FAYETTEVILLE – The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation today submitted a formal request to the University of Arkansas to temporarily remove their naming from Razorback football stadium ahead of the 2014 season.
The Reynolds Foundation announced plans earlier this week to formally close the grant funding by 2017. As part of the closure they will begin evaluating all investments since the organization began in 1994, and distribute the remaining $160m in the fund.
“We are fully committed at this point to preserving the legacy of Mr. Reynolds and the foundation established from his endowment,” Steve Anderson, president of the foundation, tells us. “Having your name on the side of a football stadium where the home team goes 4-8 one season and 3-9 the next is not a very good way to preserve legacy. We unfortunately have to ask them to take it down until they can win again.”
The Reynolds Foundation endowment was formed from the proceeds of Donald Reynolds media group, Donrey Media Group, in 1994 following Reynolds’ death. The foundation support human services, cultural and humanitarian, health, arts and education organizations and has provided over $1.8 billion in grants to non-profits in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Nevada.
The foundation provided $21 million to the Razorback Foundation in 1999 for football stadium expansion and was awarded naming rights for the stadium in 2001. The team has gone 102-70 since the stadium renaming, however recent years have yielded only a 7-17 record.
“Our foundation has a long history of supporting the University of Arkansas, so this is not an easy decision,” Anderson continues. “If the Razorbacks can make it back to a couple of SEC championship games in the next five years, we will gladly put our foundation’s name up again. Until then we need to hop off the bandwagon for a bit, but like any good Razorback fan we will be back.”
The Reynolds Foundation says they will additionally withdraw support from the Miami Heat, Dallas Cowboys, and Auburn Tigers until they can stop coming up short and they are popular to support again. The Foundation will issue a temporary grant to the US National Soccer team, currently playing in the world cup, until they eventually lose.