What would happen if Minnesota actually boycotts the Holiday Bowl?
As the Minnesota Golden Gophers continue to threaten a boycott of the Holiday Bowl unless 10 suspended players are reinstated, the bowl committee is scrambling to come up with backup plans.
Though the situation for the bowl committee pales in comparison to the situation at Minnesota, where several players are accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student, it’s still an unenviable position to be in.
However, according to a CBSSports.com article, there’s nothing the Holiday Bowl executives can really do until the Gophers make their intentions official:
“We are continuing to prepare for the National Funding Holiday Bowl on December 27, however, we are aware of the situation at the University of Minnesota and are monitoring it closely,” said executive director Mark Neville in a statement.
“The ball is in Minnesota’s court,” said Wright Waters, executive director of the Football Bowl Association. “Until they say, ‘Yea’ or ‘nay,’ there’s nothing to decide.”
If a backup team is needed, Northern Illinois would be the first 5-7 team on the list, thanks to a strong APR rating. The school confirmed it is monitoring the situation at Minnesota:
“We’re monitoring the situation but to this point haven’t any direct contact,” a Northern Illinois spokesperson said. “We’re going to keep our ear to the ground. Academically, we know we’re in the conversation. No one has reached out to us.”
However, getting ready for a bowl game on such short notice would be difficult for the Huskies, who haven’t played or practiced since November.
Whatever happens with the Gophers and the Holiday Bowl, the situation will likely change the way bowl contracts are drawn up in the future.
It wouldn’t be crazy to see an opt-out date added to future agreements to ensure bowls have a chance to form a backup plan in the case of something like this happening again in the future.