Was the penalty levied on the Fiesta Bowl sufficient?

May 13, 2011

Logical decision

Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

You could argue the Fiesta Bowl, based on financial skullduggery and malfeasance, deserved to be dropped from the BCS rotation. Everything considered, letting it remain was the logical move. Revoking the Fiesta's lamp shade license would have had severe economic impact on the Phoenix area that had nothing to do with the actions of a few.

The Fiesta impressed the BCS panel with other acts of contrition. The Fiesta Bowl also hosts the Insight Bowl, so replacing two bowls midway through the BCS cycle would have been legally complicated and would punish people who didn't necessarily deserve to be.

The BCS got to act tough by tacking on a $1 million fine and putting "Animal House" on double-secret probation. They've fired the CEO and canceled this year's "Fiesta Frolic."

How much rain can you throw on a parade?


Puzzling ruling

Matt Murschel

Orlando Sentinel

At a time when college football has been under intense scrutiny by just about everyone from Capitol Hill down to the average fan, the decision to allow the Fiesta Bowl to remain in the BCS is puzzling.

If the college presidents and conference commissioners wanted to make a real statement about the integrity and the morals of the BCS, they should have booted the Fiesta Bowl. Allowing them to remain while just penalizing them with a $1 million sanction does nothing to show that serious actions have serious consequences.

BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said the BCS "won't do business with folks who behave that way" — but by allowing the Fiesta Bowl to go virtually unpunished you are doing just that.


Greed prevails

Desmond Conner

Hartford Courant

College athletics is a business and businesses are about making money.

It shouldn't be a surprise the Fiesta Bowl was able to maintain its position within the BCS after a scandal within the group uncovered illegal campaign contributions from staff and lavish spending by former CEO John Junker on parties and a night at a strip club. Junker was fired in March.

Did you know the Fiesta Bowl reportedly netted $15 million in 2011?

Quite a profit, eh? That's the point.

The Fiesta Bowl gladly forked over a measly $1 million for its indiscretions.

Strengthening the board and imposing greater supervision among its bowl executives was also part of the resolution.

The $1 million is supposed to go to charities that benefit Arizona's youth, which is a good thing. Still, this is yet another knock on the BCS and the greed that surrounds it.


Don't punish innocents

Teddy Greenstein

Chicago Tribune

I would love to get Jerry Jones' take on this question. I'm sure the King of the Cowboys would love to crack the BCS code and bring a big-time game to his stadium.

I'm inclined to believe, though, that the Fiesta Bowl should stay where it is. I'd rather not see hundreds of diligent staffers and volunteers, not to mention tens of thousands of sun-drenched fans, pay the price for the insidious crimes of former CEO John Junker and the board that let him produce "Junker Gone Wild."

I like that the BCS presidential oversight committee has slapped the Fiesta Bowl with a $1 million fine and hammered the group for its ethical fumbles. The other bowls also need to examine how they conduct business.


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