The BCS is telling everyone that the recent events surrounding the Fiesta Bowl are an isolated incident, but they would be wrong. The Orange and Sugar Bowl's have had some similar irregular spending and the Playoff Pac has put together a list of these questionable transactions.
Here is what Playoff Pac co-founder Matthew Sanderson had this to say on the matter:
"In the interest of self-preservation, the BCS is now painting this Fiesta Bowl scandal as isolated misconduct. This is wrong. Public records show the BCS's Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl are also legally and ethically troubled. Any BCS effort to expel the Fiesta Bowl would be a hypocritical act, given the documented irregularities at these other BCS Bowls. 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?"
Excellent points. If there is similar damning evidence against the Orange and Sugar Bowls, what becomes of the BCS? Will they just replace these bowl games with the Capital One, Holiday or Alamo Bowls just to keep the BCS together and not form a playoff. This seems like it is the beginning of the end of the BCS.
Now onto the details of the Orange and Sugar bowls.
We all know about the three-day Caribbean cruise the Orange Bowl threw, but there is more information about that cruise which comes courtesy of 'Death to the BCS' author and Yahoo sports writer Dan Wetzel:
Richard Giannini who is a the task-force member, was one of more than 40 administrators (plus spouses, of course) who accepted the Orange Bowl's "complimentary getaway" to the Caribbean in June. He was pretty much just following the crowd. (He has not responded to attempts seeking comment).
According to records obtained by PlayoffPAC, there wasn't a single business meeting scheduled for the entire trip. The brochure did note that attendees would have time for things like a day on the private island of CocoCay, which "offers activities for everyone, from parasailing to sipping delicious ‘Coco Locos' on a hammock."
As shown by the detailed agenda, this Caribbean cruise was a junket. No business meetings were held. Attendees were instead occupied with full-day excursions to Atlantis Resort and CocoCay, a private island.
Basically a free cruise that had no business meetings at all, but was paid for by the bowl game that forces schools to buy at least 10,000 overpriced tickets they can not sell and make them stay in high-end hotels. And this is how they spend the money by paying for a cruise that had nothing to do with the bowl game.
Here are more spending habits of both the Sugar and Orange Bowls who are both set up as public charities for tax purposes. Some of these findings are shocking:
Sugar Bowl Exec. Dir. Paul Hoolahan received $645,386 in FY 2009, a year in which the Sugar Bowl lost money despite receiving a $1.4 million government grant. Mr. 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 FY 2009 for its personnel.
The Orange Bowl spent $331,938 on "parties" and "summer splash" in FY 2004, $42,281 on "golf" in FY 2004 and FY 2006, $535,764 on "gifts" in FY 2006, and $472,627 on "gifts" in FY 2008.
The Sugar Bowl spent $330,244 on "decorations" in FY 2008.
Aside from these expenses, both BCS Bowls repeatedly describe expenses with vague verbiage. Given the Fiesta Bowl's revelations yesterday about questionable expenses that were once tagged with similarly indistinct labels, both BCS Bowls should fully account for these items. The Sugar Bowl spent $710,406 in FYE 2007 and FYE 2008 on a mysteriously vague category called "special appropriations."
The Orange Bowl spends over $100,000 per year on "postage and shipping" (ten times the amount that other BCS Bowls spend annually).
The Orange Bowl spent $1,189,005 on unspecified "entertainment" and "catering" in FY 2009, $1,017,322 on undifferentiated "event food" and "entertainment" in FY 2008, and $75,896 on "recruitment" in FY 2008.
Clearly those spendings do not look like they qualify as a charitable organization or should be given nonprofit stats. Using charitable donations for first-class flights is indescribable. I am sure they had to fly in first-class and that was deemed appropriate use of the money set aside for a charitable donation.
With these latest findings there will be a huge difference in how bowls are monitored and who knows maybe this will force a playoff to be formed which will remove these unethical people in charge of these meaningless exhibition games.