Is the NCAA a cartel? Yes.

This question came up in the Senate today, when someone criticized me for saying “the NCAA cartel” in my remarks introducing President Schill at the previous Senate meeting.

I was floored by the idea that it’s controversial to call the NCAA a cartel. Of course the NCAA is a cartel. The NCAA has been a stock example of a monopsonistic hiring cartel in microeconomic principles and industrial organization classes for years. I was taught it as an undergraduate. I teach it every year.

I’m not going to go through the whole lecture, but basically you invert the standard monopoly diagram, so it’s best to go through a few monopoly examples first. Supply slopes up, so the marginal cost of athletic labor to the cartel is above the supply curve. The NCAA maximizes the profits of its members by helping them collude to keep athlete’s wages low.

As with any cartel, the members have an incentive to “cheat”, in this case when coaches and boosters offer good players slightly better deals than the NCAA wage ceiling for revenue athletes – room and board plus free tuition for any classes that don’t interfere with games or practice time or weight training, plus $0 an hour. Remember the Prisoner’s Dilemma lecture? So the cartel can only hold together if it can punish these cheaters, which is the job of the infamous NCAA Committee on Infractions, etc.

A quick google search for ncaa cartel economics syllabus site:edu yields hundreds of results. Here’s one rather dated syllabus from the University of Chicago:


I don’t always have time to go into it in depth, but I try to also get across the point that, in the case of a labor monopsony or cartel – and did I mention that the NCAA is a cartel? – a labor union can actually move the market towards efficiency, instead of away from it. A nice demonstration of the Theory of the Second Best at work.

FIRE gets $2.5M Templeton grant for free speech and academic freedom

“FIRE is grateful to the Templeton Foundation for its generous investment in the fight to defeat censorship and preserve academic freedom on campus,” said FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff. “The grant will give FIRE tremendous resources to engage a wider audience and better understand the current attitudes and arguments about campus rights. FIRE has been eager to pursue a project like this since our founding in 1999. The Templeton Foundation has now made it a reality.”

Phil and Penny Knight come through for UO, when & where it matters

Colleagues and Students,

I have the immense pleasure of announcing that our dear friends Penny and Phil Knight have made an extraordinarily generous $500 million gift—the largest ever to a public flagship university—that will launch an initiative to rethink and reshape research at the University of Oregon. The Phil and Penny Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact will fast-track scientific discoveries into innovations, products, and cures that solve problems and improve our quality of life.

This is a defining moment for the University of Oregon that builds upon our rich history of interdisciplinary scientific research and the deep talents of our faculty members. I encourage you to learn about the new Knight Campus by visiting

We will also share more details about this exciting new initiative tomorrow morning at 8:45 a.m. in the Giustina Ballroom of the Ford Alumni Center. You can watch the event live on the UO Channel and UO Facebook page.

The Knight Campus will work to transform the University of Oregon and the state’s public higher-education landscape by training the next generation of scientists, forging tighter ties with industry and entrepreneurs, and creating new educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. The campus will also generate tremendous economic benefit for our community, state, and region.

This gift will allow us to strive for a level of excellence and national prominence that had previously been out of reach. The greatest beneficiaries of this monumental change will be the people of Oregon and our future students. Please join me in thanking Penny and Phil Knight for this incredible investment in our future.


Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law

Watch the announcement live at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday on the UO Channel and Facebook

The RG:


The WSJ:


And, courtesy of UO communications, more links:

The Wall Street Journal Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight Gives $500 Million for University of Oregon Science Center

Washington Post With the largest gift ever to a public university, the University of Oregon has big plans

Inside Higher Ed Nike Co-Founder Gives U of Oregon $500 Million

Forbes Billionaire Nike Founder Phil Knight Announces $500 Million Gift To His Alma Mater For New Science Campus

Oregon Live Phil and Penny Knight will give $500 million to University of Oregon for science complex

Phil and Penny Knight’s charitable contributions top $2 billion

Register Guard Knights pledge $500 million to University of Oregon for academics, science construction 

Oregon Public Broadcasting UO Gets $500M Gift From Phil And Penny Knight

Portland Business Journal Phil and Penny Knight give $500 million to University of Oregon

Around the O This changes everything: President announces historic Knight gift 

Chronicle of Philanthropy Daily News Roundup: Phil and Penny Knight Pledge $500 Million More to U. of Oregon

KGW Phil Knight gives $500 million to University of Oregon for science campus

KEZI UO Receives Generous Donation

 KATU University of Oregon announces $500M gift from Phil Knight for science center

KVAL Phil and Penny Knight donate $500M to new UO science campus

KOIN Phil Knight donates $500m for UO science center 

Oregon Daily Emerald

UO receives $500 million donation from Knight family for three-building research campus

UO President Michael Schill officially announces Knight Campus

Footwear News Nike’s Phil Knight Donates $500 Million to University of Oregon

The Comeback Phil Knight Donates $500 Million To Oregon So It Can ‘Change The World’

Beaverton Patch Nike Founder Phil Knight Donates $500 Million to University of Oregon for Science Complex

The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA) Nike co-founder pledges $500 million to University of Oregon

American School and University Nike co-founder pledges $500 million to University of Oregon for new science complex

University Herald Nike Co-Founder Donates $500 Million To University Of Oregon

247 Sports Phil Knight donates $500 million to Oregon

Big-time college football games result in ~500 rapes. One survivor’s story.

The empirical support for the link between big-time college football, drinking, and rape is documented by Lindo, Siminski, and Swensen (2016), College Party Culture and Sexual Assault:

This paper considers the degree to which events that intensify partying increase sexual assault. Estimates are based on panel data from campus and local law-enforcement agencies and an identification strategy that exploits plausibly random variation in the timing of Division 1 football games. The estimates indicate that these events increase daily reports of rape with 17-24 year old victims by 28 percent. The effects are driven largely by 17-24 year old offenders and by offenders unknown to the victim, but we also find significant effects on incidents involving offenders of other ages and on incidents involving offenders known to the victim.

… A back of the envelope calculation based on our estimates implies that the effects of Division 1A football games explain 5 percent of fall semester (September through December) reports of rape involving 17–24 year old victims to law enforcement agencies serving students attending these schools. Moreover, based on an estimated 12 percent of student victims reporting to the police (Kilpatrick, 2007) and 6 percent of police reports involving false allegations (Lisak et al. 2010), our estimates indicate that the activities surrounding Division 1A football games cause as many as 724 additional rapes of college-aged victims per year across 128 universities. That said, if one is inclined to believe that spatial displacement is the sole reason why away games have smaller effects than home games, the estimate is instead 238.




Today the Eugene Weekly has an op-ed from former UO undergrad Laura Hanson, regarding her alleged rape at a frat party, after the Ducks 2013 Rose Bowl game:


Read the rest here.

How to respond to biased and offensive speech

Some useful information for students, and everyone, in the NYT here:

Lessons in the Delicate Art of Confronting Offensive Speech

… A body of psychological research shows that even mild pushback against offensive remarks can have an instant effect — as difficult as that can be, especially with a boss, a friend or a celebrity.

It is research worth considering in a political season when ethnic, racist and sexual slurs, not to mention general insults, seem to have become part of everyday chatter. Polls show that people are increasingly unhappy with the tenor of the national debate but unsure what to do about the decline in civility.

Researchers have detailed the difficulty of confronting prejudice, but they have also found that even the politest of objections — or subtle corrections to loaded words — can almost instantly curb a speaker’s behavior. With a clearer understanding of the dynamics of such confrontation, psychologists say, people can develop tactics that can shut down the unsavory talk without ruining relationships, even when the offender has more status or power: a fraternity president, say, or a team captain or employer.

The alternative is passive complicity, psychologists say. “When we hear this egregious, uncomfortable talk and we don’t speak up, what’s actually happening is that the person speaking is getting a green light,” said Sharyn J. Potter, co-director of the Prevention Innovations Research Center, at the University of New Hampshire. “It encourages them.” …

And don’t forget that voting can also be an effective response for dealing with some particularly egregious perpetrators.

Board adds more public comment opportunities, invites public to their retreat

That would be the Oregon State University Board:

Public Meetings Notice

October 13, 2016

The Oregon State University Board of Trustees will hold a retreat on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to discuss the university’s student success goals, current cost structure, and revenue generating opportunities. The retreat is open to the public and will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 204 of Tykeson Hall, located on the OSU-Cascades campus, 1500 SW Chandler Ave, Bend, OR.

Each of the board’s three standing committees will meet on Thursday, Oct. 20, in Tykeson Hall, Room 204. These meetings are open to the public:

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]The Executive & Audit Committee will meet from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. to review the Board Officers’ final report on the FY2016 comprehensive presidential assessment, proposed presidential search and selection guidelines, the committee’s 2017 work plan, and the Office of Audit Services progress report. The committee will also receive an annual update from the Office of General Counsel.

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]The Finance & Administration Committee will meet from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. to consider the committee’s 2017 work plan, changes to the FY2017 capital plan, and amendments to two investment policies. The committee will also discuss the outreach and engagement plan for FY2018 tuition-setting process, athletics financial sustainability, and the ten-year capital forecast.

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]The Academic Strategies Committee will meet from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. to consider an amendment to the committee charter and the committee’s proposed work plan for 2017. The committee will review and discuss the provost’s annual year in review report, a status report on new and existing academic program reviews in progress, and a presentation by the OSU Extension Service.

Following the committee meetings, the board will meet at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, to hear a presentation on OSU-Cascades by Vice President Johnson and then participate in a tour of the campus. 

The board will meet again on Friday, Oct. 21, in Tykeson Hall, Room 204. The meeting is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to the public. The board will consider the 2016 comprehensive presidential assessment, presidential search and selection guidelines, its 2017 work plan, and the closure of a master of agriculture program. The board will also consider amendments to two investment policies, the FY2017 capital plan, and the Academic Strategies Committee charter. In addition, the board will hear presentations on the OSU Foundation strategic plan and on the fundamentals of board governance.

A public comment section of the meeting is scheduled for approximately 10:15 a.m. Commenters are allowed up to five minutes and may register by e-mail before the meeting by contacting Marcia Stuart at or may register at the meeting itself. Commenters must sign up prior to the public comment period of the meeting. There is also a public comment opportunity before the board votes on each action item listed on the board agenda.

More information on the meetings is available online at: The public can listen to the meeting by calling the toll-free number listed on the agenda. If special accommodation is required, please contact Marcia Stuart at (541) 737-3449 or at least 72 hours in advance.

Office of Civil Rights defends rights of accused, in sex assault case

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has the story, here:

In an apparent first, federal officials have found a college in violation of Title IX, the gender-equity law, for infringing on the rights of students accused of sexual violence.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights had opened an investigation of Wesley College, in Delaware, in July 2015. That investigation was one of more than 300 the office, known as OCR, has conducted into colleges for possibly mishandling reports of sexual violence.

In the past, OCR’s findings about colleges have occasionally alluded to the rights of accused students. But experts say the findings in the Wesley case,released Wednesday, seem to mark the first time that the office has cited unfair treatment of an accused student as the primary Title IX violation. …

Dana Altman’s players refile discrimination complaint against Gottfredson, UO

Tran Nguyen has the scoop in the Daily Emerald, here:


The players’ attorneys now have sworn affidavits alleging a pattern of gender discrimination by the UO administration against males accused of sexual assault, from the attorneys who defended the players and others.

Docket here, motion to reconsider here, amended complaint and affidavits here:




The motion to reconsider is also interesting, more on that soon.


UO Media Relations can’t help RG with request for PERS info

It takes our well paid army of PR flacks more than a week to get UO’s payroll numbers? Saul Hubbard’s story on PERS costs is here:

… The Register-Guard requested budget figures from the cities of Eugene and Springfield, Lane County government, the Eugene 4J, Bethel and Springfield school districts, the Eugene Water & Electric Board, the University of Oregon and Lane Community College to try and estimate how the new PERS rates would affect their budgets — and ultimately taxpayers — starting next summer. Those numbers contain certain assumptions for all agencies: that the size of their workforces will stay relatively flat and that employee wages will grow at historical rates.

According to those projections, PERS costs for the eight agencies that responded will grow by $18.25 million in the first year of the rate increases. The city of Eugene and the Eugene 4J School District, with the two largest workforces, face the biggest cost increases: $4.1 million and $4.4 million, respectively. For other agencies: Springfield Public Schools will face $2.67 million in additional PERS costs; Lane County will face $2.2 million; Bethel School District will face $1.6 million; the city of Springfield will face $1.33 million and EWEB will face $1.1 million.

Lane Community College officials declined to provide an estimate of the college’s 2017-18 payroll — which would have provided a more realistic look at its added costs — but said that its PERS costs would grow by $856,000 if the college’s new higher PERS rate was applied to its current year payroll.

The University of Oregon didn’t provide any budgetary information by Monday’s deadline, a week after the request originally was made. …

On the public records front, some interesting other ones in the log, here:



More good news on fundraising for the academic side

Around the O has the report:

… A recent estate pledge from Jim and his wife Mary — an estimated $5 million — is a step in the right direction.

“This was a way to help out in return for what the school gave me,” said Rothwell, who worked 26 years at Callison, then one of the nation’s largest architecture and design firms. Rothwell served as CEO and board president before leaving the firm in 2011. He now lives in Colorado, where he designs homes.

The Rothwells have included a gift in their estate for the School of Architecture and Allied Arts endowment. Most of the contribution will fund a faculty chair in architecture; the rest will support travel scholarships, facilities and a discretionary dean’s fund.

Transform IT town hall meetings? First I heard of these.

Subject: deptcomp: Transform IT town hall meetings DATE CORRECTION

Date: October 4, 2016 at 8:24:15 AM PDT

To: Departmental Computing <>

In the message sent this morning, there is a day/date mismatch. The correct date for the December meeting is Friday, December 2.

Here is a revised list of those meeting dates: 

·         Monday, October 10: 1pm to 2pm, Knight Library Browsing Room

·         Friday, November 4: 11am to 12pm, Knight Library Browsing Room

·         Friday, December 2: 11am to 12pm, Knight Library Browsing Room

These meetings will be led by Chris Krabiel, interim CIO, and Adriene Lim, dean of libraries.

The dean of libraries and interim CIO will give a brief update on the process to date. They will also answer questions about the planned process going forward, this is the primary focus of the town hall-style meetings.

The first and second phases of the proposed process are outlined on the Provost’s website at Harvey Blustain’s report is available for review at

The Transform IT Advisory Group and Transform IT Implementation Team will continue soliciting feedback from the university community on an ongoing basis. To submit questions, comments, or concerns, visit

Schill calls meeting on UO’s research enterprise and impact on society

Dear Campus Community,

The fall academic term is off to a fantastic start. I am proud to have welcomed to the University of Oregon our most diverse class of students ever, dozens of exceptional new faculty and staff members, and many additional graduate students—in addition to welcoming back our existing family of outstanding students, faculty, and staff members.

Last year at this time, I announced the Oregon Commitment to expand student access and increase on-time graduation. I am very excited that this initiative is off to an excellent start. Already we have seen an increase in the percentage of our students taking 15 credits or more. This is just one of our university’s accomplishments and just the beginning of how we will realize our aspiration for the University of Oregon.

It is time again to look to the future. I am eager to tell you about our latest hopes for our university related specifically to how we will enhance our research enterprise and accelerate our impact on society. 

I invite you to join me at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, October 18, in the Giustina Ballroom of the Ford Alumni Center for what I hope will be an exciting discussion.


Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law