Free Money

From a UCLA media release yesterday:

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero and Head Football Coach Jim Mora announced today a campaign to raise private funds for a comprehensive football training facility to be located on the west side of Spaulding Field, the practice field for the Bruin football team. The planned state-of-the-art facility is intended to house a locker room, athletic training area, strength and conditioning facility, coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms, equipment rooms and video rooms, in addition to several elements that will feature the storied history of UCLA Football.
The project, estimated to cost $50 million, will be funded by private donations. A feasibility study analyzed the site conditions, and the university has elected to move the project forward with a request for proposal to select an architect. The selected firm will work directly with Guerrero, Mora, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the university to develop the size, layout and renderings of the proposed facility. As funding thresholds are achieved, project construction will begin…

Full release at

There is a sense that if funds are raised privately – that is, if they are not state funds – no trade-offs are involved.  The Regents, in approving capital projects, behave as though that is true.  However, it assumes there is a pool of donors out there that will only give to the one specified project and would not have donated to some other project.  Does anyone look into that assumption? Is it valid?  Just asking.