The fallout from the Fiesta Bowl fiasco continues Thursday with word coming from the NCAA that they are prepared to take a serious look at how bowl games are “being governed”.
And you know how we know they’re serious? They’ve created yet another (cue ominous music here) task force.
In a press release, NCAA President Mark Emmert “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 football bowl games.” The task force will be co-chaired by Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and a nerd-to-be-named-later.
The release states that the task force will examine 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.
Additionally, and thankfully, the NCAA has placed a three-year moratorium on giving licenses to new bowl games (Sorry, Los Angeles Christmas Bowl et al).
“By stepping back and taking the time for a comprehensive review, I believe we will better ensure the integrity of the process and provide the best experience for student-athletes and institutions,” Emmert said.
“Let me be clear. This has nothing to do with postseason tournaments. This is only about making sure the NCAA’s role in licensing bowls is well done and consistent with the values we want to promote.”
(Let this also be clear: this also could — could — be a first step toward the NCAA ultimately overseeing a football playoff system at the Div. 1-A level, regardless of how loudly Emmert shouts “this has nothing to do with postseason tournaments.”)
The NCAA currently licenses 35 bowl games, although two of those licenses — the Fiesta and Insight, the latter of which is run by the same organization as the former — could be stripped pending a review. The licenses for all 35 bowls will be reviewed by the Postseason Bowl Licensing Subcommittee in New Orleans Thursday, although a decision on the Fiesta — which could lose its spot in the BcS rotation — and Insight bowls is not expected until later this spring.
At least one conference commissioner applauded the moves announced by the NCAA earlier today.
“I welcome President Emmert’s initiative on the creation of the bowl licensing task force and find it very appropriate and timely,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “We want the bowls to operate with the highest standards, and although I think most do, I believe stronger NCAA oversight is a good idea.”
The executive director of the BcS, Bill Hancock, also chimed in on the NCAA’s moves.
“The BCS group welcomes the announcement made today by the NCAA. It’s always beneficial to review best management practices and I look forward to helping the NCAA any way I can,” Hancock said.