Audit reveals problems with men’s athletics

by Nicole Vulcan

Problems in the University’s Department of Men’s Intercollegiate Athletics reported in 1987 were still occurring in 1997, according to audit reports produced by the University Department of Audits.
The goals of the reports, recently released by the University News Service, include “protecting Men’s Intercollegiate Athletics assets” and minimizing “operational or compliance risks.” The reports outline recurring problems within the department.
The reports, produced in 1987, 1992 and 1997, cite the deposit of receipts, control of ticket sales and compliance with various Internal Revenue Service and National Collegiate Athletic Association regulations as issues in need of improvement.
Gail Klatt, director of audits in the University’s Department of Audits, cited insufficient documentation and employee turnover as possible reasons for failing to heed the recommendations.
Another audit completed early this year outlined a possible NCAA violation that occurred in late April 1997, when a booster group funded a trip to Las Vegas for four coaches. The names of the coaches were not released.
When boosters are involved, recipients of donations must be run through the University Foundation, said Craig Fahey, business manager for the Department of Men’s Intercollegiate Athletics.
He said that in this case the donation was cleared by the University Foundation, but because the trip proved to be more pleasure-filled than otherwise, the foundation may take back their approval. The booster donations are run through Fahey’s office so as to comply with NCAA rules as well as University policies.
“Right now we are looking at the 1997 trip, and it could be changed back so that the people could have to pay for the trip,” Fahey said.
Klatt, in a memorandum written in January to Associate Vice President Terry O’Connor, said the University policy does not currently address the use of the athletic booster club’s money. The memorandum later made suggestions for the development of booster club policy.
The memo outlined four possible options: either let the booster clubs give donations directly to coaches, give money directly to the University Foundation, maintain the current informal policy of accounting for the funds through the University ledger — allowing for relaxed expenditure guidelines — or get tough on the guidelines and make them remain true to University policies.
Klatt said in a later memo written March 4 that officials had decided to use University Foundation accounts to handle booster funds. This will allow for more flexibility than if the funds were administered through the University itself, while continuing to comply with NCAA regulations.
Klatt said she believes administrators in the men’s athletic department had a “sincere interest” in properly managing their activities, but she thought things that are happening in the program, like the lax compliance of rules, do not reflect that sentiment.