Shelton vows to be strong leader of Fiesta revival

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The Fiesta Bowl has turned to University of Arizona President Robert Shelton to lead the rehabilitation of its tattered reputation.

The new leader of the Fiesta Bowl says he will be the "chief braggart" for the event's positive aspects as he leads the rehabilitation of one of the premier games in college football.

Former University of Arizona President Robert Shelton donned the Fiesta Bowl's traditional bright yellow sports jacket at a news conference Tuesday to introduce him as the event's new executive director.

The 62-year-old physicist replaces John Junker, who was fired after an internal investigation uncovered widespread lavish spending, an apparent illegal system of political contributions and an attempt to cover up the problems in a cursory initial probe.

Shelton acknowledged the bowl's rapid fall from grace and looked forward to leading the climb back to respectability.

The bowl announced Monday that it hired the respected academic as executive director to replace the ousted Junker.

Shelton is a member of the presidential oversight committee for the Bowl Championship Series, the system that determines major college football's national champion.

The BCS recently fined the bowl $1 million but allowed the event to remain as one of its four games.

Shelton agreed to a four-year contract with a base salary of $455,000 and incentives.