Dirty Money: FAU Gives Stadium Name Rights to Shady Private Prison Group

College sports, particularly at smaller schools, are running on smaller budgets. As the rich get richer, smaller schools have to get creative to make enough money to bankroll all of their sports. At the most questionable, this usually means a football team taking a million bucks to get shellacked at the hands of one of the big boys. Florida Atlantic took it a step further.

The Owls have sold their stadium name rights to the GEO Group, a company that runs private prisons. One of the prisons this group owns is Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi, which was described as "…a picture of such horror as should be unrealized anywhere in the civilized world," by the judge who oversaw criminal proceedings against the GEO Group. The prison was shut down after it was shown that unconstitutional operation of the facility, that "youth were sexually preyed upon by staff and all too frequently suffered grievous harm, including death."

Stephen Colbert picked up on the story, and examined the details of the new business venture. It's a notable story and questions deserve to be asked about aligning a university with private prisons, but, ultimately, the dollar is the most powerful thing in college sports.



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