Skip to content

Fiesta Bowl hires defense lawyer as IRS investigations loom

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Connecticut v Oklahoma Getty Images

Fiesta Bowl officials have hired defense attorney Nathan J. Hochman as state and federal investigators continue looking into specifics about the bowl group’s financial and political dealings, this according to the Associated Press.

The initial complaint came from the activist group, PlayoffPAC, a committee seriously hates the BCS. In January, PlayoffPAC sent a formal complaint to the IRS regarding an Orange Bowl “business cruise” featuring high ranking ACC officials.

The group claims that the Fiesta Bowl violated their tax-exempt status by paying excessive salaries and benefits to employees and taking part in undisclosed lobbying.

A spokesman from the bowl game would not comment on the matter.


Permalink 22 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Posts
22 Responses to “Fiesta Bowl hires defense lawyer as IRS investigations loom”
  1. southernpatriots says: Feb 13, 2011 8:57 PM

    If there has been wrongdoing, not just allegation and accusation, but actual wrongdoing, then those who committed the crimes should be held responsible. We will follow and await the investigative findings. After all, the charities this bowl is supposed to support may have been adversely affected.

  2. southernpatriots says: Feb 13, 2011 9:14 PM

    We know some of the charities which benefit from the Fiesta Bowl and all are very concerned about the revelations and investigations.

    The charities that benefit from the Fiesta Bowl include: The 100 Club; Against Abuse, Inc.; American Cancer Society; American Diabetes Association; American Heart Association; Boys & Girls Clubs; City of Hope; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation; Foundation for Burns & Trauma;
    Friends of the Arizona Cancer Center; Hospice of Arizona; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF); The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; March of Dimes; NAACP; National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development;
    Phoenix Children’s Hospital; Ronald McDonald House; The Salvation Army; Society of St. Vincent de Paul; Special Olympics Arizona; Sun Angel Foundation; The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; St. Mary’s Food Bank; Tempe Diablos Charities; United Blood Services; YMCA; and others.

    May these problems with the Fiesta Bowl be resolved and the great charitable mission continue for all the children, those suffering and all the charities they assist. Our best to all!


  3. jupe says: Feb 13, 2011 10:56 PM

    “violated their tax-exempt status by paying excessive salaries” = need to look at all bowls re that

  4. overratedgators says: Feb 13, 2011 11:15 PM

    jupe: This is what’s known as a “test case”. PlayoffPAC is focusing on Fiesta Bowl first to see how viable the legal argument is. If Fiesta Bowl loses, trust me, PlayoffPAC and the feds will move on to other bowls next.

  5. 78lion says: Feb 14, 2011 7:14 AM

    “violated their tax-exempt status by paying excessive salaries” = need to look at all bowls re that

    I would expect a couple of mega churches qualify for looking into as well.

  6. southernpatriots says: Feb 14, 2011 8:10 AM

    78lion: One our left wing Congressmen from Detroit thought that he would be judge of churches and religious non-profits and he found out not only did he not have the jurisdiction to do anything but it was a tremendous public relations nightmare for him. The left wing anti-Christian news media can do the investigations as they have in the past and those which are in some violation are revealed. Would we look at the excessive salaries and bonuses given to baseball players next? Where would this end? We are in a free market economy (as much as the government does not restrict it) and that free market economy works well. Back to the point: every bowl game supports very important charities in their local market areas and cities. We have provided some of the charities that the Fiesta Bowl supports each and every year. This private support is essential to many of these charities which reach out and help the most needy among us. If the alleged exorbitant salaries have cost the charities and/or were a breach of the fiduciary responsibilities of the Board, then those should face the consequences. Otherwise, this suit may be just an attempt by those angry with the BCS system to try to bring it down.

  7. Pier588 says: Feb 14, 2011 8:47 AM

    The Fiesta and Orange Bowls are noted for giving the least amount of their proceeds to the “charities” they are supposedly supporting by conducting the bowls. After all the “expenses” and payouts to the conferences – what is the bottom line of actual contributions to those charities? Is it higher than 2% of the total? These bowls need an oversight committee to examine all of their so called expenses as do the other tax exempt big money makers like churches.

    south-pat-riot – thumbs down! Your posts bring to mind a Faux News parrot – jab, jab, jabbing at the left. No thanks to you for infesting this fine football blog with you political POV and religious intolerance.

  8. stairwayto7 says: Feb 14, 2011 8:53 AM

    John Junker will resign!

  9. 3RiversGuy says: Feb 14, 2011 9:25 AM

    PlayoffPAC also sent a complaint to the IRS about the Orange Bowl, regarding a 4-day complimentary cruise. The agenda included no meetings. PlayoffPAC says these “perks” are being paid by universities who must pay the Bowls for “losses” due to failure to sell overpriced tickets.

    Regarding the Fiesta Bowl… PlayoffPAC says:
    “It’s hard to believe, but UCONN won the right to lose money by being the Big East’s BCS participant. According to the New Haven Register, the school is now set to lose at least $2.5 million on the deal. The main reason is the bowl ticket guarantees that participating schools have to make. UCONN will probably have to eat some 10,000+ tickets at face value prices that start at $111. Unless it’s for the BCS national championship game, those prices are ridiculous as proven by the secondary market.” — Darren Rovell, Time for Schools to Say No To Ticket Arrangement, (Dec. 17, 2010).
    The Fiesta Bowl spends $331,438 per year on “Fiesta Frolic,” a golf weekend for college athletic directors and Bowl officials.
    The Fiesta Bowl has doled-out $124,500 in interest-free loans to its executives.
    The Fiesta Bowl has paid $1,217,081 to Arizona lobbying firms.
    The Fiesta Bowl spent $91,020 for “travel and entertainment expenses for public officials” in FY 2009.

  10. southernpatriots says: Feb 14, 2011 10:32 AM

    Pierson588: We are not against investigation and oversight. These bowl committees are supposed to already have oversight, but the overseers may not be doing their jobs. If so, they should resign or be dismissed and new directors be installed. You can jump to conclusions that are not warranted and think of yourself as correct. We do not parrot, nor do we have the time to watch or listen to much news of any kind, whether the drive-by media, the All oBama Company or any other. We are veterans, now retired educators and doctors, now volunteers for some of the charities that are supported by the bowl corporations. You and others can work to get rid of the bowls rather than improve them and will you stand in the gap and make up the shortfall for the charities that will be devastated? We attend at least one bowl game each year, in the past we would attend two when a little younger and health permitted it. We attend at least 6 major college football games each year throughout the Southeast but also in the Mid-West, and West. Over more than 50 years we have attended more than 70 bowl games and hundreds of SEC, Big 10, ACC, and other conference team football games. When you volunteer for the charities and support them financially and see how they operate to help the most vulnerable among us, then you will walk at least a little in our shoes and may be less presumptuous.

  11. 3RiversGuy says: Feb 14, 2011 10:48 AM

    In fact, 10 bowl games are privately owned and one is run by a branch of a local government. The remaining 23 games enjoy tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, but combined to give just $3.2 million to local charities on $186.3 million in revenue according to their most recent federal tax records and interviews with individual bowl executives.

    “That doesn’t seem like something that’s really geared toward giving to charity, does it?” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) after being presented with Yahoo! Sports’ findings.

  12. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Feb 14, 2011 1:35 PM

    southernpatriots says:
    Feb 14, 2011 10:32 AM

    Okay, a couple of things. First, stop talking about yourself as “WE”. There is no we, just you sitting at your ‘puter. Second, this is a football forum, so please leave your political and religous beliefs out of it. (Christianity is as nutty as scientology anyways) Third, have you looked at our economy lately. Yes it is free-market, that is in the tank because of scum that take advantage of the system and the taxpayers, much like the dirty old white men (not racist, i’m white) that run this white collar crime syndicate that is the BcS. Our economy, capitalism in general, is built on the principle of unlimited growth. There is no such thing, and we are seeing the effects.

    Lastly, nobody is pissing on the charities. I would think that if you (that is all the voices in “we” head) have seen the vulnerable among us as you say, I think you would be a little pissed about money that could be used to address the problem instead being used to satisfy the greedy desires of people who are living at quite the other end of the spectrum.

    Good day, to all of “you”

  13. southernpatriots says: Feb 14, 2011 1:57 PM


    We means there is more than one. More than one veteran. More than one educator. More than one volunteer. More than one patriot. Sorry you are demented. You make many presumptions, all of which are wrong…currently there are two at the ‘puter, and others nearby, one going back to the hospital for surgery soon. We are not “dirty old white men” and what economic form do you in your
    God-like wisdom want for this great country? Oh, we forgot you don’t know God or perhaps don’t even believe in Him. For if you think you know God and do not know and reject His Son, Jesus Christ, you have rejected Him. The charities we work with (and have for many decades now) operate with private money, not government largess or grants. One of those bowls which help the charities we work with is the Chick-fil-A Bowl and charities. Mr. Truett Cathy and Dan Cathy and their staff have been a great blessing to very ill children over many years. Sorry you are that abusive. Maybe you can join us at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or the March of Dimes and volunteer for awhile. Maybe your attitude would change. Maybe you would see a side of Christianity that you have not yet seen in your life.

  14. Pier588 says: Feb 14, 2011 2:38 PM

    It is ridiculous there is no playoff in major college football. A big reason for that is these greedy bowls that are bilking the charities they were formed to support out of their rightful share of the proceeds and spending it on the fat cats and cruises and everything else except the charities. I hope Mark Cuban brings us the playoff that is long overdue in CFB and the bowls can either fall in line or be abolished all together in the playoff system. Screw the money grubbing bowls, let the playoff teams play at home like the NFL except for the title game.

    south-pat-riot – thumbs down all around on your position infused with your personal politics religious intolerance.

    Don’t include me in your definition of “We” either.

    “More than one veteran. More than one educator. More than one volunteer. More than one patriot.” – I fit all of those same categories and disagree very much with every one of your “holier than thou” takes. You DO NOT speak for me in your collective “We’s” and you also DO NOT have a personal lock on patriotism nor does the “right” that you are so proud to be part of.

    Your blatant religious intolerance is insulting and a football blog is no place for that load of narrow minded bull spit about God and Jesus Christ you posted. Again – “what the flock” are you doing preaching your religious and political intolerance on a the finest football blog ever?

    For your information – the various religions of the world did not start with Christianity, in fact the Christians were rather late to the game when you examine the larger picture and compare their short history to Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Jews. Get off of your high Christian horse of intolerance already and leave your religion and politics out of your posts to the football blog.

    Why is your favorite charity any better than any other one out there except in your own narrow mind? Big deal – you are not the only person in the world that supports charity – and name dropping makes your take even sillier, it sounds like you are trying to justify your position to yourself.

  15. southernpatriots says: Feb 14, 2011 9:20 PM

    Pier588: As a female veteran of “southernpatriots”(and the recipient of your anti Christian “spit” of your error) I and we find your writing highly offensive. Based upon your diatribe, you would label Jesus as the most intolerant of all, since it was Jesus Himself who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14: 6). No charity is our favorite charity as you call it, but we work with all charities that are available to us, especially those which help children. Being veterans and educators with a doctor in the family, we also help returning veterans, especially those who like several of us, were seriously wounded. Since you obviously do not know Jesus, may I suggest you get to know Him. Every day after that you will rejoice and continue to rejoice throughout eternity. We support the charities which receive money from the bowl games. Charities we work receive money from the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and other bowl games. We are not for a playoff unless the charities which currently receive from the bowls are not adversely affected. We thank Mr. Truett Cathy and Mr. Dan Cathy and their wives and all those involved with the Chick-fil-A Bowl for their support of pro-family programs, children’s charities as well as the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl and other bowls for the work they also are doing.

  16. sgtpeppers05 says: Feb 14, 2011 9:34 PM

    STFU…all of you! worst comment thread EVER

  17. Pier588 says: Feb 15, 2011 8:21 AM

    Dump the bowls and give us a playoff; whatever contribution the bowls make to charities is not nearly what it should be relative to the wads of cash they take in. The bowl system is out dated and corrupt and needs to be scrutinized more extensively so that most of the money actually collected goes to the charities they are supposed to be supporting. These monies are collected in the name of a charity and should go to that charity instead of paying for the fat cat, name dropping, hangers on to go to parties, cruises and the other unnecessary crapola that is paid for during bowl week under the guise of collecting for charity.

    south -pat – riots – female – vet

    I find the collective responses of what 3 or 4 people?? under one umbrella with your collective moniker to be HIGHLY OFFENSIVE as well as very intolerant of other religions and political beliefs.

    It is not your right to impose your political position nor your religious values and way of thinking on the masses – AND ESPECIALLY IN A FOOTBALL THREAD!

    You don’t have an exclusive lock as the only ones who support veterans nor is your favorite charity the end all. your charity is only one of many and in no way more qualified than any other simply because you happen to be a supporter.

    Collectively your group has a veteran, an educator and (gasp!) even a “doctor in the family” together under 1 CFT moniker. Well “Bully” for your collective selves. There are also many others that have accomplished your collective feat – except as individuals.

  18. southernpatriots says: Feb 17, 2011 9:38 PM

    tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle: Ask the honorable Coach, Congressman, and Athletic Director Dr. Tom Osborne about your sorry writing about the poor which you have not done much to help and in whose name did he pray for the wounded American heroes returning to Walter Reed when several of us were there. How did Dr. Osborne pray last fall when he spoke at Nebraska Christian College’s chapel services for the 2010-2011 school year on August 31, 2010. The current Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska delivered a message to students that encouraged them to prepare for running the long race. Hebrews 12:1-2. What about his book, Faith in the Game, which he wrote from a strongly Christian perspective? Don’t name the name of Dr. Osborne in your alias and then pretend some garbage, when obviously you do not know him.

    Pier588: you are abusive. Would you try to find someone who had done more for the poor than Mother Theresa or Mother Workman in Haiti? We doubt it but you might but that does not minimize their contributions? Why don’t you get out there and volunteer to work with a bowl or the charities which bowls support? Keep in mind, most if not all of the bowls, even the non-profits, are not required to give to charity. They do. Neither are you required. Do you? We do with our lives and many decades of work and continued and continuing support. We are for a playoff system if the organizers can fashion a playoff system, they surely can fashion a method by which charities can benefit from it? Is that too much to ask?

  19. pier588 says: Feb 19, 2011 9:35 AM

    A playoff system in CFB is long over due – Go Mark Cuban Go – with or without the bowls or their approval. Its time to break the back of the BcS and the antiquated bowl system and bring in a playoff system similar to the other divisions in college football.

    SP – and you “We’s” are collectively obtuse.

    This fine football blog is the wrong place to air your collective political and religious views while jamming your charity of choice via your favorite bowl game down the collective throats of the CFT readership.

    Just because you “We’s” collectively “like”, “vote for” or “pray to” your specific choices doesn’t make your positions the end all – none of which is relative to the “football blog” theme on this fine website.

  20. southernpatriots says: Feb 19, 2011 10:08 AM

    Pier588: A playoff system was discussed 40 years ago, 30 years ago, etc. and yes it is way overdue. However, your abusive postings do not make your point as well as it could be made. Numerous posting on CFT as well as others oftentimes go into areas which are tangentially related or not related to the topic at all. That is the freedom of speech. How many charities do you actively support? You judge us but you don’t do any where near the amount of volunteer work that any one of us individually have done over the past more than 50 years. The fact remains: These non-profit owned bowls, private owned bowls, ESPN owned bowls, government owned bowl, are not required to give to charities, but they do. They are not required to work to help charities but they do, albeit a small part of their gross revenues, they still do give. Do you? Have you ever played major (or minor) college football in a bowl game? One of us has and two of our children have. Have you lost a child to defending this nation? One of us has. Have you been wounded for this nation? Two of us have. No one has jammed any charity down anyone’s throat. However, a reminder to all fans and a reminder to those brainstorming the possibilities of a playoff system: if you can come up with a playoff system agreeable to the university presidents (in consultation with their Departments of Football), then surely you can come up with a system that also considers the charities which operate in the city or region of the playoff games. That does not seem to much to ask.

    One of our family members which posts and helps with postings is now in the hospital for another surgery. She is not doing well. We thank you for your understanding during this time. May wisdom prevail with the Cuban group and any others who are trying to brainstorm a playoff system for college football. It may take all the help they can get. May God bless all of you!

  21. parkcityute says: Mar 3, 2011 7:58 AM

    My family and I have been to the Fiesta Bowl several times over the past 6 years or so. It is a wonderful event and well organized. The days leading up to the game and the game are all entertaining. If the leadership of the Bowl are not doing the right thing, they should be dealt with. However, in our area, we work with several charities which are supported by the Fiesta Bowl and some other bowls. These charities are very dependent upon the donations of these bowls, especially in this recession. We know some people who work at the NCAA and have close relationships with conferences and schools. The only playoff system which has any support from the member universities seems to be the one which will use the bowls in a rotation for a playoff. The major BCS bowls would rotate, having the championship game (as they do now) and the others would have playoff games, some minor bowls would also be considered for other playoff games dependent upon their capacity and willingness to work with the system. Venues at individual colleges are not being considered at the present time due to the huge objections over “home field” advantages from the ADs. Southernpatriots had alot right as we note from the thumbs up.

  22. tigersgeaux says: Mar 3, 2011 11:10 AM

    Just in from my uncle who is a Rotarian in Baton Rouge. He said Emmert, the former president of LSU who is now NCAA president said many things about a college football playoff on the record and off the record while speaking at and after his meeting with the Baton Rouge rotary club. Emmert said he would support a playoff “If the leadership of those universities … want to move in that direction, then the NCAA knows how to run championships and we’d be happy to help.” I would expect this to appear on the CFT soon and other blogs. Emmert does not seem to be promoting a playoff but certainly willing to implement it if the leaders of the universities want this. He spent some time in describing how much the players and schools enjoy playing in a bowl game this year, etc. All the suggestions we have seen have involved the bowls in a playoff format as parkcityute described. This system seems to preserve some of the uniqueness of the bowls and implements a much wanted playoff system as well.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!