Fiesta Bowl: Time to repay the schools
The Fiesta Bowl lives; $1 million poor, but alive. The BCS fined the Fiesta $1 million and will allow the Fiesta to remain in the Bowl Championship Series.
I’ve always liked the Fiesta Bowl and even defended the BCS system to a degree. But the $1 million fine is not enough. Not enough for the Fiesta or the BCS.
If the Fiesta scandal taught us anything, it’s this. The BCS bowls are awash in money. They bathe in $50 bills. Executive director John Junker’s lavish lifestyle proves it.
So the $1 million fine, recommended to be distributed to various Arizona charities, isn’t enough. Time to cut back on the big bowls’ guaranteed revenue.
The next BCS contract with the conferences should offer relief to the schools that at times have been paying a big penalty. Time to cut down on those ticket minimum requirements, which are 17,500 for each school. OU and Connecticut, for example, each was on the hook for 17,500 tickets for the Fiesta Bowl.
The Sooners didn’t sell out, after either selling out or coming close in its previous two Fiesta trips. Connecticut sold 4,600.
Now, if you want to play in a Fiesta Bowl, you’ve got to be able to sell more than 4,600. But 17,500 is too many. The bowls make such demands because they can, but it’s time to renegotiate. How about 17,500 available, but you’re on the hook for only 12,000?
That seems fair. It’s not like the bowls need the 17,500 guarantee to make ends meet. The Fiesta Bowl scandal has proven that. The 17,500 guarantee is needed for a bowl to have a huge surplus for it to spend in selfish ways.
The bowls’ position at the bargaining table is weakened. The schools and the conferences have the power. They should wield it.
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