BY WATCHING ADAMS STAFF – 2/29/16
On February 15th, Watching Adams reported on the travel expenses of the Adams State University (ASU) football team, totaling nearly $72,000 last fall. One game alone cost $23,398 for travel to Greenville, TX to play Texas A&M University – Commerce.
On February 25th, ASU’s News page reported that an anonymous donation for $5,060 was made at the February 24th ASU Foundation luncheon. The article goes on to encourage further donations to the ASU Foundation for “making a gift to assist student athletics with travel expenses.”
The anonymous donation certainly invites speculation given the timing of the Watching Adams article ten days earlier. One ASU employee stated: “I’d like some anonymous donations for my department. Or for academics in general. What do you want to bet the donation is a member of athletics using it as a tool to solicit donations from others? We’re now gonna beg for athletics? And the timing is interesting.”
Aside from the timing and anonymity of such a substantial donation, the ASU Foundation’s solicitation for further donations specifically for “student athletics with travel expenses” echoes the sentiments expressed by many in the Safety and Fairness study conducted by John Kuenhold, released in August 2015 and posted on the Watching Adams documents page. Kuenhold wrote:
“Given how many worthy ideas there are at ASU, it is no wonder that some look at the support the Grizzly Club has with a degree of envy. The theatre, arts and music departments all have their own benefactors but it is fair to say the athletic programs have a huge fundraising advantage and continuity over time through the Grizzly Club. It took years of personal effort and commitment to build some of these relationships for the University and for the athletic department. It is certainly a model to build around for other campus funding purposes but it would be hard to replicate outside athletics and perhaps the arts. The Foundation and the Grizzly Club both see protecting their key donors from daily solicitations as important for good reasons. At the same time there needs to be a better way to take a new idea and find the right funding for it.”
For more on the ongoing intersections between the ASU website and the Watching Adams website, please read our commentary, A Tale of Two Websites.