UO athletics drops UO bookstore for more $

12/20/2010: When President Lariviere hired Jamie Moffitt as “Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration” and then Rob Mullens as AD, I expected that they would start sending some of the athletic department’s money back to the academic side. At Kentucky, Mullens had given back about $1 million per year, for academic scholarships.

But this is not at all what has happened. We’ve learned that it’s the other way around at Oregon. The jocks are charging the academic side $2 million a year for the athletes-only Jock Box tutoring operation, and they’re making us pay $600,000 a year for the arena parking.

But that’s not enough for them. Now this, from a Mark Baker story in the RG. The UO athletic department has decided to shift its on-line sales from the non-profit UO Bookstore (a.k.a. the Duck Store) to a Florida company. So now instead of helping subsidize UO students’ textbook costs, all the profits will end up with the coaches:

There might be a Duck Store housed in the same building where the University of Oregon football team practices, the Moshofsky Center, but if you want to buy officially licensed UO football gear online, the UO Athletic Department wants you to go to its website, www.goducks.com. That’s always been the case. Only now the website directs fans to an outfit based in Florida, not the online Duck Store.
… An owner of a local company that makes products for the Duck Store, who agreed to be quoted only if he could be anonymous because of his relationship with UO, said he’s outraged by the deal. “I have a real problem with that,” he said. “They’re taking all this money out of Oregon and sending it to Florida.” 

What was the Duckstore doing with its earnings? From their website:

Our mission is to support the academic mission of the University of Oregon, provide students, faculty and staff the benefit of our non-profit structure and make attending and working at the university convenient.

They also help support the alumni association. ODE reporter Mat Wolf reports that bookstore manager Jim Williams says the revenue was about 4% of his total. From their IRS 990, that was more than $1 million a year.

Matt Dyste, director of the University’s Marketing and Brand Management Office, said in a written statement that the move was in full compliance with the University’s branding and promotion priorities and that all vendors involved were legal and fully certified.

“Hopefully the result will be increased online sales and provide another opportunity for fans and friends across the world to support the Ducks through the purchase of officially licensed products,” Dyste said.

Right. Support the Ducks by ditching the contract with the student’s bookstore, just when the possibility of a serious payday shows up. No worries, they can just lay off a few student workers and raise their textbook prices. Here’s the contract, signed by Ms Moffitt:

The Duck Store ad on the ODE website that goes along with the Mat Wolf story on how the Athletic department ditched the students to get some more $ for themselves is just too appropriate to ignore:

Go Ducks!
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