Our View: Fraudulence shouldn’t be overlooked

DKS Editors

Kent State alumnus Jason Cope donated a generous $1 million to the athletic department in December. The university’s basketball court was soon to be named Cope Court.

Less than a month later — just last week — he withdrew that donation without an explanation.

Daily Kent Stater reporter Doug Brown shed some light on the alumnus in an article published Monday. In it, he explains Cope’s fraud charges, which occurred in 1999 and early 2000.

While it’s unclear why he withdrew his donation, we’re wondering why Kent State would knowingly accept money from someone with a disconcerting financial background.

At first glance, it makes us question the athletic department’s ethical standards. Sure, the university can accept the money, but should it? It doesn’t quite seem right.

While today Cope does own several golf courses with his wife and may be financially stable, that $1 million is still tainted with his past deception.

It’s also important to note that university officials were aware of Cope’s past. What are they willing to overlook in order to get a donation?

Some may argue that people make mistakes and pay their dues, which Cope did.

If that $1 million was earned honestly and ethically, and it’s been a decade since his charges, then why shouldn’t he be able to contribute?

But he still committed fraud, and it makes us question if students would really want his name on the court.

The bottom line remains: That’s a lot of money to accept from someone who once used money so unwisely. Let’s raise our standards.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.