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Published: Sunday, 6/17/2007

University of Toledo investigation gets attention of students

BY MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER
From bottom left, Chris Peshek, Joe Ruggles, Brandon Enghauser, and Lon Muir weigh in on the ongoing investigation at UT. From bottom left, Chris Peshek, Joe Ruggles, Brandon Enghauser, and Lon Muir weigh in on the ongoing investigation at UT.
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An internal investigation of the University of Toledo athletic department has revealed issues that students agree should be investigated.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs and documents obtained by The Blade have disclosed concerns such as nonessential people traveling with sports teams, infractions of laws regarding medications, and a questionable game contract with another university.

"It's good that we have people who can audit us internally," said Mike Betz, student government president.

"It's definitely important to always audit and make sure the funds are going in the right channels," he said.

Megan McDevitt says she is intrigued by the investigation into questionable spending of money for donors and family and friends of athletic offi cials to travel with the team. Megan McDevitt says she is intrigued by the investigation into questionable spending of money for donors and family and friends of athletic offi cials to travel with the team.
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The investigation ongoing this summer is taking place at a time when most students are away from campus.

As of early last week, 7,226 students were enrolled in summer sessions, which is about 37 percent of the number of students taking classes last fall.

But late Friday morning a group of pharmacy students could be found watching the last episode of The Price is Right with Bob Barker as host before taking an exam.

They agreed with the recommendation that UT's director of pharmacy take over the inventory, storage, and dispensing of medications from the athletic department.

Mike Betz says it benefits the athletics staff members to
have their families travel with them, but only if students 
education isn t jeopardized. Mike Betz says it benefits the athletics staff members to have their families travel with them, but only if students education isn t jeopardized.
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"It's a natural role of a pharmacist to overlook the disbursing of the medication," Lon Muir of Bowling Green said.

Mr. Muir and his classmates Joe Ruggles of Ravenna, Ohio, and Brandon Enghauser of Dayton are all finishing their pharmacy course work this summer and are to begin their clinical rotations in the fall.

Mr. Enghauser said team physicians know how to diagnose problems and prescribe medication, but pharmacists are trained in the ins and outs of handling that medication.

"We focus on drug therapy," he said. "We know the laws regarding the disbursing of medication."

It's becoming more common for hospitals to have pharmacists on staff who handle the medications to give more of a checks-and-balances system for the medical staff, Mr. Ruggles said.

"In a hospital that's the way it works, why shouldn't it be that way [in the athletic department]?" he said.

The students said they are sure that UT team physician Roger Kruse used professional judgment when working with athletes, but that having a professional pharmacist dispense the medication is a safeguard measure.

"It's another check," Mr. Muir said.

Some questionable spending of money for donors and family and friends of athletic officials to travel with the teams caught the attention of Megan McDevitt, a UT mathematics graduate student.

"That's annoying because you know the money should be used at the school," she said, adding that it's hard to tell a donor no because they invest a lot in the quality of the school.

Ms. McDevitt said she supports the investigation.

"No matter what, be it the athletic department, the business school, dining services - they would keep track of the money to keep tuition low," Ms. McDevitt said. "[Dr. Jacob] is checking it out right now. You can't fault him for that."

Dr. Jacobs has said he will make the results of the internal investigations available to the public as it they progress.

Mr. Betz, who is studying political science and prelaw, said athletics promote student morale and market the university.

Mr. Betz agreed with Athletic Director Mike O'Brien that the athletics staff can spend so much time away.

He said it benefits them to have their family with them when they travel.

"In order for us to compete in a larger market for athletics, I think sometimes you do have do something over and beyond," he said, adding that is true only if it doesn't hurt the students.

"If it's going to cause the students a devalued education experience because the money is being spent there, I don't believe in that."

Contact Meghan Gilbert at:

mgilbert@theblade.com or

419-724-6134.



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