The UA issued a statement responding to the lawsuit filed yesterday against the UA president and UAF chancellor alleging they hadn’t adequately investigated Hog fan Teresa Prewett’s sneering e-mails to quarterback Mitch Mustain and coach Houston Nutt’s role:

“It is disappointing that more University resources and taxpayer dollars will be expended to address rumors and accusations involving the athletic department, which is a self-supporting entity. Although the defendants have not yet been formally served with court papers, we strongly believe that this is a frivolous lawsuit having no merit whatsoever, and the University will defend against it vigorously.

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“Beyond that, the University does not discuss the details of any pending litigation.”

They should leave out the “self-supporting” baloney. University employees are paid state-appropriated money to enable the playing of athletic spectacles on public grounds under the auspices of a public university. The athletic teams pay no ground lease as Simon Properties must at McCain Mall. It pays no licensing fees for the use of the University of Arkansas name, as anybody else must.  What’s more, it gets huge taxpayer subsidies in the form of tax deductions for the “scholarship contributions” that fans make to get premium seats and in the form of deductions for business entertainment expense. Self-supporting? You could just as accurately say bank robbers are self-supporting. Let’s be precise: Fans pay enough for tickets to cover operating costs of a program that could not exist but for the imprimatur of a taxpayer-financed institution and its rent-free land.

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UPDATE: The taxpayer claim in the lawsuit looks a little hazy to me. It seems to be that we’re wasting money paying John White (fair point in general, if not a sound legal one) because he hasn’t adequately policed Houston Nutt and Co. Or something like that.

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