IAAF sells 2021 Track Championships to Eugene w/o public bidding

Update: UO’s public records office has been sitting on the RG’s request for documents about the championship bidding process since June 15. PR log here:

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4/16/2015 update: IAAF sells 2021 Track Championships to Eugene w/o public bidding

The BBC has the surprising news here:

The 2021 World Athletics Championships will be held in Eugene, Oregon, after the sport’s governing body bypassed the normal bidding process. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it was “a unique strategic opportunity” to hold the event in the United States for the first time. IAAF chief Lamine Diack said the decision was taken “in the interest of the global development of our sport”.

How much public money did the UO Foundation, Eugene, and the State secretly promise this time? I don’t know, but I expect there will be some reporters digging into this latest from the scandal ridden IAAF.

1/31/2015 update: UO Public Records office finally gives RG IAAF track bid documents – but what did the Presidential Archives show?

I’ll go out on a limb and guess that Dave Hubin’s office carefully scrubbed these records before deciding what to hand over to RG News Editor Christian Wihtol. Presumably the good stuff is in UO’s Presidential Archives though – or was, until Interim GC Doug Park got his hands on them:

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11/25/2014: Paul Weinhold was planning to mortgage UO for Track-Town’s losing IAAF bid

This latest athletics scandal is not going to help UO hire a new President – at least not the sort we need. Diane Dietz’s blockbuster story (in the RegisterGuard tomorrow, online tonight) seems to have made UO Foundation President Paul Weinhold very nervous:

The foundation’s financial guarantee to the IAAF set no upper limit on what the foundation would have been liable for if the Eugene event had turned into a money loser. …

Weinhold said the UO Foundation faced minimal risk in agreeing to cover meet losses because TrackTown USA’s budget was thoroughly vetted and reliable [Editor: Like the Knight Arena budget?]; Kitzhaber favored the legislation that would have provided millions in state support; and the foundation had confidential side deals meant to hold the foundation harmless, Weinhold said in the interview. Weinhold declined to disclose any specifics of those side deals.

“We do not believe we had any exposure, and we had agreements in place that eliminated our exposure. That should be enough for you,” he said.

He should be nervous, given Oregon’s public meetings law, and what he says about the role of the UO Board, which is subject to that law:

Weinhold said the foundation made sure the UO leadership was informed of financial guarantees being made to the IAAF.

“There was full knowledge from the (UO) board to the (UO) president of exactly what we were doing — providing this guarantee,” Weinhold said.

Weinhold said the foundation’s plan was not presented to the Board of Trustees as a whole, but rather in conversations with individuals.

“There was a review with various people at different times — the board leadership with the president with others involved.”

The Board of Trustees didn’t object, but that did not mean that the foundation had an implied approval from the board for the venture, Weinhold said.

“I didn’t say it was implied permission. We didn’t ever talk about permission. We talked about the vision, the benefit to the University of Oregon.”

And then:

“The foundation served this same role with the World Juniors this past summer,” Weinhold told the international body, “and is serving this role with the World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016.”

The foundation describes its public mission to the Internal Revenue Service — which grants the foundation’s nonprofit status — as “supporting the University of Oregon’s mission of education, research and entrepreneurship…”

Weinhold initially said this week that the Portland meet — not at the UO and not a UO event — was a little far afield.

“That doesn’t help the university in much of any way,” he said. Then he added, “Let me back up. It doesn’t help the university in the way that the World Juniors did, or the World Championship (would have), but it was all part of a three-part series to host the World Championships.”

The foundation believed it would have a better chance of clinching the world championships if it agreed to guarantee all three events, Weinhold said.

The foundation made sure it wouldn’t violate IRS rules by backing the track event, he said. “This was reviewed by our legal counsel and our auditors,” he said.

But after 2016, the foundation has no plans to continue to be a guarantor — “not unless there’s some benefit to the University of Oregon,” Weinhold said. …

Perhaps Eugene lost because we didn’t offer IAAF President Lamine Diack a large enough bribe? I’m guessing the Foundation will try again for 2021, with still more of our money, and even less transparency.  Full disclosure: Last year the UO Foundation threatened to sue me for defamation, for posting that they were “Money laundering for the Duck Athletic Fund”. I really don’t know what to say about this latest, except to say that Milton Friedman was right about “spending other people’s money”.

UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhelm kicked Dietz and me out of the UO Board meeting about this proposal. So say what you will about the corrupt IAAF – at least they posted the video. Vin Lananna, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Paul Weinhold, and others trying to spend UO’s money. The whole sad thing is worth watching, but I’ve set this to start with Kitzhaber promising to chip in $20 from every Oregon taxpayer (yep, Beavers too), to help out UO’s very high-maintenance Uncle Phil:

8/2/2015 update: More trouble for the notoriously corrupt IAAF, which will be bringing its championship to Eugene in 2021 thanks to a promised subsidy of $30M in Oregon tax money from John Kitzhaber (after he got a $250K campaign gift from Phil Knight) and an open ended promise of UO Foundation support from Paul Weinhold. Page down for the video. The NYT has the drug story here:

KUALA LUMPUR — Endurance runners suspected of doping have been winning a third of Olympic and world championship medals, two news organizations said on Sunday, after a leak of thousands of blood test results from 2001-2012 threw global athletics into chaos.

Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster said they had obtained the secret data from the vaults of the global athletics governing body, the IAAF, supplied by a whistleblower disgusted by the extent of doping.

The news organizations showed the data to two experts, who concluded distance running was in the same state as cycling had been when Lance Armstrong won the seven Tour de France victories of which he has since been stripped.

“Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values,” the Sunday Times quoted Australian doping expert Robin Parisotto, one of the two scientists, as saying.

“So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have sat idly by and let this happen,” said Parisotto, an inventor of the test used to detect the blood doping agent EPO. …

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29 Responses to IAAF sells 2021 Track Championships to Eugene w/o public bidding

  1. Anon says:

    Seems like Mr. Weinhold could rustle up some spare change for the GTF’s, if someone put the screws to him.

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  2. mousey says:

    So, when anyone again asks “who has/will/won’t authorize the money for this?”, we all can point to the UO Foundation. Like we didn’t know it already. The Board is a tool for the Foundation which the independent board vote was always meant to justify.

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  3. can you say cluster? says:

    You should have quoted this bit too:

    “Officials said they would tap the UO’s newly launched, $2 billion fundraising drive to pay for those improvements.

    “In addition to the foundation’s guarantee,” Weinhold told the international body, “the University of Oregon has launched a $2 billion campaign. Part of that campaign is to renovate Hayward Field — to take Hayward Field from a historic venue to a cutting-edge world class track and field venue.”

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  4. duckfan says:

    To be fair, it seems like Doha won this at the last moment by putting an extra $35 million on the table: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/nov/25/iaaf-doha-incentive-fair-world-athletics-2019?CMP=twt_gu

    The lesson? The IAAF is a half step below FIFA wrt back channel deals and this is what you get when you want to be a player in big time international athletics.

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    • uomatters says:

      And how much under the table?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’d say the lesson is that if Phil Nike and his nefarious buddy Kitz wants to gamble with the big boys, he leaves UO out of it.

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  5. Fan says:

    This was a surprisingly amateurish presentation.

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  6. duckfan says:

    also, out of curiosity doesn’t that friedman video undermine the value of a publicly funded higher education institution? I see your point in alluding to it, but it’s hard to square with many of the other sentiments posted elsewhere here.

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    • uomatters says:

      What can I say? Some people like Uncle Phil, I like Uncle Milty. I did once see him trying to defend his argument for privatizing schools at an American Economics Association meeting. He got skewered, and for once was speechless. He was right about the EITC and ending the draft at least!

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  7. Sending Out an S.O.S. -- or S. O. O. (Save Our Oregon) says:

    We now know the reason behind the awkward timing of the $2Billion drive. It also sounds like if that Billion dollar donation from a booster were really out there, the tents at Hayward night would have been the time to seal the deal.

    As to the limited liability statement, that just does not ring true. In fact if the legislature did not come through with the $40Million then I think I can count about forty million liabilities pretty quick. Add some over runs on construction of the venue and housing that would have needed to be built, and a half-ass donation drive not coming up with enough donors–reminiscent of that night at Hayward when the rumored wad of cash failed to show–and there is another $100 million or so. Add to that the costs of running the event and the paltry $400 million the foundation has to pay former track coaches $300K to run non-profits around the state and I think the foundation education mission would have to take a backseat to athletics. Awe who am I Kidding YO DUCKS!

    Anyone want to ask the state about the financials and conflict of interest perhaps audit the foundation to make sure it is working in the interest of the citizens of Oregon… Oh wait, the sos secretary of state was sitting at the table while the foundation committed the University of Oregon to millions (yes the foundation money is the UO money) while watching a video of the governor (before the election?) guaranteeing $40 million from a legislature he is cannot possibly speak for. http://www.sos.state.or.us/

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    • Sending Out an S.O.S. -- or S. O. O. (Save Our Oregon) says:

      upon further reflection I have a few more thoughts

      How much was the cost of all those people flying to Monaco, and who paid?

      For that matter who paid for this failed bid in total? And for the bid and hosting of the other two events that Paul says are not part of the UO mission but were actually a part of this failed bid.

      How much did the UO spend on this boondoggle?
      Was it enough to keep the the two professors and all their grants and internationally recognized clusterable excellent research around?
      Was it enough to get our GTFs, who teach are classes, grade our papers, and work in our labs, some leave, better health care and a little better than cost of living adjustment?

      In light of this apparent abuse of non profit status and educational mission, can the new board disband that foundation and create a new entity that actually works, transparently and open, in the interest of the our public university? Oh wait, again many of the most powerful board members were on or have ties to the Foundation Board; furthermore, many of the new over paid executives taking up space and bloating the budget of Johnson Hall are from the Foundation; these same people giving council and making policy while presidents and provosts are used up like toilet paper.

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  8. charlie says:

    It’s a mortgage, all right, subprime in its quality. The U of Owe Foundation has collectively become the Northwest’s version of Angelo Mozilo…..

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  9. Shame on them says:

    According to Weinhold BOT Chair Chuck Lillis and Scott Coltrane were involved in all this planning and commitment of resources, and kept it secret for months. Which raises the question of what are they hiding now?

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  10. no way says:

    At last, the first airing of “I know something you don’t know.” Can’t believe it took you so long.

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  11. Steve P says:

    I bet the archives show that the bribes to the IAAF were vetted by the faculty Senate and the athletics committee.

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  12. UO all about image says:

    Protecting the brand, building the brand – this is the work of the Big O, inc. Bribes, invest unlimited resources to the athletic image at the expense of staff, faculty, students. Admins have built such an insular culture that they are willing to sell out every principle to maintain the branded image, even if it means going after a student’s counseling records, library patrons privacy, and achieving the reputation as the worst public university in upholding public records requests. Secrecy is the shadow of Big O’s monumental fixation on external branding and image – how’s that working? Anyone have the courage to clean house in JH, because that is what it will take?

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  13. vote, vote, vote says:

    EWEB with “altruistic vision” to benefit all of Eugene? Gag. Must be something like the vision that brought in out-of-state developers to build Crapstone downtown. I’d like some “altruism” applied to my monthly bill before they decide what’s best for “all of Eugene”.

    The spoke in the wheel could be if Eugene gets with it and elects someone as Mayor with a vision of something less backward than we’ve had in the last decade.

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  14. WHOO HOO says:

    I think this is an amazing opportunity for the campus and the community. Bravo Tracktown committee. So rather than gripe or think of conspiracies, what about seeing if there are ways that we can link some of our classes to this throughout the run up? I can see themes in politics, human phys, advertising, econ development, and yes even finance!

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    • huh? says:

      You have got to be kidding. UO is a UNIVERSITY, not a local prep school summer camp.

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      • wha says:

        You’ve obviously never set foot on campus during the summer.

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        • huh? says:

          Oh yes, I’ve seen the high schoolers on campus for a 1 week camp, but those aren’t the classes WHOO HOO is talking about, are they? (nice try plugging SAIL though! haha)

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  15. Roger Chickering says:

    The Europeans are mad about this too:

    http://www.faz.net/aktuell/sport/mehr-sport/eugene-erhaelt-zuschlag-fuer-leichtathletik-wm-ohne-bewerbung-13542398.html

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  16. The message is clear, says:

    Phil Knight already got what he wanted, so why would he waste any more money? Giving us the track meet with no bid let us go backsies on all the promises we made.

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  17. awesome0 says:

    My guess is that they want the state to help contribute to New capital projects and that won’t happen if they mortgage the farm.

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  18. zach says:

    Lets have the governor declare a state of EMERGENCY again for UO and just authorize the sale of 300 million of bonds so U-blow and Nan Laurence can proceed with a public / private smart growth Eugisneyland on the river ! They are saying it will be a PEOPLE PLACE ! Everyone will be happy there and will drive a Prius.

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  19. Canaduck says:

    On page 36, “Academic facilities and equipment and nonacademic Facilities and Equipment” are combined. That is about half of the granted amount for the year. Nice not to break that out.

    Am I reading page 31 right that the Foundation has $250m in investments in “Central America and the Caribbean”?

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    • uomatters says:

      Yup, pretty secretive. And that is a lot of money to put into Central America. They seem to have got it out of Russia just in time though.

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