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Volume 24 No. 112

Collegiate Sports

     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).