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New York attorney general initiates probe of university vendor

Aug. 2, 2007
By Sally Linder

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced another of his highly publicized probes into the relationships higher education institutions have with companies offering loan products.

This time, Cuomo's office is investigating University Financial Services Inc. and its agreements with athletics departments. The office has requested information from or issued subpoenas to 39 universities that have contracts with the company, including Ohio University.

The loan consolidation company's contract with the university allows it to advertise its products to the Ohio Athletics audience through various advertising vehicles such as programs and game-day scoreboards. The university does not endorse the company's products, direct students to the firm or partner with the company to provide student loans.

"Our relationship with this company is entirely above board," Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "These agreements are a well-established way for an athletics department to raise funds to support its mission and help fund programs. They help relieve pressure on tight budgets."

Hocutt stressed that no individual at Ohio University has profited from the agreement.

Ohio University received the subpoena by fax Wednesday.

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Published: Jul 20, 2006 3:50:00 PM
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