Cotton Bowl eyes Fiesta’s spot in BCS

Mar 30, 2011, 6:57 PM | Updated: 6:59 pm

PHOENIX — The possibility that the Cotton Bowl and Jerry Jones’ showplace stadium in Texas might replace the Fiesta Bowl in the Bowl Championship Series is being bantered about in the sports world in the aftermath of a scandal that led to the firing of Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker.

Junker was fired Tuesday after a special investigating committee concluded he had misspent millions of dollars in Fiesta Bowl funds and persuaded bowl employees to make political donations, then be reimbursed in the form of bonuses.

Junker had headed the Fiesta Bowl for decades and propelled it into one of the four college bowl games which take turns hosting the national college football championship game each year. The other BCS bowls are the Orange, Sugar and the Rose.

Randy Galloway, a sports writer for the Fort Worth Star Telegram and ESPN Radio Dallas, said Wednesday that talk about the Fiesta scandal was picking up in the Dallas area where it has been no secret that the Cotton Bowl wants the Fiesta’s spot in the BCS mix. But, he also said the discussion was muted somewhat “while the most corrupt organization in American sports — that would be the BCS — investigates what it calls corruption with the Fiesta Bowl.”

Galloway added, “I love this. Corruption investigating supposed corruption. I can’t wait to see how this works out.”

He said the BCS would love to play games, especially the national championship, in the billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium in Arlington which opened in May 2009. Cowboys Stadium, the largest domed stadium in the world, seats 80,000 for football and, with standing room, can hold more than 100,000.

“Even if this (the scandal) hadn’t happened, that monster in Arlington is still there,” Gaolloway said. “There is nothing like it. It is the best stadium in the world. Jerry Jones (Cowboys owner) can screw up a football team with the best of ’em, maybe the best of ’em. But he did not screw that stadium up. And that stadium is a hammer that the BCS wants. Eventually, if the BCS is going to remain in business, there would be a BCS bowl here.”

Galloway added, “If it’s going to come earlier than expected at the expense of the Fiesta Bowl, we don’t know that yet.”

He said nobody surpasses the Fiesta Bowl when it comes to putting on a great event and he thinks it would be “unfair” if the Cotton got the Fiesta’s BCS spot because of the Junker scandal.

After Junker was fired, the BCS issued a statement Tuesday, saying that “unprofessional, unethical or improper behavior is unacceptable” in collegiate sports. The BCS said it has appointed a task force to evaluate the Fiesta Bowl’s situation and has asked the Fiesta to demonstrate why it whould remain a BCS bowl game.

“It is imperative that Fiesta Bowl officials take all necessary steps to fully address and correct the problems they have reported,” the BCS statement said.

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