Lazier issued a statement from the university regarding the naming rights to the Spanos Stadium scoreboard.
“Cal Poly continues to work in good faith through the bankruptcy court process regarding the naming rights to our scoreboard. We know that the Moriarty Enterprises sign is a painful reminder for his many victims in our community, and we continue to work diligently to either reach a resolution with the bankruptcy Trustee or obtain the bankruptcy judge’s permission to cover or remove the sign as soon as possible.”
In 2009, investor Al Moriarty gave the Cal Poly Foundation $625,000 for the naming rights of the Alex G. Spanos Stadium scoreboard. Due to his involvement in a Ponzi scheme, the university wants to remove “Moriarty Enterprises” from the scoreboard.
Cal Poly has been trying to work with the trustee handling Moriarty’s assets to remove his name from the scoreboard since September 2013, but the university has been unsuccessful so far in its attempts, university spokesperson Matt Lazier said. Both sides claim the other’s resistant nature toward negotiating and legal matters has slowed the process.
Moriarty’s agreement with the Cal Poly Foundation states that “Moriarty Enterprises” shall remain on the scoreboard for the entirety of its existence, and a possibility of selling the naming rights was not discussed.
According to Jeremy Faith, one of the trustee’s attorneys, there are no rights for the name on the scoreboard to be sold or assigned, likely because the $625,000 was given to the Cal Poly Foundation. As the university’s nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, donors may use their donations as tax exemptions, which Moriarty did.
Since the money Cal Poly received from Moriarty actually belonged to investors, the trustee requests the $625,000 back to return to those Moriarty stole money from. Motions have been made by both parties offering options to settle the dispute, but none have been accepted.
The trustee proposed to reopen discussions with Cal Poly last December, yet no meeting occurred. Both the trustee and Cal Poly will continue to work through the court system.