KARE 11's Randy Shaver responds to "experts" questioning his ethics

Shaver thinks there's no real controversy when it comes to promoting his cancer foundation on the air.
Shaver thinks there's no real controversy when it comes to promoting his cancer foundation on the air.

Yesterday, we told you about how KARE 11's Randy Shaver has come under scrutiny from media watchdogs for plugging events benefitting his cancer foundation during the prep sports show he hosts.

SEE ALSO: Star Tribune stands by Bachmann coverage, reporter's "butthurt" response to criticism

In email correspondence with City Pages, Shaver said he's disappointed "experts" are questioning his ethics, adding that he's not as directly involved with the "Tackle Cancer Nights" that raise money for his foundation as yesterday's blog post makes it seem.

As a Star Tribune report details, Shaver was featured in a "Tackle Cancer Night" brochure that suggests high schools "organize a group of lower level players or parents" to collect money at football games, money that would then go toward the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. The brochure also said the team raising the most money would be featured on Shaver's show.

But both the brochure and the "Tackle Cancer Night" events were really the brainchild of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association, Shaver said, adding that the "Tackle Cancer" logistics were "left to [the] school... If a school chose to use students -- that was up to them."

"Tackle Cancer is the project of the Minnesota Football Coaches association...this was their idea," Shaver wrote.

He continued:

[The MFCA] presented this to my foundation as a fundraising effort...

They did all the work----they contacted every Minnesota football coach through THEIR committee on this project. They sent out information -I did not have anything to do with that....

KARE was in partnership with MFCA---but the project belongs to them. Yes, my foundation benefitted by their hard work---and by the work of the school's involved....but it was all voluntary and a committee of FB coaches followed up with the schools involved. Any brochure with information was designed and paid for by the MFCA. They used my picture to highlight the fact money raised was going to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund. Any suggestion on how schools should operate Tackle Cancer was guided by the MFCA--not me.

Shaver also took umbrage with Health News Review blogger Gay Schwitzer's suggestion there's something ethically untoward about Shaver claiming there's no conflict of interest involved in plugging his foundation when his wife was paid $10,400 to work as its vice president and treasurer in 2009.

"My wife runs the RSCRCF. For many years, she worked year round without taking a salary," Shaver wrote. "It's only been in the last few years where she's agreed to get paid---$10,400 for a year's worth of work on our Golf event and other projects. We did very little work on the Tackle Cancer project....that was the MFCA."

Ultimately, Shaver has no qualms about using his platform to raise money for cancer research.

"All of the money raised, approximately 90-cents of every dollar goes to Cancer researchers at the UM or to cancer patient projects. Unlike other organizations---ALL the money stays in MINNESOTA and we know exactly where every dollar goes as we award grants in December," Shaver wrote. "The [football] coaches know---the money raised will stay here---and aid cancer researchers and help cancer patients in Minnesota."

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