NEW YORK -- MSL Sports and Entertainment today announced that it will postpone Gridiron Bash™ at the scheduled 16 participating Division I football universities nationwide until Fall, 2008, due to an interpretation by a member conference regarding student athletes’ participation at the events.
“The unfortunate misinformation by a school about the role student athletes would play in Gridiron Bash has caused one of the conferences to interpret that student athletes were being used to promote a concert. Under no circumstance were they going to be used to promote a concert. Rather, they were gong to be part of a football celebration tied to spring games,” says Shawn Garrity, president of MSL Sports and Entertainment, creators and producers of Gridiron Bash™.
As part of the agreement process with each campus, each university’s compliance officer did an independent review of the overall run of show as it relates to student athlete participation. The NCAA reiterated that NCAA legislation does not preclude an institution from allowing a Gridiron Bash ™ event to occur on its campus.
“Outside of our own research, it’s safe to say that 16 compliance officers at 16 of the participating campuses reviewed all event elements, which haven’t changed from the start,” says Garrity. “The last minute concerns over player participation have caused confusion among the schools during this critical window of time in which they had left to properly promote the event. With valuable time being lost over the issue, we felt it was in the best interest of all parties involved to allow our participating universities and their marketing partners more time to adequately prepare for this event, the largest college football celebration in history.”
With the exception of three participating schools, all of the Gridiron Bash™ events were slated to take place on April 18, the evening before spring games. The Friday evening events were designed to kick off the 2008 football season and revolved around a fan competition (with the winning school receiving $1 million for its general scholarship fund), a celebration with the football team and coach, and a live music element.
“Our decision to postpone was based on our desire to safeguard the well-being of all parties involved, including fans, the student athletes and participating universities,” says Garrity.
MSL Sports and Entertainment is working with each school to assess appropriate next steps regarding a revised schedule. Refunds for tickets already purchased will be issued through university box offices and www.gridironbash.com. Any text votes that have been placed will not be billed.
Here is a statement from Texas A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne.
“We are disappointed the overall promotion of the Gridiron Bash has fallen through, but we intend to have a weekend full of activities to celebrate the Maroon and White football game which will kick at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 19,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. “To that end, we are continuing to work on some entertainment and as developments are finalized, we will keep our fans posted.”
“I am excited about some new ideas by Coach Sherman, including the student coaches for the game. (Students can log on at AggieAthletics.com to submit their entries beginning on Monday, Apr. 7) There are some other exciting activities surrounding the game that will be announced very soon.”
If entertainment plans fall through completely, of course fans will be refunded. Tickets for the Maroon & White Spring Game, presented by Melrose StudenSuites and AllState, are free for college age and under, while adult tickets are $5.