Amid criticism, outrage, and protests from students, the GEO Group, Inc. has withdrawn their plan to slap their name on Florida Atlantic University's stadium, and along with it, the $6 million "gift" to the university:
“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 on-going controversy and considerable distraction to both of our organizations,” GEO Group chairman and CEO George Zoley wrote in a letter.
"Surprisingly?" Really? Yes, who could have possibly imagined naming a stadium for a prison company with a history of the questionable deaths of prisoners, uprisings, squalid conditions, and worse wouldn't contribute to a "feel good" atmosphere associated with college sports?
After claiming that the name would go up as planned when it first came to light, a student protest yesterday apparently got the message across that the name would continue to be a negative not only for the university, but for GEO.
Along with striking the name idea, the $6 million "gift" that Geo claimed was purely philanthropic has also been withdrawn:
GEO and university officials laughably claim that the deal is strictly philanthropic, and in no way, shape or form a corporate sponsorship, or, worse, a way to recruit new employees and desensitize people to the horrible private of for-profit prisons.
So the claim that the $6 million was merely a "gift" and in no way a coprorate sponsorship has disappeared right along with the "gift" itself.