Honor a late champ, not the biggest donor

October 28, 2013 

We're going old school on naming things after people. The current practice of naming public places after those who donate big bucks, with political pull or who are still alive has repeatedly proved embarrassing.

There was the Walmart heiress whose sports complex at Mizzou was renamed after her undergrad cheating at USC was exposed. There was removal of Joe Paterno's statue at Penn State after he failed to handle molestation accusations against his assistant football coach.

Now Southern Illinois University Carbondale is looking at renaming the softball field after donor Barrett Rochman became a federal felon. Rochman pleaded guilty to being part of the $2 million scheme to defraud Madison County's delinquent property taxpayers through a rigged auction and exorbitant interest rates.

So a word to our schools: The public is your biggest donor. Don't embarrass us by selling a name, unless the namesake was found worthy at the final judgment.

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