West Virginia Record

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Ex-Marshall football coach being investigated for securities fraud

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Mar 27, 2012


ATHENS, Ga. - Former Marshall University football coach Jim Donnan is under investigation for alleged violations of federal securities fraud.

In a recent filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Athens Division, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission objected to Donnan's disclosure statement in support of his plan of liquidation.

"Although the SEC's investigation is still ongoing, the SEC staff anticipates that the SEC will file a substantial claim in this case based on potential remedies for alleged violations of the federal securities laws," wrote attorney David W. Baddley.

Donnan, an ex-ESPN college football analyst, served as Marshall's head coach from 1990 to 1995. His 1992 team went on to win an NCAA Division I-AA national title.

Later, he coached at the University of Georgia, from 1996 to 2000.

He compiled an overall record of 104-40-1.

Last year, Donnan filed for bankruptcy to protect his assets after being accused of initiating and operating a ponzi scheme that defrauded a West Virginia company and its investors of more than $27 million.

GLC Limited, known as GLC Enterprises after its foundation in 2004, sued Donnan, along with his wife Mary, in July 2011.

GLC, a retail liquidation company, alleges that the Donnans received more than $14 million from GLC -- a profit of nearly $10 million -- while it had to file for bankruptcy.

According to the company's complaint, the defendants' investment scheme relied upon "the continuous influx of additional investors prepared to offer increasing investments."

Texas State football coach Dennis Franchione, Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville, Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer and Mike Gottfried, a former football coach and now color commentator for ESPN, are among those mentioned as investors in court filings.

Last year, after GLC filed its complaint, ESPN asked Tuberville how he came to invest in the company. "Jim was the recruiter," he responded.

"I think Jim was a little like the rest of us. He thought it was going to be a good deal and it just went bad," he said.

Beamer also admitted to investing in GLC because of Donnan, but he refused to believe that Donnan was knowingly doing something wrong.

"Knowing Jim over the years I don't think he'd get his friends into something like that," Beamer told ESPN.

Donnan has maintained that he was unaware of the scheme.

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