Double dipping, poor financial monitoring part of All Sports collapse
A financial review of the defunct All Sports Association shows a growing unpaid liability and findings of poor monitoring of its budget.
A discussion Friday of how to clean up the nonprofit's collapse included details of past “double dipping” involving All Sports executives collecting expense reimbursements from both the NCAA and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Records indicate more than $75,000 was collected by the two organizations for expenses related to the annual Women's College World Series at the city's Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
Tom Anderson, special assistant to the city manager, during a meeting of the CVB's event sponsorship committee said the city has been unable to determine how the double billing was spent.
Mark Schmelzle, an accountant with Wichita-based AGH CPAS & Advisors, provided a report to the committee on a financial review ordered as the promotion of collegiate events was quickly turned over to a consortium of local sports entities led by the CVB.
Schmelzle reported the only major expenditure from the All Sports bank account since the review was an approximately $4,000 payment on an American Express card used by the association's director, Tim Brassfield.
The nature of the expenditures on the card are unknown. Anderson, meanwhile, said neither the city nor the convention and visitor's bureau had oversight on use of the American Express card.
Schmelzle said the account balance on Nov. 28 was $577,665. As requested by the city, All Sports paid $500,000 on the $877,770 owed to the NCAA from revenues collected on the athletic events.
Anderson said as more details emerge on the association's funds and liabilities, the money needed to make the NCAA whole has risen from an estimate of $108,000 just before the association closed to $230,000 in December to the current estimate of $300,000.
“I would advise you to get control of that account as soon as possible just so something else doesn't end up coming in,” Schmelzle said. “They still have signer rights on the bank account. They can write a check and then that money disappears to cover that liability.”
The All Sports Association first notified the city it was at risk of dissolving in August and gave a schedule of its wind down in September, all the while soliciting membership purchases via social media and on the organization's website.
Brassfield tried repeatedly until the deadline he set to persuade the city to give it a $275,000 bailout. Brassfield did not return phone calls to The Oklahoman on Friday.
Schmelzle said his review indicates the association's problems began in 2017, after the double-billing was discovered in talks with the NCAA. A new contract was drawn up and the flow of revenues changed as a result.
“They signed those contracts, and it changed to where it was more of a variable amount coming in,” Schmelzle said. “The amount of money was shorter than it was the previous year. And that is where the problem started. They weren't monitoring the activity ... until it was too late.”
Oklahoma City is one of only three cities with permanent hosting of major NCAA events with the Women's College World Series gaining thousands of fans and national televised tournament games on ESPN.
Teams and fans flood local hotels, restaurants and shops during each tournament and their direct impact is estimated to top $15 million a year.
“The exposure it gives Oklahoma City on ESPN is just amazing,” Anderson said. “We get a lot of earned media.”