UO won’t release emails, but accuses KATU of misrepresenting facts

UO’s PR flacks are making our university, our new interim President, and our new board of trustees look ridiculous, and we cannot afford to look any more ridiculous. Tyson Alger in the Oregonian:

EUGENE — The University of Oregon has responded to its alumni regarding a KATU story that ran Monday night suggesting that Oregon officials may have delayed the expulsion of three men’s basketball players in order to maintain the team’s academic rating.

Although the university declined to comment when reached earlier this afternoon, The Oregonian has obtained an email sent out to alumni late Tuesday evening that denounced many of the claims in the story.

“There are multiple errors in this story including inaccurate information about law enforcement activities, dates that should not be correlated to one another, and misrepresentation of the expertise of a retired UO faculty member,” the email states. “…The story hypothesizes that the university’s actions were driven by the NCAA-required Academic Progress Rate, or APR. This is inaccurate and that fact was conveyed to KATU. APR is calculated on a rolling four-year average with the latest data from a previous year, which makes transfers or scholarship non-renewals have significantly less impact than characterized by the story.”

The full email can be read below:

Dear Alumni and Friends,
KATU-TV aired a story series about the university and as an important friend of the UO we want you to have the most accurate information in case you get questions.

There are multiple errors in this story including inaccurate information about law enforcement activities, dates that should not be correlated to one another, and misrepresentation of the expertise of a retired UO faculty member.

The university took appropriate action when allegations were reported, and we are confident that our steps were necessary to ensure campus safety and integrity of criminal processes.

The story misrepresented the communication between the university and Eugene Police Department. EPD’s communications director Melinda McLaughlin told the reporter that EPD asked the university not to do anything that would compromise the investigation. The UO honored that request, and the police department was grateful.

The story hypothesizes that the university’s actions were driven by the NCAA-required Academic Progress Rate, or APR. This is inaccurate and that fact was conveyed to KATU. APR is calculated on a rolling four-year average with the latest data from a previous year, which makes transfers or scholarship non-renewals have significantly less impact than characterized by the story.

The story also tries to connect departures by former President Gottfredson, a chief human resources officer and general counsel as part of its timeline. The changes in leadership used in the news story are unrelated to one another and should not be connected in this manner.

Please visit the UO’s news website for facts regarding the university’s actions and thank you for your ongoing support of UO.

UO Public Affairs Communications

“Please visit the UO’s news website for facts?” That’s a funny one.

If Coltrane wants to build credibility he needs to fire these PR flacks and release the public records that Gottfredson redacted because of claims of attorney client privilege, frank discussions, and made up FERPA claims:

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10 Responses to UO won’t release emails, but accuses KATU of misrepresenting facts

  1. disgusted alumna says:

    Directed to “alumni” via a sports reporter or directed to itinerant fans who might yet populate stadiums and arenas this year? This is the main audience to which they first respond?? UO Public Affairs Communications = impulsive and pathetic.

    Who actually is in charge these days?

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  2. Ad Hominem attack on faculty says:

    “misrepresentation of the expertise of a retired UO faculty member”

    And JH complains about UOM’s ad hominem attacks?

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    • another proud moment. says:

      That’s standard stuff for UO administrators and the athletic department. (We need a better word them… what were they called before they adopted ‘department’ to try and mask themselves as part of the university?)

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    • Anonymous says:

      He teaches at some podunk school called Oxford now, which isn’t even a member of the AAU!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    This is so weak.

    In other words: ” sob, sob … whine… so, KATU ran a story that made us look incompetent and dishonest and we want to you know …sob… that it’s not true. We can’t actually give you any specific facts but we just want you to know we care. sob …. deep sigh … KATU connected dots that shouldn’t be connected … wink, sob. And we know you trust us. sob…sob. OH … and look for the 2015 Football Tickets request in our email!”

    That ticket request was the only thing I got in my email today.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Coltrane must really enjoy the view from his $350,000 skybox suite.

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  5. UO Alum says:

    I think the only people backing U of O at this point are “ducks” fans who did not attend U of O. The value of my diploma is diving to a new low.

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  6. Idiots says:

    Wake up Coltrane, get control of the PR machine and COMMUNICATE WITH FACULTY/STAFF! The most infuriating part of this nonsense is that it went only to alumni as “as an important friend of the UO”. That makes clear the priorities.

    How about we talk to the family first – the UO family of faculty and staff? Do any of the self-replicating strategic communicators have internal communication as their primary responsibility?

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  7. marc mooney says:

    The insitutional and de facto sundering of athletics from academics at UO will be complete with the population of its fan base by knuckleheads who didn’t go to the UO and have no real connection to the UO except geography. I saw this happen at the University of Miami, where a city of poor, uneducated, and undereducated citizens made up its raucous fan base. Judging by the behavior of fans at Saturday’s MSU game, this is already happening at UO.

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    • Larry Wayte says:

      This also happened at USC, the enormous fan base of which far exceeds all alums students, etc. Especially now that LA has no pro football (as in OR), USC has become the de facto pro team for millions of football fans who have no connection to the school. The academic side of the university is essentially meaningless to those fans, and maybe even worse – an annoying distraction.

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