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August 26, 2014

U.S. Tennis Association Board Members Reap Financial Gains

Businesses and organizations affiliated with United States Tennis Association board members have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and contracts from the sporting body that organizes the U.S. Open, according to The New York Times.

Among other examples listed by the Times, the USTA — a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) organization like the NFL — paid nearly $2.8-million in 2012 to Tennis Media Company, owned by board member Jeff Williams. A Maryland tennis center whose chief executive also sits on the board has received more than $840,000 from the association's charitable arms in the last three years.

Board members said they had played no role in directing money to their organizations and that in some cases the arrangements predated their membership. Chris Widmaier, a USTA spokesman, said that in the small world of elite tennis it was unavoidable that the association would deal financially with causes and companies associated with experts whose board service it seeks.