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NCAA to examine bowl game licensing

The NCAA on Thursday announced the creation of a task force to examine licensing practices for bowl games.

NCAA President Mark Emmert made the announcement during a press conference. The creation of the task force comes after an internal investigation in March revealed allegations of improper political and financial incidents with the Fiesta Bowl.

The NCAA also announced a three-year moratorium on new bowl game licenses. According to Emmert, the reason for the moratorium is so the NCAA can determine “what the criteria should be and the process should be by which we license bowls.”

“That task force is going to be asked to look at the criteria by which we currently license bowls, including making sure that each of the bowl organizations have appropriate oversight and governance that's being conducted by the bowl sponsoring agencies, that they have established conflict of interest rules and policies, that we address the issues of advertising and title sponsorship standards, and that the oversight and transparency of the financial management of bowls is understood and explained,” Emmert said during the press conference.

“I will ask the task force to expressly look at how we can incorporate those and other standards into the way bowls are run before we approve of the licensing of any one of the new bowls coming forward.

“The task force will also be asked to look at the process by which we internally in the NCAA make those decisions, including the nature of the committee that makes those judgments, the processes by which information is reviewed, and the manner in which those inquiries are conducted.”

Emmert said the idea for a task force was discussed in January. The findings of the Fiesta Bowl internal investigation came out in late March.

“We've actually been talking about it for a number of months,” Emmert said. “It's an issue that I brought up to the Board back in January as we were looking at all of the potential issues around the role of the NCAA in what used to be called 'certification' and is now labeled the 'licensing process'. It became clear to me that it was a review of those criteria and processes were overdue.”

Fiesta Bowl CEO and President John Junker was fired for his role in the alleged inappropriate actions after the investigation findings were released.

“The special report obviously was extremely detailed and outlined behaviors that none of us would be supportive of,” Emmert said. “I think the board was very forthright in putting all that information before the various bodies. I think it's fair to say that those are the kinds of things that none of us find acceptable and we all find completely contrary to the values of intercollegiate athletics. We simply can't abide by those kinds of behaviors.”

Also on Thursday, the NCAA Postseason Bowl Licensing Subcommittee approved the licenses for 32 bowl games through 2013-14. The Fiesta, Insight and TicketCity bowls had their licensing decisions delayed until until later in the spring.

Emmert was also asked about the situation involving Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel. The Columbus Dispatch reported earlier this week that the NCAA is accusing Tressel of lying to investigators regarding what he knew about his players getting free tattoos in exchange for signed memorabilia.

“ ….. I'm not in a position, because of ongoing processes, to comment on the situation with any case that's open, including that of Coach Tressel,” Emmert said.

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