More priceless publicity for UO, courtesy of our rotting athletic “front porch”

Rob Mullens and his new $3.6M football coach sure know how to pick ’em. The Oregonian’s Andrew Greif has the latest on where Coach Willie Taggart’s road to Duck football excellence is taking the University of Oregon, here:

Five days after his hiring was officially announced by the Oregon Ducks, co-offensive coordinator David Reaves is in the process of being fired after his arrest early Sunday on charges of DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

“Reaves has been placed on administrative leave and the process to terminate his employment with cause has commenced,” UO athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. “The University has high standards for the conduct of employees and is addressing this matter with the utmost of seriousness.”

The 38-year-old Reaves, who also was set to coach tight ends for the Ducks and carried the title of passing game coordinator under new coach Willie Taggart, was stopped at 2:12 a.m. Sunday with a passenger in downtown Eugene after “multiple traffic violations,” according to Eugene police.

… Reaves, who was on a two-year contract worth $300,000 annually, was to share offensive coordinator duties with offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. …. His arrest and expected firing follows a tumultuous week for Oregon, which suspended new football strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde on Tuesday for a month without pay, while also including a formal apology on behalf of Taggart, after three UO players were injured during offseason workouts last week and hospitalized for several days. All three have since been released.

I wonder if Mullens gives his coaches the same advice the players get for dealing with the cops: Call the fixer Tom Hart on his personal cell phone, quick.


My father was marching in DC to protest LBJ’s bombing of Hanoi. I was marching in Eugene to support human rights. Thanks to my sister for the photoshop! And forgive me for one more family photo: Dad circa 1969, in our living room with WWII B-24 bomber pilot, Senator, anti-war candidate, grad school classmate, and friend George McGovern.


IT staff pushes back on BOT’s reorg proposal

The Emerald has the story here. Views differ:

Greg Bryant, who works in IT, felt that an internal discussion, instead of hiring investigators, would have worked just as well.

“These [IT workers] are people who have been here for decades. They’ve solved problems all the time, and they have all kinds of suggestions about how things could be better done, but they weren’t asked that,” Bryant said.

Patrick Chinn, a member of the Transform IT Advisory Board, believes that the reorganization helps the IT staff and students. He said it aims to optimize the IT  department and to improve the students’ experiences on campus.

Coach Taggart: 0 tolerance policy for players, 11/12 tolerance for coaches

Kenny Jacoby has the story on Taggart’s rules for players in the Daily Emerald here:

Three Oregon football players who had off-the-field issues are “no longer with the team,” UO athletics spokesman Craig Pintens confirmed Monday afternoon. Redshirt junior defensive lineman Eddie Heard, freshman wide receiver Tristen Wallace and freshman linebacker Darrian Franklin are done playing for the Ducks. …

But if you’re one of Taggart’s assistant coaches, the rules are a little more relaxed:


Andy McNamara — Assistant Athletic Director, Communications                         

Football Contact: David Williford (O: 541-346-2251; C: 541-729-6801; email:                                                                                                                                

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                Jan. 17, 2016 


EUGENE – University of Oregon head football coach Willie Taggart today issued an apology on behalf of the coaching staff and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics following incidents reported over the weekend related to off-season conditioning training that began last week.

“I have visited with the three young men involved in the incidents in the past few days and I have been in constant contact with their families, offering my sincere apologies,” Taggart said. “As the head football coach, I hold myself responsible for all of our football-related activities and the safety of our students must come first. I have addressed the issue with our strength and conditioning staff, and I fully support the actions taken today by the university. I want to thank our medical staff and doctors for caring for all of our young men, and I want to apologize to the university, our students, alumni and fans.”  

“The university holds the health, safety and well-being of all of our students in high regard,” said Rob Mullens, UO director of athletics. “We are confident that these athletes will soon return to full health, and we will continue to support them and their families in their recoveries.”

After a review of events surrounding the training last week, the following has been determined:

Last Tuesday, football student-athletes began their off-season conditioning program after being away from football-related activities for six weeks. The workouts were supervised by the training staff and led by football strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde.

On Thursday, after three days of workouts, one student-athlete complained of muscle soreness and displayed other symptoms of potential exercise-related injury. The medical staff examined the student-athlete, and took appropriate action pursuant to team’s medical protocols.

The medical staff informed coaches and staff of the diagnosis. Two additional student-athletes were then identified with similar symptoms and staff responded to them, as well. 

No other student-athletes have demonstrated negative effects at this time or have been admitted to the hospital. 

As a result, Oderinde has been suspended without pay for one month, with Jim Radcliffe assuming the position on an interim basis. In addition, the head football strength and conditioning coach will no longer report to the head football coach but rather to Andrew Murray, the director of performance and sports science. All workouts moving forward have been modified.

Trapped, Dana Altman’s players’ lawyer begs Judge McShane for more time


12/5/2016: UO lawyers post summaries of Dana Altman’s players calls with Jane Doe

UO’s lawyers posted these on the federal court website on Friday, as part of their response to the response from Altman’s basketball players’ lawyers response to the UO lawyer’s response to Judge McShane’s decision to dismiss some but not all of the arguments of the players’ crew of attorneys in response to UO’s written request for dismissal and the oral arguments. If that’s not clear, the docket is here.

What’s not clear is why UO has now made these transcripts public by putting them into the court record. Jane Doe reported the alleged gang rape to the UOPD, who did not report it on their crime log or the Cleary report, but instead turned the investigation over the the Eugene PD. The EPD detective asked Doe to call the alleged rapists and record her conversations with them, apparently in the hope that they would say something incriminating, or not. Summaries of those calls are here, along with the EPD interviews with Jane Doe and Altman’s players. One excerpt:


Perhaps UO’s attorneys think that the police investigation records suggests that the players coordinated their stories, and that these reports therefore somehow weaken their case against UO?

If they did coordinate, I wonder if any Duck athletic department employees helped them. Tom Hart, a former New Hampshire state cop, is the go-to guy for Ducks athletes who get in trouble:

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.20.07 PM

UO’s lawyers have asked for Judge McShane to hear their oral arguments before deciding on their request to dismiss.

New $3.6M Duck football coach puts 3 unpaid student-athletes in hospital

Andrew Greif has the story in the Oregonian, here:

At least three Oregon Ducks football players were hospitalized after enduring a series of grueling strength and conditioning workouts at UO last week, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned.

Offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick are in fair condition and remained at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield on Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

… “The safety and welfare of all of our student-athletes is paramount in all that we do,” Oregon wrote in a statement on behalf of the entire athletic department. “While we cannot comment on the health of our individual students, we have implemented modifications as we transition back into full training to prevent further occurrences.

Some PR flack says “The safety and welfare of all of our student-athletes is paramount in all that we do” – but that’s not where the money is.

Here’s the contract that AD Rob Mullens just wrote for Coach Taggart. Coach gets $0.00 for promoting safety and welfare. Here are his incentives for winning:


“Which Martin Luther King Are We Celebrating Today?”

Update: My apologies to those who wanted to hear the UO Gospel Singers and went to Beall Hall at 3 today. The information provided by Around the O in its list of MLK Day events was wrong. The link was for last year’s performance. So far as I can tell there is no performance this year.

“Which Martin Luther King Are We Celebrating Today?” Some reminders from the historian Jason Sokol in the NYT.

MLK day events, from Will Campbell in the Emerald:

The Eugene NAACP chapter is hosting a march on MLK day, Monday, Jan. [16], to honor the civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

From 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the march will set off from Autzen Stadium and PK Park at the north gate. The march will end at the Shedd Institute, after which UO President Michael Schill will give a speech around 11:00 a.m., according to an AroundtheO article.

Several hundred people marched at last year’s MLK Day march at the University of Oregon.

Also on Monday, the UO Gospel Singers plan to host a free concert at Beal Concert Hall at 3:00 p.m., and it will be live-streamed via its website.