Ducks must bribe UO students to watch Dana Altman coach at Matt Court

But it’s not working, attendance is now below 1,000. Hayden Kim has the story in the Daily Emerald. Here are a few selective and shamelessly rearranged quotes:

… 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.

[Why?]

… Third, is the fans’ attachment to promotions and product giveaways – specifically the occasional Nike customized shoes that are given away at home games through a raffle. Of course the Pit Crew is going to take advantage of their unique relationship with Phil Knight and Nike, but to say that their reliance on attracting students to games for free products is sustainable for long-term success, would be a lie.

“We need to be able to create long-term fans and you do that by having a great experience,”Senior Associate Athletic Director Craig Pintens said. “You can’t do a t-shirt every game or free food every game because then it’s not special and it loses that appeal. We need to examine everything and do a better job.”

[Fire your sleazy coach, for starters.]

When I was covering the final Civil War of the year at Gill Coliseum, I couldn’t hear myself think. The Oregon State crowd was electric and the fans were constantly on their feet. The energy was contagious. The place felt like a sauna. This is how a college arena should look and feel. Gill Coliseum holds 9,604 and there were 9,339 at this game.

I don’t know about you, but when Oregon State students pack their smaller 66-year-old gym and make it rock louder than Oregon’s state-of-the-art venue, there’s a problem.

In short, UO should have just said no to Phil Knight and Matt Court. Mac Court was a lot more fun. This is great reporting, Mr. Kim. Here’s hoping you will also turn your attention to:

1) Duck AAD Eric Roedl’s efforts to increase the mandatory ifee for “free” tickets. So far Roedl has been beaten back by UO student Andrew Lubash.

2) The most obvious reason UO students avoid Matt Court and Dana Altman – they’re afraid Altman might sue them too.

Altman’s Ducks beat Western 2 to 1, but he’s paid 25 to 1

Here’s a simple way for Rob Mullens to save $1.7M: Fire Altman, and hire Bergerson. The ODE has the score on the UO v. WOU game here.

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Dana Altman’s contract pays him $1.8M, plus bonuses if he wins.

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That kind of money could even make an Eagle Scout cut a few corners:

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By contrast, WOU’s coach is a happy looking guy named Brady Bergerson.

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From what I can tell he runs a clean program – no recruiting sleaze, rape allegations, or hidden shoplifting troubles. WOU pays him $72,996 a year:

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Busted Duck athlete had assault and battery prior

10/6/2014 update: No wonder Rob Mullens tried to keep this one out of the papers too. KATU has some potentially bad news for Dana Altman’s future net worth, here.

KATU pulled court records showing [student] was found guilty of assault and battery, disorderly conduct and vandalism in his home state of Wisconsin about four years ago. Abdul-Bassit’s record before the theft citation is clean.

But here’s Altman’s contract. It looks like Mullens gave him a pretty lax termination for cause clause:

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So I’m guessing Uncle Phil’s going to have to pay for an even bigger buyout than Gottfredson’s.

10/4/2014: Coach Altman gets $1.35M. His players get zip. Guess who’s shoplifting food?

RG story here.

The last we heard from Duck basketball coach Dana Altmann the NCAA was refusing to believe that two of his prized recruits had the academic credentials to enter college. That’s right, his standards are lower than the NCAA’s.

The time before that, he was being interviewed about gang rape allegations involving three of his transfer students. The DA believed it happened, but he didn’t think he could convince a jury it was rape. And now two more of Altman’s transfer students have been arrested, for stealing food from the grocery store across the street from Phil Knight’s $235M Matt Court Arena.

Altman is a desperate coach who has lost control. Rob Mullens needs to get rid of him before he does any more damage to UO.

UO refuses to admit Dana Altman’s latest catch

UO Admissions has a special committee to vet athletes that don’t meet regular UO standards. Lorraine Davis runs (ran?) it. This was a potential conflict of interest, according to UO’s most recent NCAA review. But UO snuck around the rules and kept her in charge. Presumably her committee approved the Brandon Austin transfer, as explained here.

Now it appears that, for the first time in living memory, the “Special Athletics Admits Committee” has refused to admit a basketball player the athletic department wanted. Matt Prehm has the story in 247 sports. As he notes, this is a “huge blow for the Oregon Ducks” (and to Coach Dana Altman’s scuzzy recruiting methods.):

Sources tell DuckTerritory.com three-star power forward Ray Kasongo has been denied admission by University of Oregon admissions, and will now look to play his college basketball elsewhere.

This is a huge blow for the Oregon Ducks who enter next season with only eight scholarship players currently on roster.

Four-star guard JaQuan Lyle has also not been admitted yet at this time.

Is this how Gottfredson is going to chase off Altman without having to buy out his contract – starve him of fresh meat? Andy Greif has more in the Oregonian.

Kansas community college refuses to hire UO’s disgraced coach Dana Altman

7/20/2014 update: Kansas community college refuses to hire UO’s disgraced coach Dana Altman

Tyson Alger has the story in the Oregonian, here. Oh wait, this is about the *player* Dana Altman brought to campus. Oh well, at least the players get to keep their NCAA tournament bonuses. Wait, those only go to Rob Mullens and the coaches, not the players? And the coaches and administrators still have their jobs? Mullens got to pick his own review panel members? Remember the NCAA’s prime directive: “No black man can make money off college sports”.

7/9/2014: Disgraced Coach Dana Altman to leave Ducks for community college job

President Gottfredson kicked Altman off campus last month, after he screwed up big time, bringing a player with serious issues to UO, where he acted them out again. It looks like Altman has found an unpaid job at a community college in Kansas, and will try and rebuild his career. Andy Greif has the details here. Oh, wait, never mind, it’s the *player* who’s going to community college. Dana Altman is keeping his fat paycheck, cars, DAC membership, and bonuses. Of course.

Can Dana Altman pass Dominic Artis off to UC-Berkeley?

That’s the latest rumor, from the SBNation sports blog.

Frankly it seems wildly implausible that another university will take any of these three, after reading the DA’s report. Yes, Alex Gardner concluded he couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that what happened March 8-9 was a gang rape, but most universities have a somewhat different standard for admissions, even for basketball players.

While there are plenty of coaches as desperate and unprincipled as Dana Altman, they can no longer claim plausible deniability, as Altman is still trying to about his decision to take Brandon Austin from Providence. (Still no word about Lorraine Davis’s role.)

And you have to wonder what mojo UO’s Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon is pulling to keep these players academically eligible and pumping up the Duck basketball APR, when they aren’t even on campus going to classes.

If Andrew Greif of the Oregonian hadn’t found out about the rape allegations and made them public, Altman and the Duck AD would have transferred these three quite happily, and quietly, to some other unsuspecting campus, as Altman all but admitted in his press conference:

But for a real pro at dissimulation, watch Rob Mullens’s fake-out when a reporter asks him – twice – if he and Altman knew the names of the three players. He nods profusely, then repeatedly says “we did not have the identities confirmed”. Perhaps true, but that wasn’t the question. So, he did know the names, he just didn’t do anything about it until he 7 weeks later, when he and his coaches had cashed their bonus checks for the NCAA tournament, and couldn’t pretend anymore:

UO should fire Dana Altman for cause – or get rid of Gottfredson

BBall Coach Dana Altman recruited a player with a sexual assault history, then he let two others play in games despite the fact they were under investigation by the police for even more serious allegations. His November 2013 contract has a morals clause:

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His excuse could be that these actions were approved by his bosses: AD Rob Mullens and President Mike Gottfredson. If so, fire them. Gottfredson’s contract, here, doesn’t say anything about ethical responsibilities, but it does allow the board to get rid of him with 30 days notice.

Provost Scott Coltrane would make a fine Interim President. And from what I hear, he would have much more support from the faculty and Deans as permanent UO President than Gottfredson has ever had.

Duck basketball players accused of gang rape, the week before Altman played them in the NCAA tournament, earning Altman and Mullens $52.5K in bonuses.

5/6/2014: The ODE has a new statement from UO, saying they knew of the allegations on March 9, but were asked by the EPD to not start an investigation until the EPD investigation was concluded. UO chief strategic communicator Toby Klinger also is quoted as saying:

Due to Federal privacy laws, the university cannot provide further details regarding its actions at this time.

That’s not true. The federal Dept of Ed guidelines are here They are focused on protecting the victim to the extent reasonable. Otherwise they give UO plenty of latitude – particularly when it comes to revealing information that might prevent further incidents:

As discussed in the 2001 Guidance, if the complainant continues to ask that his or her name or
other identifiable information not be revealed, the school should evaluate that request in the
context of its responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all
students. Thus, the school may weigh the request for confidentiality against the following
factors: the seriousness of the alleged harassment; the complainant’s age; whether there have
been other harassment complaints about the same individual; and the alleged harasser’s rights
to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the school as an
“education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C.
§ 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99.
15

The school should inform the complainant if it cannot ensure
confidentiality. Even if the school cannot take disciplinary action against the alleged harasser
because the complainant insists on confidentiality, it should pursue other steps to limit the
effects of the alleged harassment and prevent its recurrence. Examples of such steps are
discussed later in this letter.

Meanwhile Josephine Wollington reports in the Register Guard that:

Under federal guidelines, a school should not wait for a criminal investigation to be completed or charges to be filed before starting its own investigation.

Actually, it’s little more complicated. The rules say:

Schools should not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or criminal proceeding to
begin their own Title IX investigation and, if needed, must take immediate steps to protect the
student in the educational setting. For example, a school should not delay conducting its own
investigation or taking steps to protect the complainant because it wants to see whether the
alleged perpetrator will be found guilty of a crime. Any agreement or Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) with a local police department must allow the school to meet its Title IX
obligation to resolve complaints promptly and equitably. Although a school may need to delay
temporarily the fact-finding portion of a Title IX investigation while the police are gathering
evidence, once notified that the police department has completed its gathering of evidence
(not the ultimate outcome of the investigation or the filing of any charges), the school must
promptly resume and complete its fact-finding for the Title IX investigation.

Moreover, nothing in an MOU or the criminal investigation itself should prevent a school from notifying complainants of their Title IX rights and the school’s grievance procedures, or from taking interim steps to ensure the safety and well-being of the complainant and the school community while the law enforcement agency’s fact-gathering is in progress.

5/6/2014: The ODE posts Lane County DA Alex Gardner’s detailed explanation for his decision not to prosecute:

… None of the above would be individually inexplicable, but collectively, and in the absence of additional evidence, they provide an insurmountable barrier to prosecution.

As they say, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up. And there’s still no word from our President on what he and his administration and coaches knew, and when they knew it. The 3/19 Steve Mims story on Dana Altman’s knowledge of the previous sexual assault history of his recruit is here. And Rachel Bachman has a story in the WSJ here, which notes:

Apart from any criminal investigation, universities are obligated under the Title IX federal gender-equity law to investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual assault involving students. According to federal guidelines issued in 2011, universities are required to use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard for deciding responsibility for an alleged sexual assault, lower than the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

And to whom has Gottfredson given responsibility for UO’s Title IX compliance? The famously incompetent AAEO Director Penny Daugherty, who can’t even figure out how to fill out UO’s affirmative action reports on time. UO’s policy on reporting sexual assaults is here.

5/6/2014 update: A commenter points out this 2002 RG story by then reporter Rob Moseley, now a Duck athletics PR flack, on a previous UO sex and athletics scandal:

Byline: ROB MOSELEY The Register-Guard

The University of Oregon athletic department has jumped to the defense of a program that hosts high school recruits after it was featured on a national cable television special about schools that use sex as a tool to lure prospective student-athletes.

The program, called Teamwork, was featured in an episode of HBO’s series “Real Sports” that aired Tuesday. A reporter from the series interviewed two former Teamwork members, both female, and a former member of the UO football team, all of whom verified that sex can indeed be an aspect of recruiting visits.

The former player was Eddie Smith, who is still on scholarship but never played a down of football for the Ducks after leaving the team due to recurring shoulder problems. Smith was quoted as saying one of the attractions for recruits on official 48-hour visits to the university was “girls. Girls, girls, girls.”

Also featured were former Teamwork members Monica Rodman and Lisa Wanjala. Teamwork is a program for UO students run by the athletic department that can be taken for credit as a college course and that involves participating in many aspects of recruiting, from preparing literature on the program to giving presentations to athletes on various aspects of athletics, as well as hosting recruits’ on-campus visits.

Duckweb CRN info here. And you thought FHS 199 was a scandal?

5/6/2014 update: An anonymous correspondent notes that the delay in reporting the alleged rape may have been driven by an effort to inflate UO’s NCAA “Academic Progress Rate”. An APR of 1000 means every player graduated or is on track to graduate. A 900 means that about half the students are graduating or on track. Players that are suspended or expelled for misconduct hurt the APR, while those transfer out of UO in good standing (or go to the pros) count as on track. The NCAA rules are that

For 2014-15, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930.

UO’s most recently reported APR was 918:

So Altman’s Ducks are close to being banned from the NCAA tournament, giving UO a strong incentive to keep these players on the books as “making progress”, or keep the alleged rape quiet while Altman convinced them to transfer and found another university to take them off his hands.

This is how one of the alleged rapists, Brandon Austin, transferred to UO from Providence College, where he had also been accused of sexual assault. It’s still not clear how much Altman and Rob Mullens knew about that before accepting him. Rachel Bachman story here.

It’s also not clear whether UO’s committee on “special athletic admits”, which includes VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson and President Gottfredson’s special assistant Lorraine Davis and a few hand-picked faculty members, was involved in admitting Austin, or what they were told about his history.

Continue reading

Desperate Coach Altman trolls frats, trying to fill empty Matt Court seats

Andy Greif has the details in the Oregonian. Maybe he should try the Urban Farm? The UO student government pays the Ducks about $1.6M for tickets and then gives them to students – but apparently $0 is too high a price for basketball. Altman’s contract pays him a bonus for ticket sales, but not until they hit $4M, and they’re currently running about $2.5M a year.

Phil Knight caught selling shoes, banned from Duck games

11/5/2013: Whoops sorry. It’s a pair of Duck *players* that were selling basketball shoes. Totally unacceptable for players to earn any money from big-time college sports. That’s for the boosters like Knight, and the coaches like Dana Altman – whose $1.8M contract gives him plenty of shoe money:

Rob Mullens on "the industry", plus concussion contest!

1/18/13. Rob Moseley of the RG extracts a little too much honesty from UO’s well incentivized Athletic Director Rob Mullens, talking about the search for a new football coach:

“I think we do things the right way here; I think most people in the industry absolutely understand that,” Mullens said. “I just have confidence that, industry wide, people know what’s going on here, and people are doing it the right way.”

Uh, you’re supposed to take your $500K and pretend this is all about academics and amateurs, Rob.

Then there’s this quick contest. A free UO Matters coffee cup to the first winner, and apologies to Joe Moseley of “Around the O”, from whom I stole the idea:

  1. Research from UO’s Human Physiology program says concussion danger lasts for ____ months?
  2. Coach Dana Altman played Arsalan Kazemi against Oregon State ____ days after a concussion?
  3. ____% of UO athletes that know how to game the athletic department’s concussion test?
  4. UO has $____ million in insurance coverage from United Educators for an NFL type concussion lawsuit?
  5. VPFA Jamie Moffitt is making the athletic department pay $____ for this coverage, while hanging the rest on the academic side?

Dana Altman shows his stuff:

7/22/2011: Apparently it’s his willingness to take on a player with a domestic violence conviction and an urgent need to find a school on the quarter system that will not ask him to red-shirt for a year while working on his anger management issues. Let’s play some basketball!

It’s not like we’ve got a choice – we’ve still got $217 million in Matt Courts bonds to repay.