BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The made-up controversy over private prison firm GEO Group’s acquisition of naming rights for FAU’s football stadium has now reached the national level, with coverage in USAToday, the New York Times and a Huffington Post article this morning reporting on edits to GEO Group’s Wikipedia page.
Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced encyclopedia. The edits allegedly removed controversial statements about the company.
Based in Boca Raton, GEO Group is the second largest private prison owner in the nation. It owns and/or operates prisons that in some locations house undocumented or illegal immigrants taken into custody by the federal government.
According to Huffington Post:
The company has been at the center of several controversies across the U.S., including at a youth detention center in Texas, which was shut down after state inspectors said they found “filthy” and “unsafe” conditions that included feces on walls. Several riots erupted at a GEO-operated federal prison in west Texas that housed mostly undocumented immigrants in 2008 and 2009, following the death of an epileptic inmate who had been left in isolation despite pleas for help.
A spokesman for GEO Group responded:
“(GEO Group is) not going to comment on edits to a Wikipedia page. (We are not going to discuss) Information that is found on Internet sites or social media outlets, particularly those that can be freely updated by a variety of public users.”
The $6-Million deal is expected to put a dent in the $45-million loan that FAU took for the stadium which opened in 2011.
By comparison, a quick internet search reveals no controversy over BB&T’s naming rights on the Sunrise stadium used by the Florida Panthers. BB&T, like most banks, has foreclosed on homeowners, sometimes in controversial situations.