The game between Alabama and Washington was played in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the conservative company liberals love to hate.
The company’s leadership donated money to oppose same-sex marriage and is influenced by Southern Baptist beliefs, including closing its restaurants on Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The announcers dodged any discussion of these important issues.
Then there was the other semifinal game between Clemson and Ohio State, which was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
According to the New York Times, the university and its holding company have been the target of “state and federal investigations into allegations of shady recruiting, deceptive advertising and questionable financial aid practices.” The University of Phoenix has received millions of federal dollars from programs intended to help veterans and low-income students. But the students end up with heavy debt and few marketable skills. A Defense Department ban that prohibited Phoenix from recruiting on military bases was recently revoked, but the company remains under heightened scrutiny. The Times also reports that enrollment at the school “has been falling and profits shrinking, casting doubt on the future health of the industry.”
Hmm… I didn’t hear anything about the problems during the game, only the glowing ads promoting the U.
Then there’s the final matchup, which will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Raymond James Financial has had a number of run-ins over questionable securities practices.
In 2011, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ordered the company to pay restitution of $1.69 million to 15,500 clients for charging excessive commissions on more than 27,000 securities transactions. The trades were made in client accounts between 2006 and 2010. FINRA also fined the company nearly half a million dollars.
Earlier this year, the company was involved in a $350 million real estate scandal in Vermont, agreeing to pay the state nearly $6 million for violating securities laws. Here is some background on the case: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/money/2016/06/30/vt-reaches-595-million-settlement-raymond-james/86550308/
In a separate case, the company agreed to pay $17 million in fines for violating money laundering standards. It was the highest fine in the history of such investigations. Here is some background on this case: http://www.wsj.com/articles/raymond-james-to-pay-17-million-fine-for-anti-money-laundering-lapses-1463590634
The financial company will get a lot of good publicity during the game because it’s unlikely viewers will hear the rest of the story.
Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist who teaches media law.