UW Foundation Mulls Returning Cercy Donation to Athletics Center
The University of Wyoming is considering whether to return a $1 million donation from Casper businessman and convicted sex offender Tony Cercy, a university spokesman said.
"The issue is being discussed by the administration of the Athletics Department as well as the University as a whole, and they expect to have a plan or decision in 30 days or so," Chad Baldwin said.
Last week, Cercy was convicted by a nine-woman three-man jury of assaulting a then 20-year-old woman at his former house at Alcova Lake on June 25, 2017.
He is being held at the Natrona County jail awaiting sentencing.
Several years ago, Tony and his wife Caryl donated $1 million to the Olympic weight room of the $44 million Mick and Susie McMurry High Altitude Performance Center, which was a renovation of the Rochelle Athletics Center at the university, according to the UW Foundation's 2014-2015 annual report.
The 2015-2016 annual report featured the Cercy family, with comments from Tony Cercy about why he made the donation: "'We thought that what they were building was something that was really needed to attract players and to keep the University of Wyoming football in a Division I status,' says Tony. 'We donated just to support the program and to support the university, and it’s going to bring more kids and keep that program growing.'"
Baldwin couldn't cite any examples in which the university returned donations under such circumstances, but said it was probable.
"There are donors who have had some sort of criminal issues in the past," he said.
"I can't tell you exactly who or how many, but there are enough donors to the university that I can't imagine that this issue of criminal charges is brand new by any means," Baldwin said.
Cercy has donated large sums to other organizations and projects, including a $1 million gift for the David Street Station in downtown Casper and the Natrona County High School's foundation -- the NCHS Millennium Fund -- for a scoreboard at the school's football stadium.
After he was arrested in July 2017, the Natrona County School District returned the donation for the scoreboard to the NCHS Millennium Fund.