FAU stadium is once again looking for a name.
GEO A NO-GO
Updated 8:22 p.m. The GEO Group backs out of stadium naming deal.
Originally published on
It would have been a bad April Fool's joke. Turns out it's true.
In perhaps the most absurd turn in what has already been one of this year's most astounding pseudo-sports stories, Florida Atlantic and The GEO Group have decided not to name the FAU football stadium GEO Group Stadium after all.
“What was originally intended as a gesture of GEO’s goodwill to financially assist the University’s athletic scholarship program has surprisingly evolved into an ongoing distraction to both of our organizations,” GEO Group Chairman and CEO George Zoley said in a statement released by FAU. “We employ many FAU graduates and Boca Raton community members. We take pride in running a well-respected company and are proud of our long-term support of the University.”
The GEO Group will not being giving Florida Atlantic University the $6 million originally pledged as a philanthropic gift.
The agreement to break the original deal was made over the weekend. The source said GEO Group CEO George Zoley had dinner with FAU president Mary Jane Saunders over the weekend. Zoley proposed striking the deal in the best interest of both parties. Saunders agreed.
Shortly after the deal was announced on February 19 a handful of students began protesting the agreement, citing human rights issues found at some of the prisons run by The GEO Group.
The group held a sit in at Saunders' office, at which point she agreed to hold an open forum to discuss the issues.
During that forum Saunders was asked about FAU's exit strategy should the university decide not to accept the gift. Saunders replied that there was none.
Last week protesters surrounded Saunders' car at FAU's Jupiter campus. According to a police report of the incident, as Saunders drove away the side mirror on her car struck a protester that was standing too close.
The FAU faculty senate also voted to condemn the deal last week.
MoveOn.org sent a mass email to its members asking them to join in Monday's scheduled protest. Only about 35 people showed up in front of the stadium for that protest, demonstrating against a deal that, unbeknownst to them, was already dead.
More details to come as this story develops.