NCAA President Mark Emmert Thursday announced the establishment of an NCAA Division I Bowl Licensing Task Force to examine the purpose, criteria, process and oversight of the NCAA licensing procedures for bowl games. Issues the task force will examine will include governance and oversight by bowl sponsoring agencies, conflict-of-interest rules and policies, advertising and title-sponsorship standards, and the oversight and reporting of financial management of bowl games. The task force will be co-Chaired by Univ. of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, with the other co-Chair to be announced later. The NCAA Division I BOD Thursday also approved a three-year moratorium on new postseason football bowl game licenses in order for the task force to do its work (NCAA).
LEARNING ITS FATE: In Phoenix, Craig Harris reports the "scandal-plagued" Fiesta Bowl "likely will know next month" whether it remains in the BCS and retains its license to operate. Early indications "seem favorable for the bowl, based on public comments after meetings Saturday in Chicago and the past few days in New Orleans." BCS officials expressed "disappointment in prior Fiesta Bowl behavior," but they "praised it for efforts to clean up its mess." Big East Conference Senior Associate Commissioner for Football and NCAA Postseason Bowl Licensing Subcommittee Chair Nick Carparelli Jr. said that there were "no problems with the bowl's finances, typically a key issue in maintaining an NCAA bowl license" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/29). In L.A., Chris Dufresne notes "all indications point to the Fiesta Bowl making whatever changes are necessary to remain in the bowl rotation, although a final decision isn't likely until the end of May" (L.A. TIMES, 4/29). USA TODAY's Kelly Whiteside notes if the BCS "decides to keep the Fiesta in its rotation, there surely will be criticism given the severity of the improprieties." But Carparelli said, "The decision will be made because it's the right thing to do" (USA TODAY, 4/29).
GETTING TIGHTER: In New Orleans, Ted Lewis reported the BCS conference commissioners and ESPN are "unhappy with the length of time between the first BCS bowl and the championship game." That gap was from Jan. 1 to Jan. 10 this year, and next year, "unless an NFL work stoppage intervenes, it's two days shorter -- Jan. 2 to Jan. 9." Spreading the five games "over eight or more days is seen as diminishing interest as reflected in the TV ratings, depressing attendance for the non-championship games played after Jan. 1 and causing the teams in the title game to become stale because they have gone more than a month without playing." SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, "We would like to see some tightening done. It's one of our more important discussions" (NOLA.com, 4/28).