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U. of Toledo Athletics Audit Finds Financial Mess

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Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

An internal audit of the University of Toledo's department of athletics found thousands of dollars in discrepancies, improper cash handling, irregular and incomplete record keeping, missing funds, and no oversight from the head of the department.

The audit, obtained by The Blade through a public records request, led UT to fire Anthony Zaworski, the associate director of athletics for finance, in October.

Dated Aug. 25, 2016, the audit concluded that Zaworski had unchecked control over the athletic department's money as well as funds from the university's Rocky's Locker merchandise stores.

The report showed a minimum of $9,083 was missing in the fiscal year 2016. The university said a deeper review dating back to 2013 revealed a discrepancy of "approximately $12,000."

The missing funds have not been recovered, UT said.

Zaworski, an employee for 15 years at UT, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Mike O'Brien, who promoted Zaworski to his most recent role, refused comment. UT did not make President Sharon Gaber available for an interview.

A university spokesman said UT does not plan to pursue criminal or civil charges against Zaworski.

"The University's review found only poor record keeping and process regarding financial transactions," UT spokesman Meghan Cunningham said in an email. "There is no evidence that anybody gained personally from the irregularities."

Auditors found severely dysfunctional practices in the UT athletic department. They concluded Mr. Zaworski broke university policy in numerous ways, and his record keeping left "difficult to follow audit trails."

Among the issues the audit found:

  •  Zaworski allegedly kept cash from the two Rocky's Locker stores in his desk on the fourth floor of Savage Arena.
  •  Documentation from game day parking revealed thousands of dollars were missing.
  •  Zaworski waited months to make cash deposits after UT sporting events, jumbled revenue sources, deposited insufficient funds, and, in a few cases, did not make deposits at all.
  •  He made more than $2,000 worth of delayed deposits after the university began its audit.
  •  He reimbursed employees for travel in cash, which violates university policy.
  •  His financial journal entries often had no supporting documentation.
  •  He allegedly took $1,200 worth of UT cash to his home after a "Rock The Arena" concert rather than using the on-site safe.

In response to Zaworski's firing, UT said it has made changes to its athletic finance systems. The university said it will begin including parking passes with ticket purchases to avoid cash transactions, use prepaid debit cards for expenses, and improve training for the point-of-sale system at Rocky's Locker.

Since the audit, UT said it changed its operation to "strictly enforce daily deposits" in its Rocky's Locker stores.

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January 23, 2017
 
 
 

 

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