STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Top University of Alabama donor tells students to boycott

Photo: University of Alabama

One of the University of Alabama's top donors said Wednesday that students should boycott enrolling at the school to protest the state's newly approved abortion ban.

Posted: May 29, 2019 6:58 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — One of the University of Alabama's top donors said Wednesday that students should boycott enrolling at the school to protest the state's newly approved abortion ban.

Hugh Culverhouse Jr., a Florida businessman who has donated more than $30 million to the university, said he doesn't want students who attend the school to become "trapped" under what he calls a morally and constitutionally wrong law.

"I don't want anybody to go to that law school, especially women, until the state gets its act together," Culverhouse said in an interview. "You probably shouldn't put a living person's name on a building, because at some point they might get fed up and start talking."

The university renamed its law school in Culverhouse's honor in September after he made a record-setting donation, but that gift is in limbo as part of an ongoing dispute between Culverhouse and the university about how the funds have been used.

The university issued a news release Wednesday evening saying that Culverhouse asked for the return of $10 million last week after "repeating numerous demands about the operations" of the law school. On Tuesday, university Chancellor Finis E. St. John IV recommended to the Board of Trustees that Culverhouse's $21.5 million donation be returned and the school's original name be restored. The board will vote next week.

The university said none of the issues between the law school and Culverhouse involved the abortion legislation. Culverhouse called for the boycott in a press release Wednesday without notifying university officials.

The legislation signed by Gov. Kay Ivey on May 15 would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by 10 to 99 years or life in prison for the provider. The law makes no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. The only exception would be when the woman's health is at serious risk.

In a statement responding to Culverhouse, Ivey said, "Alabama is open for business, and our deep commitment to advancing economic opportunities for Alabamians will continue to remain a top priority for our state."

Emboldened by new conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court, Alabama is part of a wave of conservative states seeking to mount new legal challenges to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood asked a federal judge to block Alabama's legislation in a lawsuit filed Friday. The law is set to take effect in November unless blocked by a judge.

Culverhouse, who was born in Montgomery, also called on businesses like Mercedes-Benz and Google to avoid doing business in the state. He said any company that chooses to continue its business should be boycotted by consumers.

"To the state of Alabama: You need to be punished until you wake up and do the right thing," he said.

Culverhouse's parents both attended Alabama and were prominent donors to the university. The business school is named after Culverhouse's father, who was the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team and, according to Culverhouse, was on the board of the Planned Parenthood in Jacksonville, Florida, in the 1950s.

Culverhouse said he stepped up donations to the ACLU and, depending on the response to this boycott, will consider donating to Alabama politicians opposed to the abortion legislation during the next election cycle.

"When you say sweet home Alabama, you can kiss my ass," Culverhouse said. "There isn't anything sweet about it until this absolute abomination is done with."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98190

Reported Deaths: 2969
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7179161
DeSoto567863
Harrison391774
Jackson355370
Rankin334679
Madison333190
Lee280471
Forrest252476
Jones251580
Washington226379
Lafayette220840
Lauderdale2077126
Bolivar185770
Oktibbeha181152
Lamar174336
Lowndes159858
Neshoba1597104
Panola151231
Sunflower148546
Leflore142681
Warren141550
Pontotoc129316
Pike124953
Monroe124669
Copiah119933
Scott117727
Coahoma116730
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Holmes110060
Grenada109836
Yazoo106631
Simpson105047
Tate101238
Union100224
Leake96338
Adams94537
Wayne91221
Pearl River90953
Prentiss87918
Marion87136
Itawamba85021
Alcorn83211
Covington83023
George78413
Newton77824
Tallahatchie77724
Winston74619
Tishomingo70338
Chickasaw69224
Tippah68718
Attala67225
Clarke61048
Walthall60426
Clay59918
Hancock59522
Jasper58115
Noxubee55816
Smith54515
Calhoun52712
Tunica49915
Montgomery46920
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44214
Lawrence43714
Perry42821
Greene38917
Quitman3875
Stone37913
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34611
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll32312
Wilkinson30718
Kemper29115
Sharkey26614
Jefferson2429
Benton2333
Franklin1973
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1053
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 137564

Reported Deaths: 2399
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19938351
Mobile13507293
Montgomery8866185
Tuscaloosa8837118
Madison798179
Shelby607449
Lee597161
Baldwin560650
Marshall397543
Calhoun355644
Etowah354845
Morgan333428
Houston293921
Elmore271948
DeKalb244321
St. Clair235936
Walker235485
Talladega217830
Limestone214420
Cullman191920
Dallas179826
Franklin179130
Autauga178727
Russell17683
Lauderdale175133
Colbert167726
Blount162115
Escambia161624
Jackson159712
Chilton159530
Covington140727
Dale140344
Coffee13716
Pike121611
Chambers117542
Tallapoosa117185
Clarke110316
Marion97529
Butler91740
Barbour8867
Winston75013
Marengo72620
Pickens67014
Randolph66613
Lowndes65927
Bibb65810
Hale64928
Geneva6444
Lawrence63425
Cherokee61713
Bullock60714
Clay5918
Monroe5908
Washington56012
Crenshaw54332
Perry5426
Conecuh53911
Wilcox53211
Henry5105
Macon48318
Fayette4689
Sumter43719
Cleburne3945
Lamar3822
Choctaw35112
Greene30515
Coosa1743
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 80°
Columbus
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
Oxford
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 78°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather