New York's Cuomo Points Finger of Blame to ASU Athletics

ALBANY, NY - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is now investigating whether top college athletic departments nationwide, including Arkansas State University, steered student athletes to education lenders in exchange for kickbacks.

Cuomo says that he served 39 universities with subpoenas and requests for documents about deals between athletic departments and Student Financial Services, which operates as University Financial Services.  He says he's looking at how team names, mascots and colors were used to suggest the company was the college's preferred lender.

A call for comment at the Jonesboro university was not immediately returned.

Cuomo began the investigation as an outgrowth of his national probe of student loan providers and college administrators, which he said uncovered a pattern of favoritism for lenders who provided kickbacks, "revenue sharing" plans, and trips and other gifts in exchange for designations as recommended lenders.  Sometimes the colleges provided campus employees to staff telephone banks for lenders drumming up business.

A spokeswoman for ASU told K8 News the university has turned the matter over to university attorney Lucinda McDaniel, who then told us that the university "does not comment on on-going litigation."

Other schools subpoenad by Cuomo include Auburn, Bowling Green State University, CAL State Sacramento, Central Michigan, Colorado State, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Howard University, Indiana State, Marquette, Oregon, Oregon State, Rutgers, Southern Illinois, Tennessee Tech, TCU, Tulane, UAB, UCLA, Central Florida, Houston, Kansas, Louisville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, South Florida, UT-San Antonio, UTEP, Wayne State, and Youngstown State.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)