Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempted to receive compensation from 2010 oil spill

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

After the devastating oil spill in 2010, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers allegedly manipulated their books in order to seek hardship compensation.

The year was 2010, and nobody can forget the natural catastrophe of the BP oil spill that impacted shore lines all across the south east corner of the United States. Among those claiming to be impacted by the spill were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Buccaneers attempted to profit from the disaster by claiming their business was impacted by the oil spill nine years ago. Businesses impacted by the disaster were allowed to file a claim showing their business experienced at least a 15 percent drop in profit during the periods of May 2010-July 2010.

The team were denied their claim and, “The federal court that resolved the issue believes the Buccaneers engaged in creative accounting in order to qualify for payment” (via PFT).

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On the verge of the 2011 NFL lockout, the Buccaneers attempted to manipulate their books to show a payment from the league, a part of the league wide revenues, but not in the given months above, attempting to qualify themselves for nearly $20 million from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill reparations. In reality, the Buccaneers fell on the absolute corner of the areas which qualified for repayments and saw no economic impact from the disaster.

The Buccaneers attempted to tell the federal courts that the change in accounting, which was their manipulation of the books, was recommended by the league, however there was one small problem.

"“The team… never submitted financial statements or other evidence showing that it made and implemented this accounting decision during 2011 (as opposed to later when it learned of the requirements for a Deepwater Horizon claim)… The only dated financial statements have an ‘as of’ date of October 2014” (via PFT)."

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In short, the Buccaneers were attempting to get their hands on money they did not qualify for by attempting to finesse a federal court by manipulating their accounting books. The federal court did not fall for it and the claim was denied; this may seem harmless, but this is a bad look for the Buccaneers and “the end result necessarily constitutes a blow to the organization’s credibility…” (via PFT).