The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will remain a part of the Bowl Championship Series, members of the BCS presidential oversight committee ruled today, but Fiesta officials must pay a $1 million fine for apparent illegal campaign contributions and inappropriate spending.
The decision diminishes the possibility that the AT&T Cotton Bowl, based at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, could replace the Fiesta as part of the four-bowl mix that rotates hosting college football’s BCS National Championship Game on an annual basis. If the Fiesta Bowl had lost its BCS status, which BCS administrators discussed when allegations surfaced in March against former Fiesta officials, that would have created a vacancy in the BCS rotation by the 2014 season. But Wednesday’s decision kept the Glendale, Ariz.-based contest in the BCS’ four-bowl rotation for the foreseeable future.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS, called Wednesday’s actions “appropriate … in light of the findings” by the committee. The $1 million fine will be donated to youth-based charities in Arizona.
In a statement, Cotton Bowl president Rick Baker said he respects Wednesday’s decision and expressed confidence that the action was “made in the best interest of college football.”
_ Jimmy Burch