Florida Atlantic Univ.’s Faculty Senate has said that the school’s $6M stadium naming-rights deal with private prison contractor GEO Group has “hurt the school’s reputation.” In West Palm Beach, George Bennett notes the senate “voted 25-9 on Friday for a resolution that formally opposes the deal.” FAU’s student government is “expected to vote later this week on a similar resolution.” FAU President Mary Jane Saunders has described the naming-rights agreement as “a done deal.” Faculty Senate President William McDaniel said the vote is “purely advisory” (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 3/25).
BREAKING FROM THE PACK: In Charlotte, Steve Harrison notes the Charlotte chapter of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association has “broken with the state organization and issued a letter Monday that supports a half-cent sales tax increase on food and beverages to help pay for stadium renovations” for the Panthers' Bank of American Stadium. Group Chair Tom Sasser in the letter to Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx wrote that he “supports the city’s latest proposal of a half-cent sales tax that would end after 15 years” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/26).
SAFETY FIRST: In Charlotte, Jim Utter wrote, "Here we are in March 2013 and we're still having discussions about why some walls of NASCAR tracks are not covered by energy-absorbing SAFER barriers." Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday "wrecked and just happened to crash into part of the infield wall not covered by the barrier." Utter: "How many times does this have to happen before NASCAR and/or the tracks get the message that it is impossible to predict where accidents are likely to happen and it's best to cover all your bases, or in this case, walls?" And "why is NASCAR holding a Truck race at an Ohio dirt track this season -- a track that has no SAFER barriers?” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/25).