NCAA approves 31 bowl games for 2006


INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA approved four new bowls Thursday,
including a fifth Bowl Championship Series game in Glendale, Ariz.,
which will host the national championship Jan. 8.

The BCS added the fifth game more than a year ago and the NCAA's
approval was a formality.

The other new games are the International Bowl, which will be
played in Toronto; the Birmingham Bowl, and the New Mexico Bowl.

The NCAA board of directors also approved a proposal allowing
teams with .500 records to qualify for bowl games if the conference
has a contract with a bowl game. Also, teams with .500 records
could earn bowl bids if all other Division I-A teams with winning
records have been taken and postseason spots still remain vacant.

The postseason football licensing subcommittee approved 31 games
and the number could grow to 32 by the start of the 2006 season. A
decision on the Houston Bowl, which was one of 28 bowl games last
season, was delayed until June.

Representatives from the Big 12, Big East, Conference USA and
Mountain West asked for the delay because they want better
management of the game.

"It is this subcommittee's goal to provide the best experience
for student-athletes, coaches and staffs, and the fans and to
support the long-term viability of the bowl system," Mark Womack,
the subcommittee chairman, said in a written statement. "We had to
make some very difficult decisions, but we feel they are decisions
made in the interests of a successful postseason."

Bowls that were renewed for next season: the AutoZone
Liberty, Capital One, Champs Sports, Chick-Fil-A, Emerald, Fed Ex
Orange, Gaylord Hotels Music City, GMAC, Independence, Insight,
Pioneer Pure Vision Las Vegas, MasterCard Alamo, Meineke Car Care,
MPC Computers, Motor City, Allstate Sugar, Outback, Pacific Life
Holiday, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia, Fort Worth,
Rose, AT&T Cotton, Hawaii, Tostitos Fiesta, Toyota Gator, Vitalis
Sun and New Orleans.

The subcommittee said nearly $192 million in bowl revenue was
distributed last season and that about 1.4 million fans attended
last season's 28 bowl games.