Inquiry expands to athletic offices
Investigation to see whether they steered students to lenders.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published August 2, 2007
ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is now investigating whether top college athletic departments nationwide - including those at Auburn University, Ohio University and Texas Christian University - steered athletes and other students to education lenders in exchange for kickbacks.
Cuomo said Wednesday that he served 39 universities with subpoenas and requests for documents about deals between athletic departments and Student Financial Services Inc., which operates as University Financial Services. He said he's looking at how team names, mascots and colors were used to suggest the company was the college's preferred lender.
"Students trust their university's athletic departments because so much of campus life at Division I schools centers around supporting the home team," said Cuomo. "To betray this trust by promoting loans in exchange for money is a serious issue, especially when Division I schools already generate tremendous revenue from their student athletes."
Cuomo began the investigation as an outgrowth of his national probe of student loan providers and college administrators, which he said uncovered a pattern of favoritism for lenders who provided kickbacks, "revenue sharing" plans, and trips and other gifts in exchange for designations as recommended lenders. Sometimes the colleges provided campus employees to staff telephone banks for lenders drumming up business.
Cuomo's findings led to state and national reforms.
[Last modified August 2, 2007, 01:35:31]
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