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Publish date: May 17, 2011

Bowl panel reaffirms Fiesta license with probation

The NCAA Postseason Bowl Licensing Subcommittee today reaffirmed bowl licenses for the Tostitos Fiesta and Insight bowls on a one-year probationary period. 

This includes the requirement that Fiesta Bowl officials meet in person with the subcommittee at its annual meeting in April 2012 to provide a progress report on its management and business plan changes. Additional requirements may be implemented after the new Division I Bowl Licensing Task Force completes its report this fall.

The decision to reaffirm the licenses follows the subcommittee’s review of the Fiesta Bowl’s independent special committee report; the Bowl Championship Series’ special task force report; and a presentation from Fiesta Bowl officials at the subcommittee’s annual meeting last month. 

During that meeting in New Orleans, when the subcommittee reaffirmed the licenses of 32 other bowls, Fiesta Bowl representatives presented detailed information regarding organizational changes made in the wake of the independent special committee report that highlighted numerous financial and political improprieties involving former bowl officials.

The Fiesta and Insight bowls are operated by the same organization.

Nick Carparelli, chair of the postseason bowl licensing subcommittee and senior associate commissioner at the Big East Conference, said the subcommittee was troubled with the findings of the independent report but conditionally supports the new direction of the Fiesta Bowl.

“The subcommittee was greatly concerned with the apparent lack of oversight and integrity associated with previous Fiesta Bowl management,” said Carparelli. “Considering the business model changes and new direction of the bowl, along with the actions from the BCS, the subcommittee felt comfortable with reaffirming the Fiesta and Insight licenses on a probationary status.”

The Association’s role in licensing bowls will soon be getting a fresh look at the request of NCAA President Mark Emmert.

Last month, Emmert announced the creation of the NCAA Division I Bowl Licensing Task Force. The panel will examine several areas, including governance and oversight by bowl sponsoring agencies, conflict-of-interest rules and policies, advertising and title-sponsorship standards, and the oversight and reporting of financial management of bowl games.

The task force will be co-chaired by Harvey Perlman, chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The other co-chair will be a person outside of higher education and intercollegiate athletics. The full task force roster is expected to be announced in the near future.