AS THE DAYS roll along, the unseemly underbelly of college football's bowl system continues to become more exposed.
A little more than a month ago, I pointed to a book called "Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series." It outlines the corruption, politics and wasted money exposed via tax filings, contracts and congressional testimony.
Then on Tuesday, almost if on cue following the recent criticism, Fiesta Bowl executive director John Junker was fired over charges of improper campaign contributions, unauthorized compensation, inappropriate expenditures and inappropriate gifts.
You may remember that WVU, which played in Orlando's Champs Sports Bowl, recorded a profit of $144,750 from its trip. Officials in Morgantown were thrilled. The reason: a bowl profit is rare; a bowl loss is the norm.
Junker, meanwhile, reportedly has been making $542,402 a year. Chief Operating Officer Natalie Wisneski has been making $289,447.
It's an absurd setup. And it's been an absurd setup for many years.
You may ask why university presidents and athletic directors haven't snuffed the setup. Well, maybe because they've enjoyed perks like the annual Fiesta Frolic golf retreat at a Phoenix-area resort. The tab for that party was a mere $387,421. The Orange Bowl committee sponsored a four-day cruise to the Bahamas for athletic directors and conference commissioners.
Dig deep. You'll see the Fiesta Bowl paid $284,016 to a registered lobbyist. And the kicker: most bowls enjoy the tax benefits of being categorized as non-profit organizations.
Seedy enough for you? Well, apparently it is for new WVU athletic director Oliver Luck. On Wednesday he said he's put the kibosh on any in his department attending the Frolic. Perhaps more importantly, though, is his decision to take action.
"Most of the decisions involving bowls are made at the conference level," Luck said. "The NCAA sanctions the bowls, but that's about it. The conferences do most of the work.
"I've expressed that I'd like to put the bowl issue on our [Big East] agenda."
Luck said he made the request of Big East senior associate commissioner Nick Carparelli, who oversees football and corporate sponsorship. The issue could be discussed at the conference's May meeting or later in the summer.