The Fiesta Bowl announced on Wednesday its new executive director, University of Arizona President Robert Shelton. The previous leader, John Junker, was fired earlier in the year after it was discovered that he used bowl money in inappropriate manners, including political donations.
Shelton will have a tough job ahead of him when he attempts to rebuild the Fiesta Bowl's reputation. Though it is still a BCS Bowl game, there will likely be a stigma on the bowl for some time to come after the corruption of the previous regime was uncovered.
However, Shelton's contract avoids the perks that Junker received in his. Instead, Shelton's four-year contract provides him with $455,000 per year and "job performance incentives." When asked about the need for a playoff system in the college game, Shelton came out as a big supporter of the current setup since playoffs would interfere with academics.
Our Arizona Wildcats blog, AZ Desert Swam, expresses trepidation over this move:
Because he was so sports savvy -- Shelton was a member of the BCS presidential oversight committee -- the loss could be a hit to a sports department looking to make vast improvements to its facilities. [...] It [the search for a new president] comes at a scary and critical time for the athletic department. All the Wildcats can ask for is an equally understanding president who understands that sports aren't just a game. They're an attention magnet and a money-maker.
The search is expected to take a year while an interim president serves during the interregnum.