Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Breaking: John Junker resigns as Fiesta Bowl investigation concludes

John Junker/Courtesy: Fiestabowl.org
We've been following this for sometime as part of our criticism of the BCS and the College Football bowl system as whole.

The now, former president of the Fiesta Bowl has resigned ahead of a scathing report about to be released regarding the over-the-top, extravagant spending of both he and his bowl game.

Read that story from AZCentral.com RIGHT HERE

You can read the report yourself, follow the link HERE

**UPDATE**---The BCS of all people scolds Junker and the Fiesta Bowl, threatening to pull the Fiesta Bowl's BCS status. Their executive director Bill Hancock said this to the Arizona Republic: "The BCS group takes this matter very seriously and will consider whether they keep a BCS Bowl game and we'll consider other appropriate sanctions.""If the bowl does remain a BCS Bowl, its handling of things will be closely monitored going forward".

Among the details in the report, which the New York Times got an advance copy of, includes funneling campaign contributions to politicians, flying other politicians around the country on the bowl game's dime, a $1000 bill at a strip club and a $30,000 birthday party for Junker his ownself.

Read the entire story from the New York Times RIGHT HERE

For his part, Junker, who was put on administrative leave, never did speak to investigators. But he apparently didn't have to. The excess also included many personal expenses which were billed back to the bowl.

The whole affair was triggered by an initial complaint that Bowl Game employees were being coerced into donating money to chosen political candidates with the assumption they'd be re-paid. They weren't.

The investigation later discovered the Fiesta Bowl had lobbyists and others on the payroll, though nobody could figure out why they would need them.

This all goes back to our point that the Bowl games exist strictly for their own benefit. Even though many claim they are "Non-profit" in nature, a notion we and most everyone else scoffs at. We reported recently on the University of Connecticut having to pay back over $1 million to the Fiesta Bowl because they couldn't convince fans to travel across the country for the game. Same for Oklahoma, though they got bailed out by their conference.

There are several prevailing arguments out there that the Bowl system and the BCS in particular will never change because too many people have their hands in the kitty. Nobody wants to give up their kingdom. When you have a system that pays someone like Junker $600,000 to oversee, let me emphasize this "ONE" football game, you've got a problem.

Unfortunately, we don't think this will change much of anything. It should, but it won't. Junker won't be charged with anything if this story is an indicator. We aren't saying he did anything criminal, but it sure the heck looks like he did.

In a land where the rich get richer...and the rich are the only ones who get to increase their profits, nobody is going to do what is best for everyone. Which, to be honest, is a crying-ass shame.

Here's the latest from our friends at KTVK-TV/AZ3 in Phoenix...

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