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In the latest issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Tim Layden examines the financial burden most bowl games create for their schools. "Many bowl games invite schools in much the same way Don Corleone invited wedding guests into his office. He does you a favor. You do him a favor." Layden explains the difficulty schools have with bowl agreements require that a huge number of tickets be sold. For example, N.C. State was required to sell 15,000 tickets to last year's Hall of Fame bowl, and when it failed, it absorbed the remaining 11,000 at $30 a piece. Many teams are cutting costs by eliminating bands from bowl trips. According to Layden, the system only makes sense for teams such as Notre Dame or Miami, which aren't required to share a large percentage of bowl money with fellow conference members and are almost guaranteed a spot on New Year's Day every year. Writes Layden, "Major bowls, no revenue sharing: the path to financial security." Furthermore, with all the problems the bowl system creates, there is still a good chance a national champion will not be crowned at the end of the season. Who are the bowls good for? "Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Oregon State like bowls because through revenue sharing, they get money from bowls without the hassle of actually traveling to and playing in them." Vanderbilt made more than $350,000 after a 4-7 record in 1993, while Tennessee, a participant in the '93 Hall of Fame Bowl lost $6,273 after expenses (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 12/26-1/2 issue).
The Pac-10 has invited the University of Colorado to join their conference. CU's Board of Regents will hold a special briefing today in Boulder to consider the invitation. This invitation comes as "a surprise on a couple of counts": 1) Colorado is part of the Big-8, and expected to be a large part of the newly created Big 12; 2) Colorado President Judith Albino is a graduate of Texas, and pushed hard for Texas to be a part "reconstituted Big Eight with the Southwest Conference members." Pac-10 officials admitted they might not stop at Colorado, and may try to lure one more school to bring the conference to 12. Pac-10 Assistant Commissioner Jim Muldron said that Texas has an open initiation to join their conference. Albino said the school would look at a number of factors before deciding "within a week or so" on a decision (Bud Withers, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 12/22).
The Orange Bowl Committee is trying to bring the Pigskin Classic to the Orange Bowl stadium in '96. The Classic is one of two preseason football games run by the Nat'l Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and sanctioned by the NCAA. The Classic has been sponsored by Disneyland and played in Anaheim since the game began in '90, but Disney dropped out after attendance "plummeted to an all-time low" of 28,513 this year. Also bidding for the game was the Kickoff Classic at the Meadowlands, which wants to merge the two games beginning in '96. The OBC bid is contingent on getting a sponsor and network TV commitment (Susan Miller Degnan, MIAMI HERALD, 12/22).