Doug Robinson: Lack of media outrage deafening over BCS scandal

Published: Thursday, April 7 2011 10:00 p.m. MDT

Wait a minute. Is that it? The Fiesta Bowl does its best imitation of the IOC and "The Price is Right," and the story dies in the media after a couple of days?

Where's the outrage?

A little of that would be a healthy thing right now.

Don't tell us that anyone is buying that BS from the BCS that the scandal involves only the Fiesta Bowl and is no reflection on the rest of the system. Pa-lease!

We need a little outrage because the Fiesta Bowl scandal is an opportunity for change, an opportunity to bring down the evil BCS, an opportunity to replace a monopolistic, un-American, unfair, elitist system with a playoff.

The Fiesta Bowl scandal could be the best thing to happen to college football since TV and the forward pass. The lying liars of the BCS have finally been exposed for what most observers thought they were all along: a good-old boys network that is hanging onto an archaic system because it's a cash cow.

Predictably, the BCS is backpedaling like Deion Sanders trying to distance itself from the Fiesta scandal. Bill Hancock, executive director and chief dispenser of crapola for the Bowl Championship Series, said the Fiesta Bowl could be removed from its exclusive club of BCS bowls that hosts a national championship game every four years.

"The BCS group takes this matter very seriously and will consider whether they keep a BCS bowl game, and we will consider other appropriate sanctions," Hancock told The Arizona Republic.

Tony Samaranch couldn't have done it any better. Remember when Tony tried to pin all the blame for the Salt Lake bid scandal exclusively on a handful of its members and gave them the boot even though gifts and graft were a decades-old systemic problem in the IOC?

And Hancock and the boys want us to believe the Fiesta scandal is an isolated problem? Right.

"Any BCS effort to expel the Fiesta Bowl would be a hypocritical act, given the documented irregularities at these other BCS bowls," says Matthew Sanderson, co-founder of Playoff PAC, a group advocating a playoff system. "And who's to say we won't find the same type of shockingly questionable behavior when the curtain is peeled back at the BCS's Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl?"

The Playoff PAC web site lists the following questionable behavior by the Orange and Sugar bowls, which are classified as non-profit, tax-exempt businesses:

 The Orange Bowl sponsors an annual Caribbean cruise that the Bowl itself describes as a "complimentary getaway" for bowl staff and college football officials that includes no business meetings.

 $1 out of every $10 that the Sugar Bowl takes in ends up in the hands of its top three executives.

 Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan received $645,386 in 2009, a year in which the Sugar Bowl lost money despite receiving a $1.4 million government grant. Hoolahan collected $25,000 more than the Rose Bowl's top three executives combined.

 BCS bowls use charitable funds to fly bowl execs and spouses first-class, pay private club dues, and foot the bill for employees' personal income taxes. The Orange Bowl, for example, spent $756,546 on travel in 2009 for its personnel.

 The Orange Bowl spent $331,938 on "parties" and "summer splash" in 2004, $42,281 on "golf" in 2004 and 2006, $535,764 on "gifts" in 2006, and $472,627 on "gifts" in 2008.

 The Sugar Bowl spent $201,226 on "gifts and bonuses" and $330,244 on "decorations" in 2008.

 The Sugar Bowl spent $710,406 in 2007 and 2008 on a mysteriously vague category called "special appropriations."

 The Orange Bowl spends over $100,000 per year on "postage and shipping" (10 times the amount that other BCS bowls spend annually).

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