Frank McCourt donates $100 million to Georgetown

September 18, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Magic Johnson, left, and Frank McCourt watch the Dodgers play on April 5, 2012.
Magic Johnson, left, and Frank McCourt watch the Dodgers play on April 5,… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Bud Selig insists he will retire as baseball's commissioner after next season. He says he might like to teach college classes, to study history, to write his memoirs.

He could be a distinguished guest speaker in just about any college class -- except, perhaps, at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Frank McCourt, who sold the Dodgers for a record $2.15 billion last year, has donated $100 million toward the school, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. The donation is the largest in Georgetown history, the Post reported.

McCourt graduated from Georgetown in 1975. He met his former wife, Jamie, at the school. This fine ESPN the Magazine story has an amazing picture of the McCourts in that era, with the hair of that era.

Frank McCourt took the Dodgers into bankruptcy in 2011, the final act of a long-running divorce drama and a showdown with Selig over who would control the team. In the process, Selig's attorneys alleged McCourt of "looting" by "siphoning" $189 million in team revenue for personal use. McCourt denied the charges.

Once McCourt agreed to sell the team, Selig let him control the sale process. That let McCourt launch the auction that made him a billionaire.

McCourt turned a net profit of $1.278 billion on the Dodgers sale, subtracting $460 million in tax payments and $412 million in debts assumed by the new owners. No other baseball team has sold for even $1 billion. Even after paying his $131 million divorce settlement, McCourt was left with $1.147 billion.

Guggenheim Baseball Management, the new owners, also agreed to invest as much as $650 million in a real estate development fund run by McCourt and to pay him an annual management fee, starting at $5.5 million. In addition, McCourt gets at least $7 million per year from fees the Dodgers pay to rent the stadium parking lots, half ownership of those lots and the right to sell his stake in those lots to Guggenheim for an additional $150 million.

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