With all of the rules that universities have for their student athletes, you would think they would at least have some moral compass (if not rules) when it came to who gets to name their stadium. But, it seems from the looks of the new name for one Florida university, the only prerequisite is adequate cash.
The new stadium of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton will be named GEO Group Stadium. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Could be worse. Well, is it worse that the GEO Group is a multi-million dollar company that makes its cash off the backs of inmates (*cough* slave-labor *cough*)?
Like the monster that is Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the GEO Group makes millions every year through the labor of convicted felons incarcerated in the prisons they operate at state and federal levels.
While the University seems to see no issue with their big donor getting to name the facility, others see an obvious problem.
The GEO Group has been coveting Florida prisons for some time. And when a corporation looks to get the favor of a state, they will pull out their generous record of philanthropy. In this case, funding a university stadium will likely look pretty good for them. But, it will look pretty bad for the college.
“It’s startling to see a stadium will be named after them,” Libal said. “It’s like calling something Blackwater Stadium. This is a company whose record is marred by human rights abuses, by lawsuits, by unnecessary deaths of people in their custody and a whole series of incidents that really draw into question their ability to successfully manage a prison facility.”
Read more on the issue and the University’s (lack of response) from the New York Times.
Private prison companies make their fortunes off of full prisons. They don’t care about education and definitely not student athletes. After all, a successful student athlete on the field is one less body in a cell.
**Update: GEO Group Pulls $6 Million Gift from University**
photo credit: Janie.Hernandez55
© 2013, Elizabeth Renter. All rights reserved.