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Michael Jordan Pulls Plug on Charitable Foundation

March 8, 1996 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) _ The Michael Jordan Foundation is closing at the end of the month because Jordan believes that administrative costs have been taking money away from charities he hoped to help.

``I think he looked up one day and saw 12 staff people, two offices and lots of administrative costs,″ foundation spokesman Grayson Mitchell said. ``In his mind, (the money) could have been going to help people.

``This was not an impromptu decision,″ Mitchell said. He said the decision to close came after several months of analysis and discussion.

The foundation has offices in Chicago and Charlotte, N.C. Jordan was born in Wilmington, N.C., and attended the University of North Carolina.

``By taking a more personal and less institutional approach, my wife and I will know that every dollar we give will go directly to help others, undiluted by administrative costs that come with running a foundation,″ the Chicago Bulls star said in a statement Thursday.

Financial disclosure reports for the 1994-95 fiscal year show the foundation spent a total of $844,865, including $408,209 _ 48 percent _ on operations and fund raising.

After Thursday’s game against the Detroit Pistons, Jordan said dissolving the foundation also would give his family more freedom.

``We have chosen to give more privately than to go to corporations and beg for their dollars,″ he said. ``I’d rather pick and choose to whom I give my donations.″

Jordan founded the organization in 1988 with his mother, Deloris Jordan, and became chairman and chief executive officer when he retired briefly from basketball two years ago.

All of the foundation’s grants and obligations will be fully honored and any leftover funds will be disbursed to charities, Thursday’s statement said.

In this fiscal year, which ends March 31, the foundation will support nearly 25 local and national organizations with more than $1 million in grants, the statement said.