An independent, Notre Dame will pocket the entire estimated $14.5 million team payout at the Fiesta Bowl. But unlike a lot of major college athletic programs, that money will not be funneled back into the football program for personalized whirlpools or commemorative golf club wood covers.
Notre Dame president Rev. John L. Jenkins has earmarked the money for undergraduate and graduate financial aid, library acquisitions and scientific instruments for the Jordan Hall of Science, which is scheduled to open in mid-2006.
"We're, of course, pleased that our team has competed at such a high level this year and is being rewarded with this bowl opportunity, but we are also very grateful that the funds from our participation will go to address such important needs for the academic mission of the university,'' Father Jenkins said.
According to Notre Dame, bowl game revenue has generated more than $69 million in the last 25 years.
The distribution among the Bowl Championship Series teams will change with the addition of a fifth BCS bowl next season, a rotating championship game which will be hosted by the Fiesta Bowl next year.
Under the new BCS revenue-sharing arrangement, Notre Dame will keep $4.5 million in the years when it plays in a BCS game and $1.3 million in years it does not participate. The university received no money when it took part in a BCS game under the previous arrangement.
A CARDINAL FAN
Quarterback Brady Quinn said to give him a year, but he would not mind a professional career in the Valley.
"I'd love to be out here,'' said quarterback Quinn, a junior who plans to return to college next year before entering the NFL draft.
Quinn, who set Notre Dame season- and career-passing records this season, could be one of the top five picks in the 2007 NFL draft. The Cardinals' history suggests they could pick that high.
Carlyle Holiday, a Notre Dame co-captain in 2004, is with the Cardinals this season.
"He tells me how much he loves it, and being out here the last two years I love it,'' Quinn said.
"Hopefully, we'll be out here again next January fourth'' for the BCS national championship game.
Coach Charlie Weis said he sent an unidentified player home earlier this week for a violation of team rules, but that the player was not a starter and would have not played much against Ohio State. . . .
How serious is Weis? The Irish might have had to sneak into the new year on Saturday night. They had curfews of 11 p.m. and midnight earlier this week, Quinn said. "It's good for us. It allows us to focus on our task,'' Quinn said.