University of Georgia Files Appeal in Race-Based Admissions RulingSAVANNAH, Ga. NCAA Rejects confederate flag protest in georgiaATLANTA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has rejected calls from civil rights groups to move upcoming basketball tournaments from Georgia unless the state removes the Confederate battle symbol from its state flag.The Southern Christian Leadership Conference earlier this month sent a letter to the NCAA urging that the tournaments be moved if Georgia’s flag isn’t altered by March 31, 2001. Atlanta is scheduled to host the men’s Final Four tournament in 2002 and 2007, and the women’s Final Four in 2003.“The Confederate emblem represents the most reprehensible aspects of American history, not only for people of African ancestry but for people of every background who know and understand the destructive horrors created by slavery,” says Martin Luther King III, president of the conference.The Atlanta Sports Council, which engineers the city’s bids for sports events, estimates that the 2002 men’s Final Four will generate approximately $50 million for the state, with the women’s Final Four bringing in about half that amount.The NCAA also rejected calls from the National Association of Basketball Coaches to move the first and second rounds of the 2002 men’s basketball regionals, which are scheduled for Greenville, S.C. NCAA officials say they were satisfied with South Carolina’s decision to move the Confederate battle flag from its Statehouse dome to a Confederate monument on the capitol grounds.Officials with the NCAA’s Executive Committee say they will continue to monitor the flag issue in both states.“Our paramount concern is for the welfare of the student-athletes who are asked to travel to specific locales to participate in NCAA championships,” says Charles T. Wethington Jr., chairman of the committee. n
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.
Daytona Beach officials have reached an agreement to eliminate a building lease charge if they are awarded the new Florida A&M law school. City officials and International Speedway Corp., which owns the building being offered as a temporary home for the law school, struck a deal this week to eliminate the $225,000 lease charge included in the proposal submitted July 24.Speedway officials had planned to charge that amount to house the law school in the former Keiser College building on International Speedway Boulevard for three years while a permanent facility was built. In turn, they won’t charge FAMU any rent. The projected cost-savings to Speedway over five years is $225,000, the same amount it stood to collect from the law school. Other proposals from Tampa and Orlando include incentives totaling about $10 million from each city in land donations, building space and money pledges. Tampa’s bid includes $1 million that Tampa Electric Co. said it would contribute. Daytona Beach, which is the home to historically Black Bethune-Cookman College, submitted a proposal that included up to 19 acres of land valued at $1 million near Interstate 95 and another 15,000 square feet of office space that the new agreement stipulates will be rent-free. Lakeland is offering 25 acres of land located 2.5 miles from Interstate 4 in the middle of a new redevelopment area. The city also is offering FAMU 21,000 square feet of free office and classroom space for temporary facilities for three years. In April, lawmakers approved new law schools at FAMU and Miami’s Florida International University, both primarily for minority and part-time students (see Black Issues, May 25). They agreed that FAMU’s school should be located somewhere in central Florida even though the main campus of the historically Black university is in Tallahassee. FAMU officials have estimated the law school would need a building of at least 120,000 square feet at a cost of up to $30 million. The plan is to hold the first classes next fall and to have a permanent facility ready by Aug. 1, 2003. A five-member committee, chaired by Louis Murray, associate vice president for administration and fiscal affairs at FAMU, will make a recommendation to the State University System of Florida’s chancellor, Dr. Adam W. Herbert, and FAMU’s president, Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, before the regents meeting Sept. 14 in Pensacola. Meanwhile, an accountant at the university pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to defraud the school of thousands of dollars in financial aid. Pamela Jackson, 41, had been indicted on 12 counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. In return for her guilty plea to the conspiracy charge, the remaining counts were dropped. Jackson could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined $250,000. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle set sentencing for Oct. 12. Jackson, who made $34,270 and worked in the school’s comptroller’s office, has been on administrative leave with pay since early June. Her employment status is “under review,” university spokeswoman Sharon Saunders says. Court files show that financial aid workers illegally solicited and took money from students in return for falsifying records to get students more financial aid. Another FAMU worker, Jacqueline Huggins, was sentenced to 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud. She also was ordered to pay $281,000 in restitution. Huggins, who worked in FAMU’s financial aid office, told FBI agents that two other employees and 13 students were involved in the scheme. Authorities have not disclosed those names. Jackson illegally obtained and mailed 12 checks worth $23,405, according to the indictment. Huggins, who personally mailed checks worth $36,140, says she got a kickback of about a third of the take, according to records. Usually, but not always, she would share those profits with the other employees, she told authorities.
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