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Monday, July 23, 2007

Guest Column: Who On Earth Would Name Their Campus Hotel After a Convicted Felon?

MZone reader MS ("The Wrestlin' Wolverine"), a U-M grad trapped behind enemy lines like regular contributor SiC, recently submitted this guest column.

The ad at the left is from a Columbus magazine. As you can see, the ad proclaims the Blackwell, as "Central Ohio's Premier Hotel and Conference Center." The ad goes on to say that the Blackwell Inn, which is part of the tOSU Business School, is located on "the campus of one of America's finest universities, The Ohio State University."

Well, that alone is humorous in itself. But it gets better...

The Blackwell Inn is named after Roger Blackwell, a long-time marketing professor in the tOSU Business School who is well-known nationally as a leading marketing expert and made a rather sizable contribution to tOSU ($7 million). Funny thing is, Blackwell doesn't teach at tOSU anymore. Why not, you ask? Because he is serving six years in another premier conference center in the Midwest - FEDERAL PRISON. You see, he forgot about obeying the law when it came to conquering the real world - most notably, he forgot that insider trading is a no-no on Wall Street, and if you do it and get caught, you just might end up in the pokey.

When Blackwell was convicted and sent off to the pokey in 2006, there was discussion that tOSU might drop the name of the Blackwell Inn since naming a university-owned campus hotel after a convicted felon doesn't exactly project the best image. But apparently money prevailed over ethics. Who knows, maybe tOSU officials didn't want to risk Blackwell rescinding his sizable contribution to the university so they decided to just roll with it. After all, what's wrong with having the campus hotel named after a convicted felon? Hell, it might even be considered a good omen - at least any future football felons would feel right at home at the team hotel the night before games. Maybe that's why our buddy Maurice ran so well against the Wolverines in 2002.

Blackwell isn't all that bad though. In 1991, he dumped his first wife of 31 years to marry his teaching aid, who was 25 years his junior. Nice work, if you can get it. Makes you want to go back to school and be a professor doesn't, it? Well, maybe not...

Unfortunately, his trophy wife got tired of him and divorced his ass in 2003. Then, she testified against him in his trial to help send him off to the pokey. Along the way, she was granted immunity, a $1 million divorce settlement, and found a new hubby - the chief executive officer of Federated Department Stores, who made in excess of $6.3 million in 2004, not including stock options.

No word yet on whether or not Maurice has become Blackwell's third wife. In any case, tough break, buddy.

If you'd like to submit a guest column for consideration, email your finished post to the address on the left. Keyword: finished.


Robert said...

I guess you're counting on nobody bringing up Alfred Taubman here?

TitleIX said...

we're livin' in a glass house here fellas

Out of Conference said...

There's nothing wrong with touting a school hero who happens to also dabble in felonious activities. George Rogers Blvd is the street that runs next to our football stadium, William-Brice Stadium. Who's George Rogers you ask? Our only Heisman trophy winner who went on to the pros, oh and who was kicked out of the pros for liking nose candy.

JukeBox said...

man it sux to be blackwell. He got in trouble with his first wife, his 2nd wife leaves him while he's in the darkest point of his life, and worst of all, got an OSU building named after him?

I am starting to feel bad for him.

zen wizard said...

Well, the whole TOWN of Columbus is named after a governor who was sent back to Spain in handcuffs, so I don't see a problem!

El Caballo de Sangre said...

I didn't know who Taubman was so I Wikipedia'd him; that's some good shit. I especially like how UM decided to retain his name on multiple facilities after his conviction, since that's EXACTLY repeat EXACTLY the situation at OSU with Blackwell...nobody ever "name(d) their campus hotel after a convicted felon"; the naming came first and the felony later, and OSU (just like UM) considered removing Blackwell's name but decided against it (just like UM).

The Blackwell's not even OSU's "campus hotel"; that's the Fawcett Center. The Blackwell's officially the hotel/conference center for the Fisher College of Business at OSU.

So, SiC, you're not just a dick, but an inaccurate, dishonest one. Way to go.