Alabama State University is currently engaged in a huge dispute with Steve Harvey’s investment company ‘HarCal Inc.’
This is all because of the Turkey Day Classic football game. ASU signed a contract with HarCal where HarCal would help with publicity for the big football game. In the Contract, HarCal promises Alabama State University profits of at least $170,000, money that ASU has not seen yet. In a letter released today, ASU’s interim president, Leon C. Wilson explains the situation in depth saying:
“Alabama State University looked forward to a beneficial partnership with HarCal. This partnership was established to allow the University to continue a large-scale celebration for Turkey Day Classic (TDC) and ASU Homecoming, which could be enjoyed by the University family and the area community. More importantly, this relationship would allow ASU leadership to focus its attention and available resources on academic enterprises.
It is not ASU’s desire to engage in daily discourse around the HarCal contract. However, we do owe it to the ASUfamily and to the public to refute inaccurate statements that have been made about Alabama State University.
The University is owed, at a minimum, $170,000 which is the guarantee outlined in the contact.
The Alabama State University administration has yet to obtain any financial statements, either audited or unofficial, from HarCal representatives, even though the contract states that they are to be made available by both parties.
These financial statements from HarCal would reveal if the University is owed any money above the guarantee.
Alabama State University has complied and submitted a financial report for Turkey Day Classic, which was prepared by Warren Averett/CPA’s and Advisors.
This report titled: “Agreed Upon Procedures 2016” (a.k.a. ASU’s Turkey Day Classic Profit-Loss Statement) was provided to HarCal’s Gregory Calhoun on February 22, via certified mail and electronic email. This same document was provided to the legal counsel representing HarCal, which is Attorney Brandon Williams – on that same date.
As of this date, the University has not received any financial statements from HarCal.
ASU did submit a $67,000 invoice for facility use and related charges to HarCal.
The contract with HarCal did not provide for discounted or in-kind use of facilities for events. Moreover, former University President, Gwendolyn Boyd, stated during the ASU Board of Trustees meeting on November 14, 2016 that “We are charging them as if they were an outside group. We’re giving them employees’ names and how much they are spending. We are charging them the standard rate for using the Acadome.”
The Southwestern Athletic Conference has an established contract with ESPN to televise conference games. One such game for the conference is the Turkey Day Classic. On multiple occasions, Alabama State University officials petitioned the conference to release the University from the agreement for the 2016 Turkey Day Classic. ESPN rejected each request made by the conference on behalf of ASU. While the University could have benefited from a deal with NBC/Universal and the exposure of Family Feud, the University was obligated to fulfill the existing contract with ESPN. HarCal officials were aware of the contractual obligation.
University officials are not aware of any discussion to move the Magic City Classic football game from its current management to HarCal; as a contract for this has not been provided for, nor executed. This is also not a decision that could be made by ASU alone. The Magic City Classic is a mutually agreed upon event between Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University.
The University has attempted on multiple occasions to establish a meeting with HarCal representatives to review the financial details from the 2016 Turkey Day Classic.
The University wants to review and finalize all outstanding items for TDC-2016, per the terms of the agreement,” said Dr. Leon C. Wilson, Interim-President, Alabama State University. “
Here is the ASU TDC audit report that it titled (Agreed Upon Procedures/Profit and Loss Statement for TDC 2016), which was reviewed by the accounting firm of Warren Averett/CPA’s and Advisors and has been submitted by ASU to HarCal: 2.22.17 Letter to Mr. Calhoun requesting HarCal’s TDC Audit Report-2016