Does the Badger Football Team’s stay in a Trump hotel violate the constitution?
Some believe Wisconsin’s football team financially benefitted Trump by staying at a Trump hotel in Miami
Before becoming president, Donald Trump was most well-known as a businessman, and a very popular one at that. He owned several buildings and a large number of hotels.
In July of last year, the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland sued Donald Trump for violating the constitution's anti-corruption clauses. The lawsuit said that by holding ownership of these buildings and hotels during his presidency, Trump is allowing for states and other countries to gain his esteem by spending money at said hotels and businesses.
After the election, Trump stopped managing these businesses and hotels, but he still makes money off of them. In fact, his sons now run his business, keeping the inflow of money very close to the President.
So where does Wisconsin come into play with this?
According to Deadspin, when the university's football team headed down to Miami for the Orange Bowl, the team, athletic department staff and other university officials (about 250 people in total), stayed at the Trump hotel, spending an estimated $100,000 there.
While this decision to stay at one of Trump's hotels wasn't made by the university, but rather the Orange Bowl committee back in 2014, some are still skeptical about the public university covertly financially supporting the president in ways that are unconstitutional.
While it's somewhat far-fetched to assume the University of Wisconsin-Madison is conspiratorially trying to gain Trump's favor, the issue lies with these questions arising in the first place. Whether intentional or not, the fact that public universities have means of putting extra money in the president's pocket is something to be skeptical of.