ZZ Top won't be coming to College Station. Alan Jackson in Tuscaloosa? Not going to happen. Kelly Clarkson in Iowa City? Forget about it.
The NCAA has thrown the flag on the Gridiron Bash, a series of concerts, pep rallies and fan activities coinciding with spring football games at 16 schools. Officials are in the process of canceling all the gigs and the Gridiron Bash website says ticket refund information will be available shortly.
Some schools raised questions about whether participation of players in a pep rally at the concerts would constitute a violation of NCAA rules prohibiting special benefits for student-athletes.
"It is against NCAA rules for student-athletes to participate in a for-profit venture," said Charles Bloom, the Southeastern Conference associate commissioner for media relations.
Gridiron Bash was the brainchild of Shawn Garrity, an event promoter who lettered in football at Syracuse in 1986, and his friend, former California All-American running back Chuck Muncie. It's not clear why Garrity's group — New York-based MSL Sports and Entertainment — did not clear specifics with the NCAA before proceeding with the concert plans.
The suspicion is that MSL could take a financial hit, given that top-flight acts would seemingly have financial guarantees to guard against cancellations — especially cancellations close to the concert dates.