The college football bowl system is alleged to be rife with corruption, some of which bubbled to the surface in an Arizona Republic report that identified rampant misuse of funds by Fiesta Bowl officials.
Sports Illustrated connects the dots and describes how the abuse hit home. Tax money in West Virginia, which was used to subsidize West Virginia University’s athletic department, ended up in the hands of bowl officials, who used the cash to allegedly reimburse employees for making campaign contributions — potentially violating the bowl’s nonprofit status — and give expensive gifts to power brokers.
In 2008, when the WVU team qualified for the bowl, the athletic department had to pay the Fiesta Bowl for nearly 10,000 tickets it failed to sell. Costs to bring the team to Arizona caused the athletic department to lose more than $1 million on the bowl appearance.
The Fiesta Bowl later reimbursed the then-CEO for a $1,241.75 visit to a strip club along with one of his employees and a consultant.
The BCS is now investigating whether or not the Fiesta Bowl should be included in the ranks of the BCS, a rotation that determines college football’s national championship.
Fiesta Bowl saga strong reminder that BCS system invites corruption [Sports Illustrated]