Megamoney comes from megadonors at OU and Auburn

By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Those who cherish the art of the deal might look at the upcoming BCS title game between Oregon and Auburn as a matchup between megaboosters Phil Knight and Bobby Lowder.

Knight is the founder and chairman of Nike, and is said to have given more than $200 million to Oregon athletics over the last quarter century. Lowder is the founder and former CEO of Alabama-based Colonial Bank, and has written checks to Auburn over the past three decades totaling deep into eight figures.

Together they are considered two of the most powerful boosters in the nation.

Some say megaboosters like Knight and Lowder are good for college sports because they turn them into self-sustaining enterprises. Other say they do little more than feed into the big-money extravagance of the games and give select people an inappropriate amount of power at the schools where they donate.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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