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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  • by Greg Location: Lansing on Mar 25, 2011 at 05:18 AM
    Dave, Great idea. Athletics needs to allow organizations to rotate the 50/50 raffle at the football games. A 50/50 raffle can generate $30,000 or more so that is a large earning in one game for the raffle winner and the organization.
  • by Dave Location: Mason on Mar 24, 2011 at 04:37 PM
    Mmmm, it sounds like a more worthy charity needs to get the chance to make money at Spartan football games. I personnally will not buy another 50/50 ticket unless a true charity gets the proceeds; how about the Ingham County Food Bank for one or the Capital Area Humane Society. Let the charities state their case and the top 7 will each get one of the home games. As for the DCC, make them buy their own season tickets like the rest of us. Dave in Mason, MSU '82
    • reply
      by Terry on Mar 25, 2011 at 06:18 PM in reply to Dave
      The purpose of most sports' booster clubs is to provide additional financial support for the sport's team, not charities.
  • by fred Location: jackson on Mar 24, 2011 at 03:43 PM
    What a suprise,half the football team is constantly in trouble with the law. Now the boosters are breaking the law. A common theme at michigan state.
    • reply
      by CP on Mar 25, 2011 at 05:16 AM in reply to fred
      Fred--Spoken like a true Wal-Mart Wolverine
    • reply
      by Carol on Mar 25, 2011 at 07:28 AM in reply to fred
      Actually, it was not "half" the team; and it was not "constantly". AND, in this case, you will see that the allegations are toward a very few. I hope people will reserve judgement until the facts are in. Ninty-nine per cent of the membership were totally unaware of this until now. Most of the members work very hard toward one goal, that of the betterment of the team. Please reserve judgement.
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