OPR’s Think Out Loud has an interview with Hunt here.
I suggest getting to Josh Hunt’s Tsunami talk early, before the lawyers steal all the good seats. You can get the Kindle version of The University of Nike Tuesday as well. Some more links:
Persuade someone to read “University of Nike” in 50 words or less:
More than ever, it’s really important for Americans to closely examine the costs of abandoning public institutions and hand them over to corporate interests to save a few dollars on our tax bills. This is a case study of what happens when we do that. Spoiler alert: It ends badly.
When the University of Oregon joined an upstart labor-rights group in 2000, the decision so upset Nike chairman Phil Knight that he publicly rescinded his personal $30 million pledge to expand the school’s football stadium.
Now, 18 years later, new allegations suggest that Knight made an even more aggressive play behind the scenes: threatening to withhold philanthropic support that could help keep alive the youngest daughter of the University of Oregon’s then-president, Dave Frohnmayer.
… A university spokeswoman on Friday shared the university’s written response to the article:
“The University of Oregon is the birthplace of Nike, and we are extremely grateful to both Nike as a company and to Phil and Penny Knight individually for their generous support of this university over many decades, as well as their support of other academic institutions and vital causes in Oregon and beyond. The Knights care deeply about education, health care, sports and so much more, and they are unquestionably the most generous philanthropists in our state’s history. Their support for both academic and athletic programs at University of Oregon comes without strings attached and has transformed this campus in profoundly positive ways. The state of Oregon, our citizenry and this institution are all better for it.
“Given our focus on the university’s future, we will not engage in debate over Mr. Hunt’s book, which largely speculates about and rehashes historical events that have been covered elsewhere.”
My opinion is that whether or not “The state of Oregon, our citizenry and this institution are all better for it.” is an open question, which Mr. Hunt’s book asks, and which the university shouldn’t shrink from addressing.
Duck VP and PR flack Kyle Henley’s statement that “Their support for both academic and athletic programs at University of Oregon comes without strings attached” is bullshit, as Henley knows.
And finally, in the Oregonian, Lynn Frohnmayer disputes Hunt’s report that Phil Knight threatened to withhold donations to the Fanconi Anemia foundation.
10/18/2018: University of Nike author to give talk at Tsunami books, Tu 7-9PM
Joshua Hunt has apparently spent more time combing through the UO archives than I have, and he’s conducted some very revealing interviews with the key players.
“There is a chapter that describes some potentially illegal practices — certainly bad faith practices, dishonest practices — by the public records department at the University of Oregon,” Hunt says of his book.
He’s talking about the university’s handling of the rape accusations against the basketball players. Lawyers for The New York Times argued in legal papers that the UO had, as he writes in the book, “demonstrated a willingness to ‘use privacy as both a sword and a shield’ in order to prevent public scrutiny of its handling of sexual assault on campus.”
And thanks to a reader for this link to an extended abstract in the Pacific Standard, here. The intro:
In the mid-1990s, University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer needed money to save his school. Alum and Nike chief executive Phil Knight was happy to help—as long as the university could be managed in a way that would maximize the company’s brand and profits. But when Frohnmayer made a key misstep, Knight exacted a brutal punishment. …