Friday, March 30, 2007

How to Shit Where You Eat

Stephen and Tabitha King are pissed at their alma mater, the University of Maine, and with good reason. The Kings own a couple of radio stations in the Bangor area, about the only ones that are still locally owned, and one of the stations is an AM sports station which has broadcasted UMaine games for the past ten years. But the Athletic Department fucked up and granted broadcast rights to another company earlier this year, creating a huge shit storm.

For those out there who wonder where the money they spend on a Stephen King novel goes to, some of it goes to various projects around the State of Maine, including a HUGE chunk to the University of Maine - we're talking tens of millions of dollars since King hit the big time. This is money the University can't risk losing since all of the campuses in the state are facing financial difficulties.

While King has stated that he won't stop contributing to the school, he did say that future decisions "on giving will still be made on a case-by-case basis." He also added, "We are, however, human — and that means we are hurt and angry over this decision." Oops. The water spout won't stop, but the pressure may weaken.

On top of this insult, the Athletic Department also asked the Kings to give up their skybox at the Alfond Arena where the UMaine hockey team plays. If you follow college hockey at all, you'll know that UMaine is the best in the country - they're currently in the Frozen Four finals. This should be a celebratory time, not something smeared in controversy.

Now, people around here are pretty proud of the Kings, so we tend to be protective of them as well. If a tourist asks for directions to their house, we usually tell them that the Kings don't really like people gawking at the place. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise when the public uproar happened: many letters to the editor, a lot of complaints to the University, others threatening to withhold donations. But after all of that, the best the University could do was apologize.


Sandra Ruttan said...

Yeah, that's pretty bad. It's funny, because usually people who 'strike it big' are accused of becoming snobby and criticized for not being generous. Then you get people who are, and they're more than taken for granted.

I don't blame them for being hurt at all.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

It was because of the Kings that my town's library was able to afford needed rennovation and restoration.

Lyman said...

Um... I don't understand why King even tries at this point. After previous debacles at UMaine you'd think he'd just turn his back on the place.

I worked in fundraising for far too many years. If ever graced with the opportunity to give money to charity, neither USM nor UMAINE will ever see a penny from me. I did my donating when I paid tuition.

And they better never ask me to give up my season tickets! They'll have to pry them from my cold blue hands. Go Bears!

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

So why did the university ask the Kings to give up their skybox? Sorry, but the Morning Sentinel hasn't been covering this.

I used to subscribe to the Bangor Daily News because it's a much better paper, but it came in the mail, which meant we didn't get it until the afternoon.