It has always been this blog’s privilege to highlight notable events at our nation’s front porch, university football. The Cal Poly scoreboard conundrum is quintessentially one such event, combining the glories of game day with ponzi schemes, claw back, money-hemorrhaging litigation, and institutional embarrassment.
A big ol’ Cal Poly booster, Al Moriarty, spent $650,000 of a bunch of suckers’ money (investors included professors at the school) to get his name plastered all over the school’s scoreboard. Now that big Al’s in jail for the kind of massive fraud you can only perpetrate if you were a hall of famer and everybody thinks you’re Jesus Christ reincarnate, Cal Poly desperately wants MORIARTY ENTERPRISES off the effing scoreboard pronto.
Well but hold on. The trustee in charge of getting some money back for the suckers says Cal Poly should pay him to take it off. And a judge agrees!
Cal Poly cannot cover or remove convicted felon Al Moriarty’s name from the scoreboard at its football stadium, a bankruptcy judge ruled Friday.
… The trustee has argued that since Moriarty used investor money to pay for the scoreboard, those investors are entitled to get that money back.
And, see, if you let Cal Poly cover up the name, it won’t have any incentive to cough up the cash. Plus seven percent interest.
EXTORTION! screams Cal Poly.
Oh shush, says the trustee. Pay up and shut up.
Details of the original agreement are fun to read. In exchange for handing his dupes’ money over to Cal Poly, Moriarty got not merely the scoreboard thing, but a guaranteed “feature on Moriarty in Cal Poly’s alumni magazine.” Talk about editorial independence! But UD is sure you don’t see that sort of money whoring at other schools.