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FAU drops GEO Group stadium deal amid controversy: Say bye to Owlcatraz

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For-profit prison corporation GEO Group has officially "withdrawn" the $6 million "gift" to Florida Atlantic University after the arrangement brought heavy publicity to the company's shady dealings and past controversies.

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Owlcatraz won't happen. FAU announced Monday night that it will not name its football stadium after for-profit prison corporation GEO Group, according to the Miami Herald's Michael Vasquez.

This comes after major public outcry against the school's decision to provide publicity for an organization whose operations have been fraught with controversy, which included a 60-person opposition letter being delivered to FAU president Mary Saunders hours earlier.

The naming arrangement took heat from the very start, as the school president declined comment on Feb. 19 when the agreement was announced. Not only was GEO Group a company that explicitly makes money off of incarcerating people, a moral quandary of its own, it's drawn criticism within that industry for several alleged incidents of widespread inmate mistreatment. Those claims run the gamut from alleged sexual abuse at a children's facility to deaths of inmates allegedly denied medication.

After people began looking into the company's history, a GEO Group spokesman tried to whitewash the company's Wikipedia page Feb. 20 by removing references to those controversies, something SB Nation's Patrick Vint caught on to. All of this led to FAU student petitions against the company and the ACLU asking that FAU disassociate itself from GEO Group. Now it has.

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