Talk about a hiring hiccup.
Last year, the University of Central Florida began courting — and paying — a Rhode Island expert to join UCF's sports-management program.
His name: Daniel E. Doyle. And even though Doyle was in the midst of a spending controversy at the University of Rhode Island's Institute of International Sports, UCF still wanted him.
Doyle, after all, was a high-profile guy — a sports scholar who promoted the virtues of youth sports and had attracted the likes of Bill Clinton and Colin Powell to his events.
So the courting continued. As did the payments — more than $44,000 in consulting fees UCF paid Doyle to contemplate moving to Orlando.
Until last month, anyway … when Doyle was indicted.
The 18-count grand-jury indictment included seven counts of embezzlement. Rhode Island's attorney general said Doyle "personally obtained over $1,000,000 in unauthorized salary increases, bonuses and personal expenses paid for by Institute funds."
You might think that would be the end of the story. But, as of last week, Doyle still had plans to set up shop at UCF. So said the Providence Journal, which reported that Doyle convinced a judge to rework his $100,000 bail agreement — so that he could travel to Orlando.
Contacted Tuesday, UCF said those plans are now on hold.
"Once we learned of the indictment, we placed outstanding and future payments on hold," said UCF spokesman Grant Heston.
Previously, the guy trying to hire Doyle — the widely respected Richard Lapchick at UCF's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports — said he believed Doyle's imbroglio was merely a "misunderstanding."
But with Doyle now facing criminal charges, Heston said the school has decided to tap the brakes and is now "thoroughly reviewing the proposed partnership."
Sounds like a prudent move … especially for a program that specializes in ethics.
Speaking of universities, Gov. Rick Scott is now campaigning on his veto of a proposed tuition hike. And I don't blame him one bit. He's right to keep college costs down.
Still, the governor chose an odd way to end a cyber-rant about the proposed tuition increase this week when he warned recipients: "The liberal machine is already gearing up to try to take back Florida."
He may be right about that. But liberals didn't propose the tuition increase that Scott was ranting about. Republicans did. Republicans in the House and Senate drafted it, passed it and asked Scott to sign it.
So, if you're like the governor and ticked off that someone was trying to raise tuition, fair enough. Me, too. But just know that those someones were members of the governor's own party.
This community took a big step toward addressing a serious problem this week with the creation of the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force.
For too long, Central Florida has been a place where childhood dreams have morphed into real-life nightmares for neglected minors who are forced into indentured servitude and captive prostitution.
Now, however, local, state and federal officials are teaming up with local nonprofits to target the predators, help the victims and open the public's eyes.
Good for them. And good for us. It will take a communal effort to stop this depraved practice.
If you suspect a child or minor is being victimized, report it. Call 1-800-96-ABUSE.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-6141