SJSU Responds to Skimming Article with 22 Corrections

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San Jose State University’s media relations department has submitted a list of 22 corrections to an article published by the school’s paper, the Spartan Daily, back in May that claimed the school had mishandled Spartan Foundation funds and endowments, as well as donor money.

The corrections are extensive and aim to set the record straight on everything from numbers to how the Daily characterized the handling of funds.

For instance, the Daily claimed that less than 5 percent of Spartan Foundation money intended for athletic scholarships was distributed to San Jose State athletes from 2013-2016, while SJSU states in its corrections that “every donation designated by the donor for athletics scholarships was used for that purpose.”

A full list of the corrections can be found here.

The story in question, which was headlined “Millions Misused,” was published with the following disclaimer from the editor:

Editor's Note: In this story, the Spartan Daily decided to exercise its right as a news publication to maintain anonymity for protection of our sources. Several of our sources feared for their livelihood but were committed to exposing the truth. We hold ourselves to the same commitment and encourage others to come forward. 

Andrew Pang of Inside the Spartans, posted a 1,958-word analysis of the original article by Lindsey Boyd. Pang's conclusions segment follows in full: 

"While Boyd and The Spartan Daily show good intentions by questioning the operations of university administration, their end product has serious flaws that undermine the narrative.

"The major red flag is the expectation that Spartan Foundation donations should have funded more scholarships, when scholarships cost nearly $5 million per year yet the foundation raised around $6.3 million over four years. As Almond's Mercury News story from May 18 indicated, former athletic director Bleymaier was not contacted for comment by The Spartan Daily even though the story examined issues that took place under his watch. Neither was anyone connected with the former Spartan Foundation, who also could have addressed the questions raised.

"Additionally, the story misleads readers into thinking the Spartan Foundation failed to disclose that donations would fund areas in the athletic department other than scholarships. In fact, an examination of the athletics website indicates such disclosures have existed as early as 2011.

"There is no denying that legitimate criticisms of the San Jose State athletic department exist. This Spartan Daily story, however, does not make one. Instead, it spread fallacious premises that have become widespread among students, alumni, and members of the public. Ultimately, this story is the print equivalent of an interception."

As of this morning, the Daily had not published a response or printed a correction that takes into account SJSU’s list of 22 corrections.

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