Prison firm withdraws $6 million gift to name FAU stadium

Tuesday April 2nd, 2013

Boca Raton's GEO Group, the second-largest private prison operator in the country, withdrew its gift to name Florida Atlantic University, reports the Miami Herald.

The decision to name the stadium after a prison company had faced controversy and several student protests opposed the move. FAU also received criticism from human rights organizations which cited the company's reputation for mistreating prisoners and housing them in poor conditions.

On Friday, FAU's board of trustees chairman said the firm had done no wrong, and renaming plans appeared to be in order. However, after more protests on Monday, a university spokeswoman, Lisa Metcalf said in an email that the $6 million gift to rename the stadium had been withdrawn.

From the Miami Herald report:

GEO Group Chairman and CEO George Zoley issued this statement: "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."
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