Again, from the hypervigilant eye of the Wizard of Odds, the story of the 'Stutz and the Toledo athletic department's odd financial practices gets even odder as the Toledo Blade slices into the rich, juicy, sugary sweet yet salty ham of a good story: Toledo's practice of bartering tickets and other athletic department benefits for goods and services.
This bartering included rounds of golf, cars, and other goods adding up to a $700,000 tab exchanged over the course of the past year. Most shocking of all?
And, according to university records, $4,050 of a $5,000 trade with Honey Baked Ham in 2004 was used for gift certificates for athletics staff members. Another $500 was used for a staff Christmas party that year.
Toledo football: will work for ham.
Tom Amstutz: greasing the palms of his employees with that gold-foil wrapped wicked duchess of meats, the Honeybaked Ham. The ancient practice of barter may be a happy hobbyist's way of purchasing Canadian real estate on the cheap, but it's not a fave of Toledo's President, Lloyd Jacobs, who put on his no-funderoos by saying that bartering--widespread at other universities, and not illegal--"is not the best practice."
Tom Amstutz, driver of a brand new '07 Honda Ridgeline, would likely disagree. Embroiled as he is--man, does the offseason involve a lot of embroiling--in the points-shaving scandal surrounding Scooter McDougle and scrutiny over his recruiting trips to that hotbed of American football Germany, 'Stutz might have to find some new wheels and a new magical ham fountain soon.