- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Washington Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith has ceased a Hampton Roads, Va., charity golf tournament bearing his name following charges of financial impropriety.
The Bruce Smith Charity Golf Classic operated in the Norfolk area for 12 years, drawing dozens of fellow NFL stars. According to initial statements by tournament organizers, it raised more than $800,000 in goods and services for charity.
But an investigation by the Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk showed less than $51,000 in certified donations. Several charities claimed tournament organizers used their organization names without permission to promote the event. Federal tax returns for the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, set up to disperse the funds from the golf classic, were filed for only three years during the event's existence.
Smith, a Norfolk native, has said he was not aware of any of the bookkeeping issues and intends to donate money to some of the intended charities with personal funds.
"It's a shame it has to end. It saddens my heart," Smith told the Virginian-Pilot. "I'm hoping more documents will be produced."
Smith and agent Leigh Steinberg could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Smith's pitfalls with the golf tournament mirrors those of many other pro athletes who lend their names to foundations and charity events, only to see the day-to-day managers of those efforts fall short of the athletes' fame and the charities' intended goals.
The Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation spent years in the mid-1990s failing to register in several jurisdictions to solicit donations or file tax returns before cleaning up its operation. The Redskins defensive back similarly was in the dark about the lax management.

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