Top ex-Fiesta Bowl exec John Junker pleads guilty to felony charge



The former head of the Fiesta Bowl entered a guilty plea Tuesday to a felony charge stemming from a political donations scandal.

John Junker, one of the “stars” of the Dan Wetzel book “Death to the BCS,” entered the plea of guilty today in Phoenix for his role in soliciting political contributions from Fiesta Bowl employees. Junker going down is huge in the college football world, as he is a name synonymous with the massive corruption within the BCS.

According to the AP:

The plea is part of an agreement with Arizona prosecutors in connection with the scandal that led to the firing last year of Junker, the bowl’s longtime leader, and the resignation of chief operating officer, Natalie Wisneski.

The Fiesta Bowl hosts college football’s national championship game every four years. The scandal nearly jeopardized the Fiesta Bowl’s role as one of the four top-tier national bowl groups. The organization was spared the worst sanctions – the loss of the championship game and its NCAA license.

A 276-page bowl investigation report found the “apparent scheme” to reimburse at least $46,539 for employees’ political contributions. It also reported lavish spending by Junker.

This is a first big step towards nailing one of the utterly corrupt higher-ups within the highest reaches of college football. Of course, doing so might feel like a game of whack-a-mole as you get one simultaneously numerous others pop up…but hey, it’s a start.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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