11/7/2009: I’ll be brave, and post this from Ron Bellamy at the RG before kickoff, on Chip Kelly’s new contract.

Chip Kelly’s first contract as a head football coach will pay him an annual guaranteed salary of $1.25 million this season and next, plus a share of Oregon’s season ticket sales, and offer a myriad of bonuses for performance on the field and in the classroom.

The contract, signed by Kelly on Oct. 26 and by UO President Richard Lariviere on Thursday, was released to The Register-Guard on Friday in response to a public records request.

Kelly will receive a share of season ticket sales, two-tenths of a percent this season and moving to a sliding scale next season — 3.25 percent for gross sales of $13 million or less and 1.65 percent of sales exceeding $13 million.

I’m no economist, but you don’t have to understand collusion to understand why college coaches earn this much money and college players earn zero. The NCAA has a myriad of rules designed to make sure of this – they even require players who want to switch schools to redshirt for a year. Chip Kelly seems like a great guy, but the NCAA set this system up to make sure that every possible dollar of profits goes to the coaches, not the students, players, or universities. It smells rotten and it is rotten.

Budget, Lottery $ for Athletics

10/15/2009: Jeff Mapes in the Oregonian writes that the state lottery take is falling. Bad news for UO’s “self-sufficient” athletic department, which for some bizarre reason gets about $1 million a year from lottery funds to pay for scholarships for athletes. The academic side gets about $200,000.

CJ Ciamarella has an article on the Wed Senate meeting here, mostly dealing with budget issues. Word is there may be more cuts coming, since tax revenues are running behind projections.

Every now and then we get discouraged by how difficult it is to extract public records from UO – so we browse through about the only thing Melinda Grier is willing to share with the public – the UO Directory. And we find this:

Name: Mister Ooh-La-La
Department: University Housing
Title: Food Service Worker
Address: Carson Kitchen
1220 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1220
Phone: (541) 346-2553
Email: oohlala@uoregon.edu

Hmm.

LeGarette Blount gets a lawyer, Bellotti is represented by Melinda Grier.

10/3/2009: After 2 years of Kilkenny’s prodigal spending, UO’s athletic department has a serious budget problem. Fortunately their media contract includes a bonus for higher TV ratings. By reinstating Blount, Chip Kelly stirs up a little more controversy, brings in a few more viewers, and makes it a little more likely his $1 million a year checks won’t bounce. Maybe Kelly will get really lucky and Blount will hit someone else.

But there is some real news here. First, Blount got a lawyer from the new NCAA Alumni Association. There are few quotes below, but you should read the whole story on ESPN – the reporter has done some real investigating. Of course, the lawyer has an agenda of his own, but it’s obvious Bellotti and Kelly have been trying to hide the back room deals.

Bellotti dismissed the notion that Blount having legal representation or assistance from the advocacy group played any role in Kelly’s reversal. “None whatsoever,” Bellotti said. “That’s never been an issue in any of these discussions.”

Yeah, uh, whatever you say, Coach.

Second, this really gets interesting if you check out the sociologist Harry Edwards on wikipedia. Edwards has been advising Blount. Long, long ago, when America was a different country, Harry Edwards was a Black Panther and was the architect of the black power protest at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Personally, I think that was a great day for sports and for us all.

So, what do you think? Did Harry Edwards tell LeGarette Blount to “keep your head down and that nice Irish coach will surely take care of you and your kid just like he promised” or “this is your whole life, get a lawyer and fight for it.” And who paid for Edwards to spend 2 days in Eugene anyway?

face punch

9/4/2009: Contrast President Lariviere’s statement below with what the RG wrote in May, about then President Frohnmayer’s refusal to say anything to condemn the threats by Duck fans against Professor Sohlberg. Change we can believe in?

Update: Lariviere has suspended the player for the year, while letting him keep his scholarship and the support services he gets as an athlete. Tough and generous. We are starting to like this guy.

5/15/2009: “So the bullies have won.” The Register Guard Editors. The RG takes UO President Dave Frohnmayer to task for failing to defend Professor Sohlberg from the mob that was incited by this RG story on the O sign.

Statement from University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere regarding player conduct following the Boise State football game
Sept. 4, 2009

At the conclusion of last night’s University of Oregon season opening football game against Boise State University, a UO player displayed inappropriate and unsportsmanlike behavior. There is no place on the field of play for that kind of action, and his conduct was reprehensible.

We do not and will not tolerate the actions that were taken by our player. Oregon’s loyal fans expect and deserve better. The University of Oregon Athletics Department is reviewing the situation and will take appropriate action, reflecting the seriousness of the player’s behavior.

We then hope to put this incident behind us and look forward to the rest of the season.

UO players, coaches and fans are known for their passion and enthusiasm for athletic competition. At the University of Oregon, we are committed to demonstrating that passion in positive ways.

Richard W. Lariviere
University of Oregon President


5/27/2009:

This Daily Emerald story by Ben Schorzman challenges the frequent claim that UO’s Athletic Department is self-supporting. It turns out the state gives the Ducks $1.2 million in lottery money every year. If that money went to academics, athletics would be in the red. It’s a pretty interesting read. He’s got a related story here. Mr. Schorzman asks lots of questions, and I hope this is the beginning of some good reporting from the Emerald on athletics and money.

5/19/2009:

This letter in the Daily Emerald from an apparently well-informed student provides firm evidence that President Frohnmayer will soon have to give up on the Autzen “O” effort – he is just struggling not to withdraw from his position prematurely.

At the 4/14 furlough meeting President Frohnmayer and Provost Bean said that UO’s administrative expense ratio was 38% of peers, Bend was “in the black”, and that the Portland projects have not cost the Eugene campus. We’ve recently heard that the OUS Board has now asked Provost Bean to provide his data in support of these claims. His remarks at the 5/13 Senate meeting were a first (unsuccessful) attempt regarding the admin expense issue, and we’ve been told more will be forthcoming on Moseley and Bend, and on UO-Portland. We’re not sure what has prompted this sudden change in heart at the OUS Board. Perhaps someone (not us!) filed a DOJ complaint about the Furlough meeting. Perhaps Lariviere has told Bean to clean up this mess before he arrives. Perhaps the Board members have finally gotten more aggressive now that their old friend Frohnmayer has checked out. We’ll see.

Bullies

5/15/2009:

“So the bullies have won.” The Register Guard Editors. The RG takes UO President Dave Frohnmayer to task for failing to defend Professor Sohlberg from the mob that was incited by this RG story on the O sign. The RG Editors can’t bring themselves to criticize Dave by name, but still this is a new and relatively courageous step for them. His contempt for the faculty has been obvious for years and is now part of the DNA of his administration and the athletic department. But his refusal to issue a strong public defense of Sohlberg’s basic right to “peacefully petition for redress” goes far beyond his usual pettiness. Still, now that the sign can stay, we’re sure he will issue a florid public statement of some sort.

Athletic Department

Rachel Bachman at the Oregonian does a good job getting the facts out:

5/9/2009: End of Kilkenny Era

Someone should start filing some public records requests on this stuff – starting with the highly unlikely claim that the Athletic Department’s books are balanced. It would be a simple matter to request the budget reports and then see what they are actually including as expenses in those reports.

Another issue is conflicts of interest. What do you think the chances are that the ~200 employees over there are, many with years of experience, moving in and out of marketing jobs and endorsement contracts, are actually reporting all their financial conflicts of interest with UO contractors such as Nike? State law requires such reports.

Frankly we are too busy with the academic side to do much of substance here, but if you have anything particularly interesting, use the comments or email uomatters@gmail.com