for college-football executives to network. However, the Fiesta Bowl Special Committee’s investigative report noted that it recently changed its name to Fiesta Bowl Spring College Football Seminars at the request of attendees “to make the event sound like less of a ‘boondoggle.’ “
Sweet Jesus. The IRS and DOJ are watching this, right? They’re going to go after a couple baseball players for taking some silly little steroid pills but they’re going to let these assholes in orange blazers compeltely neglect the tax code and hide behind their not-for-profit status?
Jesus this day gets better and better. Dan Wetzel for Yahoo! Sports has been on the forefront of taking down the BCS’s hypocrisies for years, even publishing a book about it all this past season. To add to the NCAA’s embarrassment this morning, Wetzel dropped this bomb on them too! There are big things going on, so glad Wetzel was able to join in on the party with another strategically aimed dagger to the NCAA’s heart. From Yahoo! Sports:
The Bowl Championship Series is so troubled by the graft exposed in Tuesday’s Fiesta Bowl corruption report that it appointed a special “task force.” Among the members is an athletics director who accepted a free Caribbean cruise from the Orange Bowl just last summer.
Yes, there’s nothing like having a guy – in this case, Southern Mississippi’s Richard Giannini – who takes lavish gifts from one bowl game to judge another bowl game for giving out lavish gifts.
The obvious news from Tuesday’s 276-page Fiesta Bowl report is that longtime CEO John Junker was fired and is in major legal trouble, in part because of the eye-popping way his bowl game was run – $1,200 strip-joint bills tend to generate news interest. The real issue is that the BCS is doing what the Fiesta Bowl originally tried to do: conduct a shallow investigation and hope the party is allowed to rage on.
As a person who follows sports news religiously, I can freely attest that I have never witnessed anything like has happened today. The NCAA is getting completely hammered from all angles and it’s like the journalism community today decided to fight back against the collective NCAA bully by bodyslamming them the way that fat kid did a couple weeks ago in the now famous video.
Anxious to see where this goes.