USA Today Columnist Shames LIV Golfers For Taking Saudi Money While She Served On Board Of College That Takes Saudi Money

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USA Today columnist Christine Brennan did some outstanding hypocrisy about LIV golf on Tuesday.

Brennan wrote a lengthy column about The Masters and her frustration with LIV associated golfers ranking near the top of the final leaderboard.


Her problem with LIV stems from the fact that the tour is backed by Saudi money. And as a result, golfers choosing to associate themselves with the Saudis do not deserve to play well or be shown on television.

There’s just one small problem.

Christine Brennan was a non-voting national trustee on the University of Toledo Board of Trustees from 2017 to 2021 and a member of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, as well as the Trusteeship and Governance Committee. The school brought in more than $13 million worth of Saudi funding between February 2020 and June 2022.

Brennan also is listed as a current member of the board of trustees at the University of Northwestern as well as currently a professor of practice at Northwestern’s journalism school. Northwestern received over $1 million from Saudi Arabia from 2019 to 2022.


LIV golf Phil Mickelson
LIV golfer Phil Mickelson. (Getty Images)

Christine Brennan’s Hypocrisy Regarding Saudi Arabia Money

From 2020 and into 2021, the University of Toledo received dozens of payments from the country of Saudi Arabia. Many were for $10,000 to $50,000.

But three were for huge sums of money, totaling over $11 million.


While the description of each payment varied, the largest was for tuition payments for Saudi students.


Another is described simply as “Awards for citizens of Saudi Arabia.”

Well that seems problematic for Christine’s criticism of the LIV tour, doesn’t it?

It’s yet another example of the hypocrisy involved for those who rush to target golfers like Phil Mickelson or Brooks Koepka.

Is All Saudi Money Dirty? Or Just Some?

While going after fans for supporting those players, Brennan ignored that she helps guide decision making for a university taking in huge payments from the Saudis.

The same Saudis she makes moral stands against.

It’s fair to say that Brennan’s paycheck doesn’t come directly from the Saudis. In fact, both her current and former positions at Northwestern and Toledo are in a voluntary capacity. But if she was so opposed to Americans having any financial involvement with them, why hasn’t she written columns complaining about their own practices?

Could it be that she doesn’t want to jeopardize a board spot by criticizing a common university position?

Brennan acts as if her position is one of shining, inarguable virtue. She’s repeatedly exemplified the “holier-than-thou” attitude with her principled stance against Saudi money.

All while her employer benefits from it.

As always, “do as I say, not as I do” rules the day.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story read that Christine Brennan is an active member of the University of Toledo Board of Trustees. She left her position with the school in 2021. This current version further clarifies her role on the board.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC


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