It’s time to cut Duck baseball, not raise UO tuition

Oregonian sportswriter Ken Goe does the due diligence that our board of trustees won’t, here.

According to the numbers from VP for Finance Jamie Moffitt, eliminating baseball would allow UO to cut its proposed 8% tuition increase for in-state undergrads to about 4%.

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9 Responses to It’s time to cut Duck baseball, not raise UO tuition

  1. Dog says:

    simple solutions:

    cut baseball

    use some of that new revenue to give Freyd a raise

  2. Deplorable Duck says:

    I wouldn’t miss baseball or any other sport, but in making such a change, it’s important to consider the entire picture. A common fallacy is the idea that “I will make these changes that I want, but the other parties will not react to my changes by making their own self-interested changes as a result.” In particular, do we know how major donors would react to killing baseball at UO?

    Also, there are almost certainly various one-time charges to disconnect from long-term commitments. How much?

  3. Observer says:

    I hear from those on the inside that the conviction is indeed that certain donors would be livid if baseball were cut, and that thus what is obviously a program that should go has to be kept. This is the situation we arrive at when so much of the university has to be paid for with private money.

  4. Fishwrapper says:

    Horton’s out. Search for a new coach to begin.

    So: will the new guy get more or less what Horton was pulling down? Either way, I’ll bet those certain donors are excited, and will increase their certain donations because, well, hope.

    • uomatters says:

      Donations to what?

      • Fishwrapper says:

        Baseball and/or other sports schollies. That’s one version I’ve heard.

        One fresh (unsubstantiated, read on the interwebs) rumor that’s especially delicious is putting together an offer to steal Pat Casey; an alternative is to get Nate Yeskie from the Beaver dugout – because Mullens is smarter than OSU’s Scott Barnes who has screwed up the Casey “sabbatical.” Reading the various fan message boards has been fun today, that’s for sure…

        • uomatters says:

          Please help out my student readers by putting these rumors in terms of in-state tuition increases. Every $800k in baseball costs will be another 1% point increase, over the 4% or so they are already paying for this vanity team. How much more will they have to pay?

          • Fishwrapper says:

            The donors don’t pay for the vanity team. Or maybe they do. Honestly, I haven’t seen the bookkeeping, so I can’t say. It’s entirely possible that donors pay for the baseball program.

            But I doubt it. On balance, the entire athletics enterprise is not balanced, and requires a subsidy, a fact you well know and about which you correctly continue to rant. My hunch is that even after cooking the books the baseball subset is not and will not be in the black. To tag it a vanity project is far more transparent than any fiscal statements you can pry from athletics.

            And because it is a vanity project, it is worth notice of how they proceed. As you know, but student readers may not, the baseball project was begun by Phil Kilkenny, birthed, it has been suggested, out of envy over the success, specifically the repeated success, of the baseball program built by Pat Casey at OSU. Indeed, George Horton – a good coach with a fine record, not to mention a ring of his own – came on board claiming, “We’re going to try to make everyone forget where Corvallis is, by the way…” That the focus was to erase the success demonstrated by the state’s flagship university and return the spotlight to a campus that hadn’t even had the game since 1981 was glaringly obvious to even the most casual viewer.

            That PK the Lesser coughed up five megadollars of his own scratch to kick things off makes it personal, makes it a vanity move. Killing wrestling and adding Women’s Competitive Cheer to balance the equation required under Title IX (with a women’s activity not even recognized as a sport by the NCAA) only reinforced the notion.

            But that’s all history. Setting such things in motion, though, created an inertia that is horribly difficult to overcome, and that it was started with the intent to be a point of pride (See? We can do it, too – and with flashier uniforms in a newer ballpark!) means it won’t go away, not easily.

            Though it should.

            I’ll admit to a personal bias against the UO program, in favor of the Beavers. Pat Casey spent a dozen years building a program, though it is true to note he didn’t start from zero, before the “overnight” success in 2006 and repeat in 2007. And another dozen years to get to last year’s success. Bit by bit, inch by inch, Casey carved out his place in Oregon sports history, scrapping for every thing added to the program. Goss Stadium is not as flashy or new as PK Park; then again, you can feel almost every year of it’s history when you sit inside for a game – even a Knights’ game in the summer.

            Funny – the Corvallis Knights. Penny’s Knights. It’s almost as if there was a greater commitment of Knight money to the program in Corvallis then the school to the south; in fact, there was, before Pat made his vanity move, Phil was already – deep in the background – supporting the OSU program.

            That’s all just history, though, and doesn’t answer your direct question: how much will students have to pay?

            Too much.

            As you correctly noted in observing the juxtaposition of the Cristobal contract extension (and raise) with the Board announcing a double-digit tuition hike, things are horribly out of balance between the athletic and academic sides. There is no doubt in my mind that the decision to replace Horton will not be made with the cost as it relates to student payments in the overall equation at all. UO is increasingly playing the role of an athletics enterprise with an academic unit attached for NCAA eligibility, which is a great way to keep the labor costs artificially low.

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