Category Archives: FAU Stadium
A Timeline Recap of FAU’s Stadium Deal with GEO Group (FAU University Press)
FAU closed its doors on Owlcatraz on April 1.
The Board of Trustees voted unanimously on renaming the stadium after the GEO Group — a private prison company — after they agreed to donate $6 million over the course of 12 years. The company has been the defendant in over a hundred lawsuits involving human rights violation in the past seven years, including sexual mistreatment of inmates and illegal drug smuggling in their detention facilities.
The deal sparked controversy as several students, faculty, and community members outwardly opposed having the company’s name on the stadium.
After six weeks of media scrutiny, student protests, and a faculty consensus that the GEO Group deal to rename the stadium should not hold up, the GEO Group withdrew from the agreement to rename the stadium.
Florida Atlantic University has dropped its plan to name a stadium after GEO Group, a for-profit prison corporation, after weeks of protests by students and civil rights groups. GEO had pledged $6 million to the school in exchange for the naming rights to the stadium.
Coalition of More Than 60 Groups Calls on Florida Atlantic President, Trustees to Stop Stadium Naming Agreement with Prison Corporation
A coalition of more than 60 civil rights, immigrant, student, and faith organizations has sent a letter to Florida Atlantic University President Mary Jane Saunders and the Board of Trustees calling for the university to rescind its agreement to name the school’s football stadium after for-profit private prison corporation GEO Group.
“We strongly believe that FAU should not choose to compromise its values by allying itself with a company that has such a shameful record,” the letter reads. The GEO Group, it continues, “has been the subject of numerous lawsuits involving injury or death of incarcerated and detained people, sexual abuse, and security failures. They have failed state audits and been fined by a federal agency for willfully failing to take reasonable precautions to protect the safety of their own employees.”
“GEO Group is a company with a record marred by human rights abuses, lawsuits, and unnecessary deaths of people in their custody,” said Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership, one of the letter’s signatories. “It is outrageous to allow a public university’s stadium to be named after a corporation that profits off of incarceration and detention of immigrants.”