By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
The Fiesta Bowl has fired president and CEO John Junker after an internal investigation found "an apparent scheme" to reimburse employees for political contributions. Here's a New York Times story detailing what's in the report. Here's the actual report.
The Bowl Championship Series has responded by threatening to boot the Fiesta from its group. Dallas would be the likely replacement, either with the Cotton Bowl or a game backed by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
A change in the BCS likely wouldn't affect Boise State other than its fans would need to travel farther to reach a BCS game.
Here's the statement from the BCS, which says the Fiesta must "demonstrate why it should remain a BCS bowl game":
Statement by Graham Spanier, Chair of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee and Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the BCS:
We are deeply disappointed and troubled to learn of these findings related to the Fiesta Bowl.
Unprofessional, unethical or improper behavior is unacceptable. There is no place for such activities in higher education or in collegiate sports. It is expected that all parties contracted with the BCS will live up to the highest standards. We do not wish to be associated with entities that believe otherwise.
The fact that Fiesta Bowl officials have turned a spotlight on their bowl's activities is a sign that many individuals within the organization feel the same way. It is appropriate that the Fiesta Bowl conducted this investigation. The Fiesta Bowl volunteers and many others in the Phoenix area have worked hard through the years to build a tradition and provide lifetime memories for thousands of student-athletes.
Nevertheless, the BCS takes this matter seriously and will consider whether the Fiesta Bowl should remain a BCS bowl game or other appropriate sanctions. To make that determination, we are taking these actions:
1. We have appointed a task force to evaluate the bowl's findings and its recommendations.
2. We have asked the bowl to demonstrate why it should remain a BCS bowl game. The task force will evaluate the bowl's response, along with the full slate of reforms instituted by the bowl.
3. If the bowl remains a part of the BCS, its handling of this matter will be closely monitored going forward.
It is imperative that Fiesta Bowl officials take all necessary steps to fully address and correct the problems they have reported. The task force will begin its deliberations immediately.
The members of the task force are Chairman Graham Spanier, President, Penn State University; John Peters, President, Northern Illinois University; John Marinatto, Commissioner, Big East Conference; Wright Waters, Commissioner, Sun Belt Conference; Jeremy Foley, Athletics Director, University of Florida; Bob Bowlsby, Athletics Director, Stanford University; and, Richard Giannini Athletics Director, University of Southern Mississippi.