For the many people that feel college football is about as corrupt as a 1930′s mafia family the news in yesterday’s USA Today will do nothing to dispel that argument.
Fiesta Bowl president and CEO, John Junker, was fired yesterday after being investigated for finance violations. The ripple effect of these actions could be brutal to the Fiesta Bowl as BCS commissioner Bill Hancock was quoted in the article as saying, “the Fiesta Bowl could be removed from the elite group that hosts a national championship game every four years” and “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”
The Fiesta Bowl released an in-depth report yesterday detailing the allegations against Junker. The most over-the-top being:
“Lavish expenses. A review by investigators showed Junker was reimbursed $4.85 million for expenses over the past decade, of which more than half could not be verified as legitimate. Items expensed by Junker and other executives, the report says, included a $1,200 night at a strip club; $13,000 in travel to an employee’s wedding in Missouri; a $30,000-plus birthday party for Junker in Pebble Beach, Calif.; and thousands of dollars in golf-club memberships.”
I always said if you’re going to get fired for stealing from your job it better not be over stealing a stapler or some pens or pencils. From that standpoint, I guess $2.4M qualifies. I’m pretty sure he had to know that someone would find out about that $30k birthday party though. Maybe he felt like since it was his 50th birthday, that made it okay.
The worst part about all this is that he won’t get fried in the media nearly as bad as any college kid that tries to make some extra cash by selling an autograph or jersey, or gets a free meal from McDonald’s. If LaMichael James sells his wristband after a game atleast it’s his own property. This guy is stole money that wasn’t even his. That’s straight theft.
No, I don’t condone either case, but there’s a clear double standard when it comes to persecution by the media, and the punishments dealt out. I find it hard to believe that no one else on the Fiesta Bowl board knew this was going on. It’s not like he was spending all this money on himself. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the only one using those country club memberships. And who got that $8,400 diamond pendant? That person definitely knew what was up.
I say give the Cotton Bowl and Jerry Jones’ 100,000 seat stadium the Fiesta Bowl’s spot in the BCS and let it become just another bowl. If they’re going to crack down on the players when they break the rules, it’s time to do the same to those who are supposed to be setting the example.