Image 01 Image 03

Founder of HBO Sports Sues Harvard for Defamation

Founder of HBO Sports Sues Harvard for Defamation

“denying that he is a graduate of the Kennedy School”

Stephen Powell claims he is a graduate of the Kennedy School at Harvard. The school says he’s not entitled to a degree because he has student debt.

The Hollywood Reporter has the story:

Harvard Fights a Defamation Lawsuit From the Founder of HBO Sports

Got student debt? You’re not alone, but maybe it means you really didn’t graduate from college. Sound outlandish? Well, consider the position now being taken by Harvard University in response to a defamation lawsuit from entertainment industry veteran Stephen Powell.

“Powell claims that Harvard conferred an MPA degree on him in 1994, and is now suing Harvard seeking an order that Harvard be stopped from denying that he is a graduate of the Kennedy School,” states a December 22 court filing by Harvard. “However, Powell never paid Harvard for any of the costs of obtaining an MPA degree, and indeed deliberately avoided paying Harvard for the costs of that degree. Fundamental principles of equity dictate that Powell cannot claim entitlement to a degree without paying for it.”

Represented by the same attorney at Clare Locke who took on Rolling Stone magazine over the infamous campus rape article, Powell filed his lawsuit in June. In his complaint, Powell identifies himself as the founder of HBO Sports, the first programming chief at ESPN, and later, an investment banker specializing in media transactions. He is the founder of SinoPowell Capital, and with an undergraduate degree in economics from Brown and an MBA from Harvard Business School, Powell sought in the early 1990s to round out his impressive educational bona fides with a master’s in public administration at Harvard’s prestigious John F. Kennedy School of Government. Since then, he’s remained active with the school’s alumni organizations.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Poor Harvard..
They only have 13 billion to spend on ‘snowflake-ology’

It’s like watching board/war gamers play a game of WWII eastern front scenarios, nazis vs the reds. No matter who wins, the bad guy loses.

Harvard is being a dick, but based on this guys CV, he – at some point – MUST have had the money to pay back his student loans – and decided not to.

Just like shoplifting, the targeted institution makes up the loss by charging paying customers more – so you’re indirectly stealing from everyone else there.

I would imagine Harvard sold that debt off to a collector a while ago (how long is Harvard going to carry bad student loans on their books). I would think the collector owns the claim now. Harvard just has a naughty list that this guy is on. The naughty list at Harvard is probably not a good one to be on.

Hey … if it’s true the guy didn’t pay at all … as opposed to he’s in the process of paying off a college loan … I don’t think he deserves the degree either.

One thing that hasn’t been stated … how did he get far enough to be given a degree without Harvard first asking “where’s the money?” Harvard should have denied him the degree before it was awarded then rather than now. Even so … Harvard shouldn’t have been stiffed.

Didn’t this guy’s company agree to pay Harvard? Why did they wait 20+ years and then chase the wrong person?

He’s suing Harvard for invading his privacy in spreading his personal financial records at the University from decades ago with the world!

This scares me. I guess Fair Harvard isn’t so fair after all.

And isn’t there a statue of limitations on old matters like this? The previous commenter was right…. Harvard must have written this off years ago.

Something else is going on here for Harvard to act like this….