Afraid to think about the future of the Fiesta Bowl in the BCS

Mar 30, 2011, 3:20 PM | Updated: 11:09 pm

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The Fiesta Bowl’s Board of Directors did what they had to do on Tuesday, fired John Junker.

OK, we got the news out of the way.

Excuse me for being selfish but as a resident of Arizona and gigantic fan of college football, I want to know what’s next.

Really, it comes down to one question.

Will Glendale, Arizona be the home of the national championship game in four years and host a BCS game in the years leading up?

I just finished reading the BCS’s statement regarding the Fiesta Bowl.

Just like all statements, they gave us PR-speak throughout. I’m going to try to decode it the best I can (the entire thing) and see if I can look into the future.

Sections of the statement are below in italics with my thoughts after.

We are deeply disappointed and troubled to learn of these findings related to the Fiesta Bowl.

Yeah, of course you are. You, just like the rest of us, would rather none of this came out, was swept under the rug and we could all go about our daily lives.

Unprofessional, unethical or improper behavior is unacceptable. There is no place for such activities in higher education or in collegiate sports. It is expected that all parties contracted with the BCS will live up to the highest standards. We do not wish to be associated with entities that believe otherwise.

I will be completely honest. That first sentence made me chuckle and I had to re-read it before I could move on.

Unprofessional, unethical or improper behavior are all words I would use to describe what Ohio State’s Jim Tressel did for the past 10 months. But that’s right, you allowed (probably even pleaded and begged) five suspended players to play in your Sugar Bowl just this past January because you knew a game between Arkansas and Ohio State would be great football and produce monumental TV ratings — 8.2 to be exact, third highest among bowl games.

That graph just disgusts me. How can they write that with a straight face? I bet they didn’t. There is no way.

The fact that Fiesta Bowl officials have turned a spotlight on their bowl’s activities is a sign that many individuals within the organization feel the same way. It is appropriate that the Fiesta Bowl conducted this investigation. The Fiesta Bowl volunteers and many others in the Phoenix area have worked hard through the years to build a tradition and provide lifetime memories for thousands of student-athletes.

You are admitting the Fiesta Bowl is sorry they got caught (and you are too), we get it.

Now, you do get real on a few things as you decide to step off your perch.

The “volunteers and many others in the Phoenix area” have worked extremely hard throughout the years to be great hosts, put on lifetime remembering memories and, most importantly, a marvelous show.

Yes, yes they have. I have witnessed it myself a few times.

Nevertheless, the BCS takes this matter seriously and will consider whether the Fiesta Bowl should remain a BCS bowl game or other appropriate sanctions. To make that determination, we are taking these actions:

1. We have appointed a task force to evaluate the bowl’s findings and its recommendations.

2. We have asked the bowl to demonstrate why it should remain a BCS bowl game. The task force will evaluate the bowl’s response, along with the full slate of reforms instituted by the bowl.

3. If the bowl remains a part of the BCS, its handling of this matter will be closely monitored going forward.

This is where the Fiesta Bowl, the state of Arizona and Glendale (poor Glendale, I mean what did that city do to the sporting event Gods?) could be in some serious trouble.

I seriously think it’s very much up in the air if Arizona will host another national title.

A “task force” to look over the findings after the Fiesta Bowl just had an investigation by an independent Special Committee. Not good.

The Fiesta Bowl has to “demonstrate” why they should remain a BCS bowl game.

The best way to do that is to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Umm, we have now just found out the Fiesta Bowl has been doing a lot of talking and failing at the walking. Big trouble.

Even if you are kept as part of the BCS you will be under a microscope. No one wants to be under a tight watch and have to be scared for their job with every decision they make. Look around your office, how’s that working out?

It is imperative that Fiesta Bowl officials take all necessary steps to fully address and correct the problems they have reported. The task force will begin its deliberations immediately.

So the BCS is going to move faster than the NCAA and get to work on this immediately. Great.

Fiesta Bowl, hopefully you knew this day would come for the past two-plus years and have been preparing for it.

Otherwise, we’re screwed. And that stinks.


TY’s Outtakes

What I learned this week…

While I’m not surprised, I do think this is funny and ridiculous at the same time. An iPhone app for $0.99, “Last Night Never Happened.”

Tweet of the week…

From @ESPNResearch: 5.9 million brackets in the ESPN Tournament Challenge… and TWO have the Final Four correct. TWO!

Tell me those two people are either alumni or have kids on the team for VCU. There is no other explanation that would make sense.

Suggestion of the week…

This is a tough one. The destruction is indescribable. Cherish every day because you don’t know when 180 seconds could change your world.

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Afraid to think about the future of the Fiesta Bowl in the BCS