Major MSU Booster Club Under Investigation

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

LANSING -- A State of Michigan Lottery document, obtained by News 10 Thursday, details four counts of alleged malfeasance by the official booster for the MSU football program.

The club is a non-profit organization, operating independently of the MSU Athletics Office, that runs 50/50 raffles at MSU football games.

The counts levied by the lottery against DCC comprise checks written to cash (against state lottery laws), illegal raffles held at club luncheons, an oversight failure by the board president and -- perhaps the most serious of the allegations -- improper use of raffle proceeds.

The letter from the lottery shows five checks made out to board members for expenses like $1,140 for a holiday party; another $1,781.32 for a trip to a bowl game; and another, worth about $1,200, for the Alamo Bowl.

Perhaps the worst -- a credit card receipt for almost $20,000 in season tickets to MSU athletic events, most of which went to board members.

Another credit card receipt shows more than $3,000 spent on season tickets to the Lansing Lugnuts.

A lawyer representing the club confirmed to News 10 on Wednesday that the DCC is under investigation but declined to comment until the lottery releases its decision, expected sometime next week.

This is apparently not the first time the DCC has been in trouble with the lottery. Sources tell News 10 the group has faced as many as three reprimands in the past.

We have filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the State Lottery to confirm that those reviews took place.

Board members were reluctant to talk, though some did note on an anonymous basis that they're angered by what they characterize as a few bad apples dragging the club down with them.

One former member who wanted to remain anonymous told News 10 it "makes me sick that they messed up such a good cause."

As for possible punishment, lottery officials say the club could have its license removed temporarily -- or in the worst-case scenario, permanently.


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