Man, whaddaya think – they’re running a charity at the Alamo Bowl?
There are many different ways to frame Derrick Fox’s compensation of nearly $600,000.
Valero Alamo Bowl board members like to say the target for Fox’s compensation is the 75th percentile of all bowls, reflecting the game’s standing as one of the best in the nation.
Another way to frame it is to say that for putting on an annual football game, Fox, the bowl’s chief executive and president, earns more than San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley, San Antonio Water System President and CEO Robert Puente, UTSA Athletic Director Lynn Hickey and San Antonio Food Bank President and CEO Eric Cooper.
But here’s perhaps the most poignant way to frame Fox’s compensation: He has made considerably more than the bowl has given away in scholarships.
That was true in 2004-05 when the Alamo Bowl gave away $52,000 and Fox hauled in $279,230, per tax records. It was true in 2009-10, when the bowl gave away $110,000 and Fox’s compensation jumped to $419,045, again per tax records. It was true in 2014-15, the most recent tax records, when the bowl gave away $432,500 and Fox earned $578,216.
Fox won’t discuss his compensation, but he’s got no problem pumping his good works.
He got himself into hot water speaking before Congress in 2009, when he said, “Almost all of the postseason bowl games are put on by charitable groups” and that “local charities receive tens of millions of dollars every year.”
Not only were a good number of the bowls privately owned, but reporters found the 23 existing nonprofit bowls gave $3.2 million to local charities on $186.3 million in revenue.
But Fox said something more granular. Asked by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, about how much “money” from the Alamo Bowl goes to “classic charities,” Fox said, “There are several hundred thousand dollars that will go out to local organizations.”
“Whether it’s Boys & Girls Clubs, whether it’s Kids Sports Network, you name it. There are a number of different organizations who benefit from the bowl as well.”
Tax records show the scholarships but not the other philanthropy. When I asked Fox for clarification or supporting documents for the statement, a bowl representative sent me a list that included more than $400,000 in donations from 2008. This is in addition to scholarships and payouts to participating football teams.
The list did include donations to Kids Sports Network, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the food bank and others. It also includes more than $330,000 in “tickets.” Got it? Tickets, not actual money that helps keep these nonprofits going. There’s a difference.
Nice gig, if you can get it. But let’s talk some more about greedy student-athletes, okay?