9/26/2011: According to Yahoo sports Willie Lyles took money from Tennessee and used it to pay for airfare for some player’s mother to visit campus on a recruiting visit:
An assistant coach during Lane Kiffin’s tenure at the University of Tennessee wired $1,500 to a talent scout in July 2009, funding the airfare for an unofficial recruiting trip by then five-star prospect Lache Seastrunk and his mother, Yahoo! Sports has learned.
This is a major violation of the NCAA rule that no black people are allowed to make money off the sweat and blood of college football players. Not even a trip to campus for Mom. The money is just for coaches and NCAA insiders. Willie Lyles is not the corrupt part of this system – the NCAA is.
Thanks to George Schroeder’s twitter feed for the link. Warning – following Schroeder is like moving to a flood zone – you will be inundated. Schroeder also has a link to this Arizona Republic series on BCS corruption. Many, many millions of dollars more, siphoned off for all sorts of corrupt deals. Whoever was chair of the BCS Compliance Committee when this was going down has got to be getting a little worried.
8/15/2011: (Also see Bojack.org
) Where does the little bit of athletics money that is left over after paying the coaches, AD Rob Mullens, and car payments
for most of the athletics department go? Overpriced hotel rooms, with kickbacks to the bowl organizers, of course. Playoffpac.com has the story here
Economist Andy Zimbalist says:
“This is an anticompetitive tying arrangement, that requires consumers to end up of having less choice and spend more money. There’s an intermediary that is siphoning off revenue from the producers, which are the schools.”
“We believe that this arrangement may violate Connecticut’s prohibition on ‘receiving kickbacks,”’ the PAC’s co-founder, Matthew Sanderson, wrote in a complaint filed with state Attorney General George Jepsen, obtained by The Associated Press. UConn lost this year’s Fiesta Bowl to Oklahoma and also lost money on the game. In the complaint, Sanderson noted UConn spent $460,000 in hotel lodging and meals.
Here’s the complaint filed with the Connecticut AG – apparently they filed a similar one with Oregon AG John Kroger. Oregon of course played in the BCS championship at the Fiesta Bowl in 2011. The athletic department paid the organizers $706,541 for food and lodging. Where did the kickback money go? Apparently the organizers spent a chunk of it on illegal political contributions and strippers. I’m not kidding, NYT story here.
Oregon State President Ed Ray criticized the Fiesta Bowl situation in the Oregonian back in March, when the original scandal broke. Former UO President Frohnmayer was a longtime president of the BCS, which oversaw – if that’s the right word – the Fiesta Bowl, and he is still a vigorous BCS supporter.
3/29/2011: From Katie Thomas in the NY Times:
… The most serious revelations involve nearly a dozen employees who told
investigators that the chief executive and others working for the bowl
encouraged them to make political contributions, then reimbursed them
with phony bonus payments. Some said they then were pressured to lie
about the practice.
The investigators do not make conclusions about whether bowl
executives or others broke the law, but at least one expert in nonprofit
organizations said the findings could lead to criminal charges. At
minimum, the investigation is likely to threaten the tax-exempt status
of the bowl, which, like most other prominent organizations in college
sports, is formally registered as a charity….
Schoeffler was reimbursed for six other visits to the same strip club,
even though the Fiesta Bowl employee manual prohibits reimbursements for
strip club entertainment.
Some of the expenses appeared to be personal in nature. Last year,
Junker’s daughter, Lucy, was seeking admission to the honors program at
the University of Texas.
The Fiesta Bowl paid $75 to send flowers to the head of the honors
admissions program. Lucy Junker was accepted into the program, according
to the report.
The Fiesta Bowl is one of the members of the “Bowl Championship Series”. UO President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer was head of the BCS until July 2009. Frohnmayer on the bowls:
unparalleled opportunity to raise philanthropic funds, which by the way,
go to far more than athletic endeavors….
Yes, they certainly do.
2/16/2011: College athletics is corrupt to the core. The PlayoffPAC website has story after story:
“Tostitos Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker, a fixture with the game for three decades and one of college football’s most prominent bowl executives, was placed on administrative leave Monday as officials continue to investigate allegations that he and others orchestrated improper political contributions.” — Steve Weiberg, USA Today (Feb. 15, 2011).
No word yet on the investigation of the $440,000 in contributions Pat Kilkenny gave UO President Dave Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation, as part of his efforts to get the Matt Court Arena approved.