NCAA March Madness Meets Ethics Rules

16 03 2007

In keeping with the developing theme of the week (Common Sense Dying a Painful Death?) a ‘Nole and old education policy pal just forwarded this to me as a Gator. If this exploitation of sports by schools for politics isn’t to your taste, homeschool dad Chris O’Donnell has a tournament fantasy bracket competition going at his place — free, clean, private, ethically non-political! JJ

Sen. Nelson accepted free Gators, ‘Noles tickets
By USA TODAY, Florida Today
Originally posted on March 16, 2007

When Democrats took control of Congress in January, they passed a sweeping set of ethics rules, including a ban on gifts that prohibits lobbyists from buying a lawmaker as much as a hamburger.

But reporter Ken Dilanian at our big-sister newspaper, USA TODAY, writes that the gift ban left in place a little-noticed loophole: It doesn’t apply to government agencies and public institutions. That exemption, which dates back more than a decade, leads to a stark disparity when it comes to public and private universities, which compete fiercely for federal money, USA TODAY reported Thursday.

While private universities are banned from giving gifts, public universities can offer members of Congress free tickets to some of the country’s most sought-after sporting events. That includes the upcoming NCAA men’s basketball tournament, in which 43 of the 65 teams represent public schools.

Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat and Brevard County native, attended two football games for free last year, spokesman Dan McLaughlin said — one at the University of Florida and one at Florida State, both public institutions.

“I don’t think he necessarily views being invited to watch a football game by a university as anything at all sinister,” McLaughlin said.

Colleges, universities and other higher-education groups spent at least $75 million on federal lobbying efforts in 2005, according to a USA TODAY analysis of lobbying reports compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

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5 responses

16 03 2007
COD

I don’t know about ethical. I did threaten to delete the pool bracket of anybody that picked Indiana University to win a game 🙂

16 03 2007
misedjj

ethically NON-POLITICAL, that is — You don’t reject IU because of politics, right? 😉

16 03 2007
University Update

NCAA March Madness Meets Ethics Rules

16 03 2007
COD

I reject IU on principal 🙂

16 03 2007
misedjj

Bloomington is the first place I remember living, and I went to the IU lab school for kindergarten-first grade, did I ever mention that? Dad was fresh out of the Air Force in grad school on the GI Bill . . . I don’t remember anything athletic except that the little house we were renting next to campus was right behind the tennis courts. I do have this vivid memory of my first Nutcracker on campus, and a music professor lived next door, had a little girl I played with named Paula Beaversdorf. Wow, can’t believe I just remembered that! We all became Gators when Dad finished up and moved us to Gainesville. 🙂

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