There’s no reading between the lines necessary. The new management team of the Fiesta and Insight Bowls—which are both run by the same Arizona not-for-profit corporation—put on a dog and pony show before the Bowl Licensing Subcommittee in New Orleans last month.
They appear to have successfully baffled them with bullshit. Suffice it to say that today’s news is nothing like the BOOM I thought it might have become.
But honestly, could the NCAA have done much different? It’s May 17. The regular season starts in just about four months. Yanking either bowls’ license would have created an absolute nightmare among the bowl-conference affiliations, forcing a realignment that would have trickled down to the Non-BCS conferences—and probably hurt them the worst, since the BCS “big money” schools would have simply moved one or two steps down the pecking order, bumping some small, Conference USA or Sun Belt Team out of the IBleedCrimsonRed.com Bowl, or something.
It would also have created a mess in the BCS selection, as it would reduce the number of slots by two, which again would have hurt the Non-BCS conference schools the most.
Could they have done more? Maybe. If we know what the terms of the probation were. Go read the press release. What are the penalties, here? Fewer off-bowl site recruiting trips? Reduced number of strip club visits? A reduction in campaign contributions from 267,489 to 125,000 over two years? How about a price cap on CEO birthday parties at the shamefully low allowance of only $10,000?
It looks like the only punishment they’ll have to endure is a return visit to the next annual subcommittee meeting in April 2012.