OSU rape survivor Brenda Tracy not impressed by Schill’s response to Wyden

11/4/2017 update: For the confused, here’s a link to today’s interview with Kenny Jacoby, the reporter who broke this story on OPB’s Think Out Loud. They discuss the incident, where UO’s response went wrong, and the reporter-blaming in UO’s letter to Wyden.

And, from back in 2014, here’s a link to a KATU story on the UOPD’s response to the 2014 incident. The UOPD asked for the EPD report, the EPD detetective said no, and the UOPD detective – the same detective who did not forward the Wyoming police report to the Title IX office this time – congratulated the EPD detective for not giving it to the UOPD, saying

“That was exactly the right decision,” Flynn says in the voicemail, “and what should have been done and we’re trying to keep people from being hysterical over here because they’re being hysterical and wanting to do stupid things.”

True enough.

11/14/2017 update: OSU gang-rape survivor Brenda Tracy not impressed by Schill’s response to Wyden:

Brenda Tracy has made a career out of trying to get athletic departments to deal with their sexual assault problems. Here’s her take on Pres Schill’s response to Senator Wyden’s letter:

Brenda Tracy
Reaction to University of Oregon’s Nov. 13, 2017 Letter

Earlier this month, Senator Ron Wyden asked some very important questions regarding the University of Oregon’s handling of the Kavell Bigby-Williams case.

On November 13, 2017, UO issued a response to Sen. Wyden. I found UO’s response troubling, as it seems to “muddy” the waters of discussion and raises even more questions.

First, and most concerning to me, is the implication that asking questions about UO’s policies is somehow hurting the survivor or stripping them of their autonomy. How many times have we seen universities opt to protect their brand and reputation over the well-being of a survivor? Over and over, we see universities acting in ways to avoid institutional accountability and transparency. And over and over again, we learn just how important accountability and transparency is as a result of the burden placed on victims.

Under Title IX, schools are required to adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of sex discrimination complaints, including complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and to disseminate policies against sex discrimination. Schools have to investigate and respond to complaints of sexual misconduct regardless of whether a criminal investigation is pursued.

UO’s letter seems to suggest that in not conducting an investigation or initiating campus disciplinary process, UO was following the survivor’s wish to not move forward with such a proceeding. However, it is not clear to me that UO even asked the survivor whether she wanted to proceed in a campus disciplinary proceeding, or whether UO simply relied on the survivor’s statements to the police officer that she didn’t want to proceed with a criminal investigation. Not all survivors wish to participate in criminal proceedings, but this does not mean they do not wish to participate in campus proceedings. It is also unclear to me whether the survivor was ever notified that she could choose to proceed confidentially in the campus proceeding, or ask that her identity not be revealed.

And even if UO did talk to the survivor and inform her of her options moving forward, UO’s own policies state: “In instances where a Complainant requests no action and the university can honor that request, the university will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request not to pursue an investigation. Generally, this may include initiating a discussion with the Respondent regarding the allegations and explaining the sexual misconduct policy.” This seems to be in conflict with UO’s letter, which implies that UO won’t look into potential violations of the student code unless the survivor fully participates in the process, absent an emergency. It also seems to be in conflict with UO’s actual actions in this case, as it doesn’t appear there was any “discussion with the Respondent regarding the allegations,” much less any additional action taken.

UO’s letter does not assuage my concerns about the handling of this case. UO’s Student Conduct Standard Operating Procedures state: “Subject to being notified of a potential Sexual Misconduct violation of the Code, the Title IX Coordinator shall notify the Director.”

By all accounts, it appears that UO failed to follow their own policy.

The school was made aware that this player was under active criminal investigation for sexual assault and not only did they choose to not investigate or follow up, but they gave him a scholarship and allowed him to play all season – and then they placed the responsibility of their entire decision on the survivor. I know first-hand what that feels like. Survivors expect and deserve better than that.

11/13/2017 update: Pres Schill responds to Senator Wyden’s letter on basketball rape allegation

Reporter Kenny Jacoby, who broke this story, will be on OPB’s Think Out Loud Tuesday (12-1PM) to talk about UO’s response to the letter from Senator Wyden. UO’s response is posted here. An excerpt from the part written by President Schill:

I am concerned by the assertion that “time and time again, colleges and universities demonstrate to policymakers, students, the general public, and especially to victims, that too often they are acting to protect their own interests.” At the University of Oregon, nothing could be further from the truth. This statement relies on an inaccurate premise, and I am troubled that it perpetuates a narrative that belies the facts at the University of Oregon and belittles the efforts of many managers, staff, and faculty members who have worked hard to develop policies and procedures to protect our students.

UO does have “many managers, staff, and faculty members who have worked hard to develop policies and procedures to protect our students.” For example, the UO Senate and its “Not in Our Name” resolution of March 4, 2015, protesting the decision by then interim President Coltrane and then interim General Counsel Doug Park (now Deputy UO General Counsel) to countersue the survivor of the March 9th 2014 alleged gang rape:

Section I

1.1  WHEREAS on January 8th 2015 the University of Oregon student survivor of an alleged March 8th-9th 2014 gang rape by three UO basketball players sued the University and Basketball Coach Dana Altman;1

1.2  AND WHEREAS on February 9th the University filed a counterclaim against the student, asking the court to order her to pay the fees for the University’s own outside lawyers;2

1.3  AND WHEREAS the University’s counterclaim outraged many in the university community and the public;

1.4  AND WHEREAS, despite withdrawing the counterclaim on February 26th, the University retained language from the counterclaim saying that some of the lawsuit’s allegations (a) amount to “unclean hands,” (b) “threaten to harm … all sexual assault survivors in Oregon’s campus community“ and (c) create a “risk that other survivors will wrongly be discouraged from reporting sexual assaults and sexual harassment”;3

1.5  AND WHEREAS the University’s efforts to defend itself in this and similar cases should be limited to disputing facts, instead of using its legal documents to make sweeping, polemical policy statements that themselves can cause harm to survivors;

Section II

2.1  BE IT THEREFORE MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate appreciates Interim President Coltrane’s decision to drop the University’s counterclaim against the student survivor, for UO’s legal fees;

2.2  AND BE IT FURTHERMORE MOVED that the Senate fears that the victim-blaming language that is still in the revised response listed under “unclean hands” will harm victims of sexual assault at the University of Oregon, discourage them from reporting rapes, and have a chilling effect on them defending their civil rights in court;

2.3  AND BE IT MOVED that the Senate requests that the University report to the Senate on how the University originally decided to file this counterclaim and how it later decided to continue the assertions that parts of the alleged victim’s lawsuit are to be blamed for discouraging rape reports;

2.4  AND BE IT FURTHERMORE MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate asks the University President to withdraw the remaining counterclaim language that has been retained as a charge of “unclean hands”;

2.5  AND BE IT FINALLY MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate wants all to know that the University of Oregon administration and Basketball Coach Dana Altman are not acting or speaking in our name.

 There are many more examples of efforts to hide the facts and delay reform in the Gott-Gate cover-up timeline here.

11/6/2017 update: Can UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger distract Senator Wyden’s attention with attack on student reporter?

I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the Senator has dealt with more competent deflection efforts than this one, from the feckless Mr. Klinger in the RG here:

“As has been said before, (in the Bigby-Williams case) the university followed the process as necessary under nuanced and challenging circumstances,” Klinger added. “While we understand that at first glance the selective information provided by the media may appear concerning, we would also respond that the media often does not have the entirety of the information due to privacy laws which we vigorously enforce.”

Here’s one of Klinger’s previous attempts to change the subject – a bizarre letter to the editor from 2014, trying to get UO’s Chinese students to go after former RG reporter Diane Dietz:

11/6/2017: Senator Ron Wyden asks UO to explain mishandling of rape allegations against Dana Altman recruit, calls for accountability

Stories now in the Emerald, WWeekRG, Pdf here:

10/26/2017: Student reporter Kenny Jacoby publishes Sports Illustrated story on UOPD & administration mishandling of rape allegations against another Dana Altman recruit

Here’s a link to audio of John Canzano’s interview with Jacoby, who raises some excellent points about how differences between UO’s policies and those of other schools, and UO’s failures to follow its own policies, allowed Altman to play this student-athlete for an entire season. As would be expected given his many investigations of similar prior incidents involving the Duck Athletic department, Jacoby is extremely knowledgeable, and very good at explaining what went wrong.

I’ll also point out that, despite this latest incident, UO has made many important improvements in how it handles sexual assaults, thanks to the overall competency and hard work of the new administrators working on these problems, including Darci Heroy.

10/25/2017: Here’s Altman back in May 2014, trying to persuade incredulous reporters that while he knew that his previous recruit Brandon Austin had been suspended from the Providence College basketball team for a year, he never thought to ask why:

I’ve never met anyone who believed him. Altman and the UO administration hid the gang-rape allegations from the campus community for months. Altman didn’t deny that he had planned to quietly pass the players off to other schools without telling the other coaches – or universities. UO never investigated Altman, instead they gave him a raise and a contract extension.

And here’s a story from last week about another Altman recruit who was charged with sexual assault while still deciding whether or not to accept Altman’s offer to play for the Ducks.

And today UO student reporter Kenny Jacoby has a long read in Sports Illustrated, detailing multiple breakdowns in UO’s compliance with its own procedures for investigating rape allegations against a fourth member of Altman’s team:

Last season, Kavell Bigby-Williams, a 6’ 11″, 230-pound transfer from Gillette College, averaged 9.8 minutes for an Oregon basketball team that reached the Final Four. He also played the entire season while under investigation for forcible rape.

School administrators maintain that proper protocols were followed and laws were complied with upon learning of the allegation. But according to analysis of public documents and Title IX lawyers who examined the police report and Oregon’s policies, procedures, and explanations, the university violated its obligations under the law and acted at odds with the school’s own policies.

The intersection between college athletes and campus sexual assault allegations may be a distressingly busy one. The fact pattern in the Bigby-Williams matter may be familiar. But the Bigby-Williams situation is more jarring given the athletic program in question. In March 2014, a UO undergraduate reported that she had been sexually assaulted by three members of the school’s basketball team, Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin. The graphic police report detailed alleged assaults at two off-campus locations. Despite the allegations, two of the players remained on the team throughout the investigation, playing through the Ducks’ 24-win season and an NCAA tournament berth. (Austin, who sat out the 2013-14 season as a transfer player with Oregon, had been suspended at his previous school, Providence, after being accused in a separate sexual assault in which no charges were filed.)

The University of Oregon suspended the players from the basketball team in May, after the season ended. In late June—when most students were away and college campus outrage was chilled—the University of Oregon confirmed it had suspended the players from campus for a minimum of four years following an investigation into sexual misconduct.

In early June, the victim offered a blistering criticism of the athletic department and of UO head basketball coach Dana Altman in particular. “I am angry with the culture that appears to exist in our athletic department that prioritizes winning over the safety of our students,” the victim wrote.

“I cannot fathom how our basketball coach recruited someone who was in the middle of a suspension for another sexual assault to come to Eugene.”

The student would sue the University of Oregon, including Altman, for recruiting Austin without regard to disciplinary action at his previous school for a similar accusation. When the suit was settled—Oregon agreed to a payment of $800,000 and free tuition, housing and student fees—Altman’s job was spared and university administrators breathed an audible sigh of relief. …

The rest of Jacoby’s story details the multiple breakdowns in UO’s compliance with its own policies and procedures, including ones that the Senate revised in response to the previous alleged assaults. Read it all.

Dana Altman recruit charged with felony sexual battery

What a surprise:

9/19/2017:

Oregon basketball: Ducks to host … 5-star PF Emmitt Williams this weekend

10/19/2017:

Five-star recruit Emmitt Williams, 19, was arrested and charged with felony sexual battery and false imprisonment early Wednesday morning.

Williams, who is a top 25 prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, was booked at 12:40 a.m. by the Orlando police department and held on $3,500 bond. He is a senior at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando. He is scheduled to make an appearance in court this afternoon.

According to an arrest warrant, the alleged incident occurred on Oct. 10 in the home of a female friend of Williams. According to what the accuser told police, she wanted to leave her home to pick up a friend, but Williams would not let her leave. Williams began touching her, she said, despite the fact that she told Williams she was not interested in sex. Williams ignored that, pulled down her pants and raped her while her attempts to stop him were unsuccessful, she said.

Williams visited LSU last weekend and was scheduled to visit Florida this weekend, although that visit has been cancelled. Williams reportedly held offers from programs such as Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Oregon.

LA Times wants a copy of any FBI subpoenas of Dana Altman’s Ducks

10/9/2017 update:

In what may be it’s fastest turnaround time since I asked Dave Hubin for a copy of Jim Bean’s sabbatical contract, UO’s Public Records Office says today that “there are no responsive records” to the LA Times request for federal subpoenas or search warrants involving Altman or his coaches. For comparison, here are the last 3 or so months of the public records log.

Still no Tim Gleason rhabdo docs for HBO, no new Bach docs, etc:

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President Trump joins Coach Altman in pressuring black athletes to keep quiet

9/24/2017: Apparently both share similarly grandiose views of their authority, and both lack an understanding of the First Amendment and American history. Of course the NCAA gives Altman considerably more power over “his” players than Trump has over Kaepernick, the NFL and the NBA, and so far Altman been able to keep them quiet. Trump, not so much:

12/10/2014: Coach Dana Altman thinks National Anthem is the wrong time to protest racism

Our fool of a basketball coach thinks he owns those players. They shouldn’t protest when he’s trying to collect his $2M paycheck, off their free labor.

Fortunately we’ve still got people who can hear someone sing “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and actually understand what it means.

Want to ask the players what they think? No. Duck AD Rob Mullens and his PR flack Craig Pintens have a rule about players talking to reporters without permission, and “Benjamin and Bell have not been made available to comment.”

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Duck coach Dana Altman grants player release from indentured servitude

According to Wikipedia, indentured servitude has been illegal in the US for quite a while:

… Several Acts passed by the American and British governments helped foster the decline of indentures. The Passenger Vessels Act 1803, an Act of the UK Parliament which regulated travel conditions aboard ships, attempted to make transportation more expensive so as to hinder landlords’ tenants seeking a better life. The American abolition of imprisonment of debtors by federal law (passed in 1833) made prosecution of runaway servants more difficult, increasing the risk of indenture contract purchases. The 13th Amendment passed in the wake of the American Civil War made indentured servitude illegal in the United States.

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

It seems the NCAA has an exemption to the 13th, but fortunately for Mr. Bigby-Williams, Coach Altman wants his scholarship for another student-athlete and he is now free to leave UO:

Kavell Bigby-Williams, one of the final pieces remaining of a Final Four Oregon squad has requested and has been granted his transfer from the University of Oregon. It is not known if Bigby-Williams is going to leave, but the release allows him to weigh his options for next season. According to the University of Oregon, Head Coach Dana Altman is recruiting the rest of this week and is looking to meet with Bigby-Williams early next week.

While I’m no economist, it’s fascinating to see that the British ruling class was using the same sort of labor cartel practices in 1803 as the NCAA is using today: make it as difficult as possible for your workers to move to better opportunities so you can keep the profits from their labor for yourself.

Or, as Abraham Lincoln said of people like Dana Altman,

“It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.”

Hardworking Duck basketball players earn $25K for NCAA tournament bid!

$25K for Coach Dana Altman, that is. His players get nothing.

UO tops off Altman’s $1.8M salary with a $850K retention bonus, 2 cars, country club membership, away-game travel for his spouse etc, and also $25K for getting into the tournament plus more for getting into higher brackets. That new contract is here.

Altman’s old contract attempted to incentivise him to bring in some money for UO to help pay off the $235M in Matt Court bonds by giving him 15% of the gate after the first $4M:

But Dana Altman has never been able to sell even $3M in tickets – this year Eric Roedl’s budget prediction was for just $2.7M – so last fall Rob Mullens took out that embarrassing clause and just threw money at him lump sum:

AD Mullens buys out Duck basketball coach Don Altman for 12 Gottfredsons

11/29/2016 update: The RG’s Ryan Thornburn has the shocking details here.

Or at least I think it was the basketball coach – he’s about to drop out of the rankings too. But maybe his buyout is next year.

Meanwhile, Mullens, Altman, Helfrich and the other well-paid Athletic Department employees haven’t been giving much to the University’s Charitable Fund Drive for state and community charities:

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11/28/2016 update: Matt Helfrich wins excellent $9.4M buyout with lousy 34-44 Civil War loss

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Trustees to reward Dana Altman, who stopped #blacklivesmatter protests

Tyson Alger has the scoop on Chuck Lillis’s committee meeting here. Tomorrow by telephone. Strange, but Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms still hasn’t posted the contract. She expects them to do their due diligence without having read it? Or maybe she’s just hiding it from the public. I’ll go out on a limb and predict it will be similar to what they agreed to pay Helfrich 2 years ago. Whoops.

Two years ago two of Dana Altman’s Duck basketball players  tried a Black Lives Matter protest during his national anthem. Altman chewed out his players and wouldn’t let them talk to the press afterwards. They never tried *that* again.

At UO a Duck coach can suspend a player for just about anything, by making up a “team rule” against it. The players have no freedom:

Dana Altman’s Ducks lose round 1 of NCAA madness

3/4/2016: That’s if you use the NCAA’s questionable “Academic Progress Rate” for the team’s “student-athletes” to decide who wins. Insider Higher Head, here:

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As of 5PM 3/13/2016: Betting markets give Bernie Sanders the edge over Dana Altman

8% probability Bernie Sanders will make it to the US presidential finals, from predictwise.com

7% probability Dana Altman will make it to the NCAA basketball finals, from 538.com

UO gives $40K bonus to professor despite half-empty lectures & $3M deficit

3/5/2016: Just kidding, UO is laying off the faculty who find themselves in this situation. The bonus is for basketball coach Dana Altman, after his unpaid student-athletes came in first in the PAC-12 season. He’ll get another $110K if they win the PAC-12 tournament for him, etc.

Meanwhile he can barely fill half of Knight Arena, and he’s losing about $3M a year. More on Altman’s falling ticket revenue and bloated cost structure here.

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3/5/2016: Despite fire-sale ticket prices, Duck fans still avoid Dana Altman’s basketball

Steve Mims has the data in the RG, here:

Oregon lowered ticket prices by more 34 percent this year, including a $500 reduction in the lower half of the 100 level, and added single-game tickets for $10. Oregon also provided free shuttles to games and offered season parking passes for $50 to $100.

Oregon is averaging 6,770 fans this season, which is up from 6,209 last year. The difference is even wider in conference games, with an average of 8,098 following 7,131 last season. (But for today’s Utah conference game announced attendance is only 6,807.)

A 34% cut in the price, and, using the midpoint method, an increase in the Qd of (6770-6209)/((1/2)(6770+6209)) = 8.6%. So the elasticity of demand is about 0.25. And you don’t have to have passed microeconomic principles to understand that this price cut is going to reduce ticket revenue below last year’s dismal $2.6M. And rumor has it that AAD Eric Roedl has realized he can’t squeeze ASUO any more either.

Altman to give a lucky UO student his shoes for watching tonight’s UW game!

The Ducks’ apparel contract with Nike give the coaches $100K worth Nikes, free, in lieu of cash that UO could have got for the academic side:

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One of our student readers reports that he got an email saying Dana Altman will give away a pair of his stash to some lucky student at tonight’s game, as thanks for the $1.7M in mandatory student i-fees that ASUO pays the Ducks for tickets. For more on UO’s lousy apparel deal with Nike, read Matthew Kish in the Portland Business Journal.

If you’re not a student, you can get a ticket for $6 on stubhub:

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That’s right, this guy is more popular on the UO campus than Duck basketball:

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2/25/2016: The market price for watching Dana Altman falls below $0

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UO could save $3M a year by shutting down basketball, mothballing Knight Arena

7/11/2015 update: Matt Prehm has an interview with Duck spokesperson Craig Pintens on basketball tickets, here:

The Ducks averaged just 6,209 fans per home game during the 2014-15 season, ranking seventh in the Pac-12. It was the lowest figure since 1992 when an average of 5,819 fans attended games at McArthur Court.

… The Athletic Department operates on zero funding from the University of Oregon [Yeah, sure it does], and so every penny can sometimes count. That’s why when Oregon decided to slash prices across the board – a 34-percent slash on average – was such a difficult decision.

The Athletic Department is reporting a near 90-percent season ticket renewal rate from last season, and while that’s well above the 80-percent renewal norm for the basketball team, it’s still a huge financial hit with the slashed prices.

… With a better marketing plan of the program, ticket costs slashed, and a better non-conference schedule Oregon is seeing early returns pay off.

No, actually this isn’t paying off. I’m no economist, but if you cut prices 34% and sales only increase by 10 points on a base of 80 – lets call that 13% – total revenue will drop. As it did. And as explained below the basketball program is now losing millions – even if you ignore the sunk costs of the $13.5M Knight Arena bond payments.

And it seems that they are prepared to lose more millions to avoid the embarrassment of having the country’s most expensive college arena sit half empty. Meanwhile, the millions in hidden subsidies from the academic continue – including the $450K we pay athletics each year for the Knight Arena land.

Meanwhile Coach Altman has also succeeded in driving away the UO student fans:

… Based on numbers given to me by [Duck PR flack Craig Pintens], the average student attendance for this season was 989 per game. Last season, they were 1,539. In 2012, it was 1,541. In 2011, it was 1,574.

5/15/2015:  UO could save $3M a year by shutting down basketball, mothballing Knight Arena

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