NCAA president Mark Emmert on Thursday announced the establishment of a task force to examine the licensing procedures for football bowl games.

In a related action, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved a three-year moratorium on new postseason football bowl game licenses in order for the Task Force to do its work.

“By stepping back and taking the time for a comprehensive review, I believe we will better ensure the integrity of the process and provide the best experience for student-athletes and institutions,” Emmert said.

Mark Emmert Q&A on Task Force

The NCAA Division I Bowl Licensing Task Force will examine several areas, including governance and oversight by bowl sponsoring agencies, conflict-of-interest rules and policies, advertising and title-sponsorship standards, and the oversight and reporting of financial management of bowl games.

The task force, whose formation was unanimously approved by the Board, will be co-chaired by Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman. The other co-chair will be a person outside of higher education and intercollegiate athletics, and will be announced later.

“This Task Force is limited in its scope to the question of licensing of bowl games, the traditional NCAA role in bowl games, and that's it,” Emmert said during a national conference call with reporters. “My job is to serve the membership, their interests and their desires. Everyone right now is supportive of the current bowl structure that we have in place on our boards. So we're going to continue to do the job that we've been asked to do as well as we possibly can.”

The Task Force, which will consist of 10 or fewer people, including presidents in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, will report its recommendations to the Board and Emmert no later than October.

“The Task Force will bring back recommendations, not just about what we need and expect from the bowls themselves, but also from the licensing decision-making process on our end so that it's a process that we would all look at and have confidence in, including dealing with any potential conflict of interest issues,” Emmert said.

The Postseason Bowl Licensing Subcommittee, which is part of the NCAA Football Issues Committee, currently administers bowl licenses. The subcommittee is meeting Thursday in New Orleans and reviewing the licenses of existing bowls.

The NCAA already announced that reviews of two of those existing 35 bowls – the Fiesta and Insight – are being delayed until later this spring. The Fiesta and Insight Bowls are run by the same organization.

Among the current criteria that sponsoring agencies must meet to be licensed are:

• Generating bowl-based revenue equal to or greater than all of the contractual financial commitments from the two participating institutions and conferences.
• Averaging either actual attendance of at least 25,000 or 70 percent of stadium capacity over a rolling three-year period.

The subcommittee also considers factors such as conference commitments, value of the title sponsor, television agreements and community involvement in its decisions.

The Task Force’s examination is expected to more clearly define the subcommittee’s role, structure and responsibilities. It is also designed to create clearer standards for bowl sponsoring agencies and for the public to better understand the role of the NCAA in its licensing of bowl games.

The four-year bowl licenses that the NCAA issued in 2010 remain in effect as long as the sponsors meet the current requirements.

Existing bowls will be expected to meet any new licensing standards adopted by the Board as a result of the Task Force work.