How much can Willie Taggart roll Rob Mullens for with a few Florida rumors?

The Emerald has the story here about how Taggart is “committed” to Oregon despite the Florida job. I’m no economist, but what’s “committed” mean in dollars?

Duck AD Rob Mullens is famously easy to roll – just ask Mark Helfrich, Dana Altman, or Eric Roedl. I’ll give my last University of Nike coffee cup to whoever provides the best estimate of how much a desperate Mullens will throw on the table this time.

Southern Utahns crush Ducks in body-bag game records release

8/25/2017: While the Ducks are so broke they can’t pay for tutoring their student-athletes, they’ve got no problem paying Southern Utah $500K to show up and lose the football season’s opener next weekend. The contract is below.

10/13/2015: It’s not really a fair contest. While for years the UO administration has used its Public Records Office and their $300K budget to delay, redact, and charge excessive fees to frustrate the intent of Oregon’s public records law, the PRO’s at most other universities are in the business of making public records public. Here’s the latest example.

Monday morning I emailed identical public records requests to UO and Southern Utah University, asking for copies of the contract for the football body-bag game scheduled for September 2017:

Date: October 12, 2015 at 10:14:21 AM PDT

To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Subject: public records request, football game contract with SUU

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for a copy of the football game contract between SUU and UO, for the game to be played in the fall of 2017.

A sample of the sort of contract I am looking for is here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/971644/uomatters/IAC/Football%20contract%20-%20Georgia%20State%20(Final%20Executed%20Version).pdf

I edit a news and opinion blog about the University of Oregon, and I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

I would appreciate it if you could send a pdf copy of this contract to this email address.

Thanks for your assistance

This sort of request typically takes UO a week or two. But SUU responded in less than 24 hours:

From: Jennifer Oberhelman
Date: October 13, 2015 at 9:13:01 AM PDT
To: uomatters@gmail.com
Subject: GRAMA Response

Good morning Mr. Harbaugh,

Attached is the contract between Southern Utah University and University of Oregon for a football game set for 9/2/17 in Eugene, OR requested 10/12 in the form of a GRAMA request.

Please contact me if you have any additional questions.

Thank you.
Jennifer Oberhelman
Exec. Asst. for Administration

“We don’t quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.”

Not bad, though the record is still the 50 minutes it took Georgia State to provide their contract, and Eastern Washington’s General Counsel only took 3 hours.

So Rob Mullens will pay SUU $500K to come to Eugene. Presumably AAD Eric Roedl will get the cash by raising the price he charges ASUO for “free” student tickets  to these body-bag games:

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9/14/2015: Georgia State Panthers whip Oregon Ducks in football public records release

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Duck athletic cartel & Roedl shake down UO students for another 40 large

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Kenny Jacoby has the story in the Daily Emerald, here:

This year, athletics requested another 4-percent increase, even though prices for regular season-ticket holders are decreasing.

“Really the reason behind the 4-percent ask is that we’ve been frozen for so long and we’re trying to just catch up a little bit with the [incidental fee],” [the very well paid AAD Eric Roedl] said.

Dunn said each year Roedl and other athletic department officials “come to the table very frustrated that the conversation is the same.” Students want to pay less, but athletic department officials wants them to pay more, so the end result remains unchanged.

“They don’t think about how any sort of change in these fees or tuition will actually impact the students here on our campus,” Dunn said. “Asking students to pay more for their student athletic tickets in a year where tuition is supposed to go up almost 11 percent is a little ridiculous.”

In the end ASUO gave them only $10K, so now Roedl is threatening to take away the students tickets – or go directly to the TFAB, for a new student fee devoted solely to the athletic department.

Fans lose interest, Dana Altman can’t match Mac Court attendance from 1977

Steve Mims has the news in the RG here:

Oregon drew an average of 7,467 fans last year, but that number will rise to 9,895 this season after another full house of 12,364 shows up for the home finale. That is the largest average attendance since 9,984 watched at McArthur Court in 1977-78.

In those 40 years UO enrollment has increased from 16,000 to 24,000, the Lane county population has increased from 250,000 to 370,000, and UO went heavily into debt to replace Mac Court with a huge gaudy new arena that the fans hate. The Ducks have had to cut ticket prices and – horror of horrors – give away tickets to faculty and staff even to get to this attendance number. See “Price elasticity remains top threat to Duck Athletics, followed by the NCAA and professors“. Meanwhile AAD Eric Roedl tried to squeeze our students for another 4% increase in the $1.8M they pay for for “free” tickets, but ASUO just told him no.

UO’s HLGR lawyers make bank off Bowl of Ducks insurance policy

Jack Moran has the story in the RG here:

The University of Oregon has accepted a $242,000 settlement deal to end a legal dispute over bonuses the UO paid to then-head football coach Chip Kelly and his staff for the 2012-13 season.

“The university is glad we were able to reach a settlement agreement and now we are looking forward to the upcoming season,” UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said.

The university had paid a nearly $490,000 premium for an insurance policy the UO says it thought would cover all incentive bonuses Kelly and his assistants earned in the 2012-13 season.

After the highly successful season, the UO paid out bonuses totaling nearly $688,000 and sought reimbursement under its policy. The insurer refused.

Financially, it appears the university would have been better off not buying the insurance at all, as the lawsuit settlement doesn’t even cover the cost of the premium the UO paid. …

Duck Associate Athletic Director Eric Roedl, who agreed to this $490,000 contract without understanding it, has been fired:

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Just kidding, Rob Mullens gave him another raise:

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So how much did HLGR bill UO for settling this case for 50¢ on the dollar? I don’t know, but judging by the long docket below, they probably did OK at ~$300 per. Here’s hoping PURMIT picked up their tab:

Case details

Court: ord
Docket #: 6:15-cv-00260
Case Name: University of Oregon v. Drummer et al
PACER case #: 120541
Date filed: 2015-02-13
Assigned to: Judge Ann L. Aiken
Case Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Insurance Contract
Nature of Suit: 110 Insurance
Jury Demand: Both
Jurisdiction: Diversity

Parties

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Harbaugh brings in $174M in Nike money for university

Sports Illustrated has the details on the ~$11M a year deal here.

Meanwhile the Ducks get only $600K a year from Nike, plus free shoes and clothes for UO administrators, of course. Frances Dyke renewed this contract in 2009, and it expires November 30, 2017. This deal is so bad.

Unfortunately the Nike contract renegotiation will likely be in the hands of the Duck’s feckless – but well paid – Associate AD for Finance Eric Roedl:

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Roedl talks tough to UO students when it’s time to squeeze them for more football ticket money. But, according to the legal briefs filed over his botched attempt to buy insurance from Lloyds of London for Duck football coach bonuses, it’s not clear Roedl knows how to read a contract, much less write one:

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OK, the truth is that Cousin Jim brought in the $174M for Michigan, not me.  But my muckraking here at UO did play a small part in setting up the AD’s $100M reserve fund for the $235M arena bonds – along with work by John Chalmers (Finance) and Dennis Howard (Marketing) and the Senate Budget Committee. And my well-researched complaint to the state auditors did force VPFA Jamie Moffitt to make a modest $455K a year increase in the AD’s overhead rate. Frohnmayer and Bellotti had set up a sweetheart deal for the jocks, the auditors decided it violated state rules after the DOJ made Jamie Moffitt and Rob Mullens give up the secret MOU they’d had been hiding from the Senate IAC.

Eric Roedl’s Bowl of Ducks case goes to mediation, and he gets another raise

3/7/2016:  And another raise. Mediation starts April 27, meanwhile the legal bills pile up. All paid from the academic budget, of course.

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2/07/2016: What’s it about this time? Duck bowl games.

Back in 2012 Duck Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration Eric Roedl got a call from some insurance salesman, and ended up buying a policy that would pay the Duck football coaches in the event their unpaid student-athletes won enough bowl games to trigger the lucrative bonus clauses in the coaches’ contracts. These bonuses topped out at about $1M. UO paid Lloyd’s of London $489,940 for the policy.

Unfortunately, it seems that Roedl didn’t read the fine print on the contract. Hey, it’s not like he was spending his own money, as Milton Friedman would have put it. It turns out Lloyd’s was only obligated to pay the coaches if the Ducks won the BCS. If they topped out at some intermediate lesser bowl, then the bonuses were UO’s problem. Which, of course, is what happened, meaning UO was out $687,965.74 in bonuses, *and* the $489,940 insurance premium. Clever salesman.

So UO promptly sued Roedl for spending UO money without exercising due diligence.

Just kidding. Roedl works for the Ducks. How bad would that look? Instead UO sued the insurance salesman. And, from the looks of the lengthy docket here, I’m guessing UO’s HLGR lawyers are doing pretty well off this.

Then UO gave Roedl a raise. Then another raise. He’s now at $225K – up $55K from his starting salary three years before, and up $81K from what Jamie Moffitt was getting in 2010 to do the same job:

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So it’s win, win, win for Roedl, Lloyds, and HLGR. Not so good for UO, of course. Originally HLGR wanted to take this case to a jury, but that hasn’t been working out too well for them lately, and so now the plan is to try for mediation:

MINUTES of Proceedings: Status Conference. Parties are to schedule mediation. All court deadlines are stayed pending the completion of mediation. Telephone Status Conference is set for 4/27/2016 at 09:00AM by telephone before Chief Judge Ann L. Aiken. Court will send call-in instructions prior to the call. C. Robert Steringer present as counsel for plaintiff. John E. Zehnder, Jr. present as counsel for defendants. James T. McDermott and Gabriel Weaver for Third Party Defendants. Court Reporter: Kristi Anderson. Chief Judge Ann L. Aiken presiding. (rh) (Entered: 12/15/2015)

Ducks squeeze students on mandatory ticket fees as football demand falls

12/19/2015 update: 

John Solomon has the latest college football data, on CBSsports. Basketball demand is even lower, in part due to a secular trend, in part because many fans think Knight Arena is a soulless big box, and in part because some fans can’t stomach the sight of Dana Altman after how he handled the rape allegations.

So how are the Ducks going to pay for the admins Alamo Bowl game junkets, and the jock bosses bloated bonuses?

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They’ll squeeze our UO students. Since regular fans won’t pay, AD Rob Mullens and AAD Eric Roedl are doing everything they can to extract more money from the ASUO student government, as explained below.

8/3/2015 update: Duck athletics uses monopoly power to discriminate against students

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Judge Aiken issues order in Duck / Chip Kelly bonus insurance dispute

11/16/2015: Full docket here, full opinion here. I have no idea what it means, except that UO’s lawyers at Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick are going to get many more billable hours out of us before this ends:

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2/17/2015: UO sues over Chip Kelly’s bonus insurance policy

The bonuses Rob Mullens and Dana Altman got after letting the accused basketball rapists play in the NCAA tournament are still the big scandal, but it turns out there’s another one. No, not the $20K in NCAA fines that Chip skipped town on:

Mike Tokito has the new story in the Oregonian, here. The docket is here, courtesy of RecaptheLaw.

The University of Oregon is suing a risk management company to recoup $688,000 it paid in bonuses to football coach Chip Kelly and his staff for the 2012-13 season.

University officials believed the bonuses would be covered by an insurance policy the school purchased, but they were not.

The suit names the Illinois-based Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Service and its agent, Monica Drummer, as defendants.

According to the suit, Oregon purchased a Lloyds of London insurance policy through Arthur Gallagher in September 2012. The policy, for which the school paid a $489,940 premium, was supposed to cover bonuses, written into the contracts of Kelly and his staff, that were based on how the Ducks fared during the 2012-13 season. …

Extract from UO’s claim, full doc here:

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This seems like an extremely expensive policy – even if it had covered what Roedl thought it covered. But hey, why not take it to court and pay HLGR some more money. Out of the academic budget, I’m guessing:

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Stump is well known for his asbestos work:

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DESAADFA Eric Roedl’s Bowl of Ducks case to go to jury Feb 2016

What’s it about this time? Duck bowl games.

In a nutshell, Duck Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration Eric Roedl – let’s just call him the DESAADFA – got hit up by some insurance salesman for a policy that would pay the Duck football coaches in the event their unpaid student-athletes won enough bowl games to trigger the lucrative bonus clauses in the coaches’ contracts:

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These bonuses topped out at about $1M. Eric Roedl paid Lloyd’s of London $489,940 for the policy:

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Unfortunately it seems that our DESAADFA had not read the fine print on the contract. Hey, it’s not like he was spending his own money, as Milton Friedman would have put it.

It turns out Lloyd’s was only obligated to pay the coaches if the Ducks won the BCS. If they topped out at some intermediate lesser rank, then the bonuses were UO’s problem – not a dollar from those pommie bastards at Lloyd’s.

Which, of course, is what happened:

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So now UO is out the $687,965.74 in bonuses, *and* the $489,940 for the useless insurance.

So the UO General Counsel’s Office promptly sued the Athletic Department’s Eric Roedl, for not reading the contract.

Just kidding. Roedl works for the Ducks. How bad would that look? Instead we sued the insurance brokers. HLGR is now collecting its usual ~$300 an hour. As for Duck Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration Eric Roedl?

He got a raise:

2014:

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2012:

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And, from the looks of the lengthy PACER docket available free from RECAP here, I’m guessing HLGR ain’t doing too badly on this deal either, when it comes to billable hours.

From what I can tell this is Harrang et al’s last unfinished business for UO, unless they get the contract to defend UO and former interim GC Doug Park in state court over the Bowl of Dicks case they lost in federal court. Which would seem unlikely.

Harrang has already had to change lawyers on this once, after Joshua Stump and a bunch of other attorneys left HLGR for Buckley:

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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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Civic Stadium’s replacement, PK Park, will divert money from UO academics until 2021

Today’s devastating Civic Stadium fire prompted me to look at the agreements between UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold, UO Presidents Frohnmayer and Lariviere, and Duck Athletic Directors Bellotti and Mullens for the UO Foundation guaranteed loans that financed PK Park, which became the Eugene Emerald’s replacement field.

One interesting clause shows that UO is using general unrestricted gifts to the UO Foundation – i.e. gift money that could be used for academic purposes – to subsidize the Duck Athletic Fund. Furthermore, the agreement specifies that UO’s academic side can’t reduce those athletic subsidies until the PK Park balloon loan is repaid, in 2021.

The full MOUs – which UO kept secret until I made a public records petition to the Oregon DOJ – are here:

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I’ve made a public records request for the accounting records:

Date: June 29, 2015 at 11:19:25 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Eric Roedl <roedl@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for BANNER accounting statements showing how much in UO Foundation general unrestricted gift funds and gifts designated to general operations (as distinct from Duck Athletic Fund or other contributions specifically earmarked by the donors for athletic purposes) have been allocated to the UO Athletic Department, for each of the fiscal years from 2008 to 2015.

I attach a copy of the PK Park loan MOU’s for 2009 and 2011, which note the existence of these allocations.

I’m ccing Duck AAD Eric Roedl, as he should be able to easily produce these records.

Schlegel, Lubash, Gutierrez to negotiate Duck ticket prices with VP Robin Holmes

VP for Student Life Robin Holmes got all-expense-paid junkets to the national championship games for herself and spouse, so she’s in no position to object to the efforts of the ASUO student government leadership to get Athletic Director Rob Mullens and AAD Eric Roedl to back off their threat to cut the student football ticket allotment, unless ASUO student government coughs up 3% more cash to pay for their latest raises:

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On the other hand she’s got hers, so why would she rock the Duck boat? Here’s the latest, from UO undergrad Andrew Lubash, who has a Change.org petition going to protest:

Apr 16, 2015 — Thank you so much for signing this petition and getting your voice heard! However, the work isn’t done.

We’ve reached over 400 students in just 1 day, but we need more visibility! Your current ASUO President (Beatriz) and President-elect (Helena) and I are meeting with VP of Student Life Robin Holmes tomorrow morning at 9am to discuss the negotiations. It would be great if we had over 1,000 signatures by the time of that meeting to show her how upset students are about this. Here are some actions steps that you can take that would help me protect your access to subsidized student football tickets!

(1) Please SHARE the link to this petition as your Facebook status and in any groups you are associated with on campus. Urge your friends to sign and share as well, emphasizing the importance of this issue to students:

https://www.change.org/p/eric-roedl-stop-cutting-subsidized-student-football-tickets/u/new)

(2) The Daily Emerald just posted an article about our work! We are making a difference already! Stay up to date and read/share this article too:

http://www.dailyemerald.com/2015/04/16/acfc-chair-andrew-lubash-drafts-petition-about-student-ticket-allotment/

(3) If you are interested in volunteering at all or getting more involved (such as petitioning, building awareness, etc.) and want to help me out. Please send me an email at lubash@uoregon.edu and we will set up a committee to figure out next steps. WE WILL NOT STOP until we protect every single ticket.

Thank you again! Go Ducks!

Andrew Lubash
ASUO Senate Seat 7: Athletics & Contracts Finance Committee

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UO Student Senate rejects Ducks’ attempt to raise mandatory ticket fee

2/21/2015 update: That’s the vote from today’s ASUO meeting.

Duck Athletic Director  Rob Mullens is now in the difficult position of having to choose between:

a) taking the same $1.6M as last year and being revealed as the sort of person who would try and bluff our students for money, or

b) cutting the ticket allotment and being revealed as the sort of person who would take revenge on the students over $50K, after getting a $250K raise himself.

Presumably he’ll figure out some way to take the offered 0% increase and try and save face. My guess is this will involve a donation from some Duck booster who suddenly finds it in his heart to give a little to UO students.

By rejecting the Duck try for a 10% increase, our students are leading the way to the March 4th meeting of the full UO Senate, which will consider legislation to hold the Athletic Department to its 2004 promise to start making payments to UO’s academic side for academic scholarships. The student vote is a hopeful sign that maybe UO can finally figure out how to balance the interests of the Duck’s big-time sports enterprise and its well paid coaches and AD’s with those of UO’s cash-strapped academic side.

2/21/2015 update: Meanwhile, the University of Akron is *paying* its students to go to basketball games, in an effort to build some buzz for TV. And in cash – not just Uncle Phil bobbleheads.

Ironically, as Fox Sports points out, if Akron were to give the *players* $5 for showing up for each game, they would swiftly bring down the wrath of UO’s Jim O’Fallon and his NCAA infractions committee.

2/20/2015: Lubash and ASUO Student Senators call out Eric Roedl out on his ticket threat

Letter to the Daily Emerald, written by UO undergrad and Truman Scholar Andrew Lubash, and signed by 13 other Senators and 3 ACFC members, here:

… Out of the $15 million ASUO budget, students spend $1,695,348 paying for the football and men’s basketball ticket lottery. This comes down to about $71 per year that students pay through their mandatory fees for the chance to go to our athletic events. We, the undersigned, think this is too high. …

However, when the ASUO began negotiating with the Athletics Department this year, we were surprised to find out that not only was there absolutely no chance they were going to give us more tickets, they were requesting $169,000 more from students than last year, for the same number of tickets. A 10% increase!

We were infuriated.

Now, they say that they will likely begin cutting student football tickets if we don’t give them at least a 3% increase (~$50,000). Their actions are greedy and deplorable. They’re acting like a business focused solely on profit, when they should be working towards supporting the academic side of this university. Why isn’t there an expectation on our campus that athletics give back to students? Students aren’t even guaranteed a ticket.

… After an article came out in the register Guard saying that the Athletic Director would fundraise millions in order to pay for his own salary increases ($700,000/year) and those of other Athletic department staff, we had had enough. We find it fundamentally unfair that the Athletic Department can find it within their hearts to fundraise for themselves, yet they resort to threatening to cut student tickets if the ASUO does not give them their requested increase. Is it actually that hard for them to raise $50,000 on top of the millions they already plan to raise? We don’t think so.

… At some point, someone needs to stand up and shine a light on the enormous difference that exists between what the Athletic Department deems as “necessary” and what students deem as excessive. Many of us struggle to afford our education as it is. We should not stand for our own Athletic Department to treat us as another lucrative source of funds to line their own pockets with. It’s time for them to start giving back and support students of all financial backgrounds.
We don’t understand how the ASUO, in good conscience, could increase the Athletic Department’s budget $1 unless we guarantee that students get more football ticket. If more tickets is not an option, we should not agree to charge students more for the same amount of tickets.

[Signed by 17 Student Senators, etc.]

2/19/2015 update: Duck’s Eric Roedl threatens to cut student tickets unless they pay 10% more:

Actually, our students have already talked him down to a 3% increase, and Roedl’s latest threat seems pretty unlikely, given that Scott Coltrane just told the UO Board that athletics would have no problem coming up with millions to pay for raises for Helfrich and Mullens.

But Roedl’s giving it a half-hearted effort anyway. Gotta try and cover his own $42K raise, I suppose:

From: Eric Roedl
Date:02/19/2015 4:05 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: [student name redacted]
Cc: Laura Jorgensen
Subject: Student Seating Options

[Student name redacted]

Attached ticket calculator contains two options:

1. Represents a 3% increase to I-Fee as discussed with no impact to student seat allocation.

2. Represents a 0% increase to I-Fee. Under this model we would likely [emphasis added] reduce the number of football seats per Pac 12 Game (Utah, Wash. St., Cal, USC, Oregon St.) by 300. We would then increase the number of Pac-12 Season Student Season Ticket Plans available for student purchase (at a price of $300 per package) by 300.

Please review and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts prior to submitting.

Thanks, Eric

Spreadsheet here.

2/10/2015 10:30 update: AAD Eric Roedl fails to talk students into paying more

The committee can’t agree, so the default recommendation of $0 goes to the ASUO Senate, for a Feb 24. vote. That’s a $1.6M cut from last year. Rob Mullens has two weeks to raise the money from donors, twist enough arms in the student senate to get a bailout, or convince Scott Coltrane to stick to the threat of a cut in tickets if the students don’t pay up.

The compromise plan should be to switch to a voluntary athletics fee. Roedl hates that idea because he wants to hide the true cost of “free” tickets from the students.

8:00 AM Tuesday, Now, in the EMU Rouge River room.

Lubash is giving Roedl a brutal beating. Roedel is trying to cram down a mandatory student fee increase, the day after the AD announced it had the funds to give $2M in raises to the coach and athletic director.

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My guess is Roedl bails and leaves the money on the table, but who knows? Students will have to play hardball, and he’s spewing doubt and confusion.

Student asks what would happen if they cut the IFee? Roedl won’t say.

Lubash: You say you can raise money to pay for coach’s raises. Why not go out to you donors and ask for money to pay for cuts in student ticket prices.

Hansen: Notes that the AD estimate for ticket values assumes demand curves don’t slope down. Ben assigns failing grade.

Schlegel: Never a campaign among donors to get donations for student tickets? Roedl: Not to my knowledge.

I gotta go, sorry no more live-blog.

3:30 PM update: UO Board approves fat raises for Helfrich, Mullens. Ducks want more student cash.

Diane Dietz has the story, here.

It’s tough listening to Coltrane push this on the Board: “The cost of these contracts is borne entirely by athletics”. Sure, if you ignore the millions in hidden subsidies from student tuition money.

The brown-nosing at this meeting is pretty deep. The trustees did have some tough questions about the Falling Sky contract to sell beer to the students at the new EMU though.

2/9/2015 update: That’s what’s happening today, in 15 minutes, at the Board’s EAC meeting. Angela Wilhems is still hiding the contracts, but it looks like Mullens will get a $250k raise to $700K, while Helfrich will go from $1.5M (if I remember right) to ~$3.5M. Plus a plethora of bonuses, of course.

Well this certainly explains why Mullens has been trying to get more money out of the UO students. More on that below and here.

2/9/2015: With Matt Court attendance < 50%, Mullens wants to raise student fee

According to this new report from the OC Register’s Ryan Kartje, Oregon’s basketball attendance is down 24% from last year. Word is the student section was half empty tonight.

But apparently that’s not going to keep Duck Athletic Director Rob Mullens and his AAD Eric Roedl from trying to raise the mandatory fee they charge UO students for tickets. Kaylee Tornay has the report in the Daily Emerald, here:

The Feb. 6 budget hearing between the athletics department and the Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee, which determine annually the amount and price for student ticket distribution for football and men’s basketball games, led to yet another stalemate in reaching an agreement. The ACFC approved a proposal of an 18.9 percent decrease to the Athletics Department’s current ASUO budget. Later, this decision was overturned due to faulty voting processes, according to ACFC Chair Andrew Lubash.

The budget hearing was the second held this year to work out how much it will cost students next year, regardless of whether they attend athletic events or not, to receive the same amount of tickets to athletic events that they received in the 2014-2015 school year. Students pay for 5,448 tickets per regular season football game and 1,854 per basketball game. These are distributed via a lottery system (when you log onto goducks.com and watch the O spin for an hour hoping to get a ticket) that is funded by a percentage of the Incidental Fee, which each student pays every enrolled term.

This year the student body as a whole paid the Athletics Department $1,695,348 for the ticket lotteries for football and men’s basketball. The Athletics Department opened negotiations this fall requesting a 10 percent increase to provide the same amount of tickets for the 2015-2016 year. This would mean an additional $169,535 and would bring next year’s total to $1,864,883.

The ACFC met with Athletics on Jan. 16 and negotiated the request to a possible 3 percent increase rather than 10 percent. That would mean students would pay $50,860 more than they did this year. However, no official agreement was reached, and the ACFC discussed the athletics budget again in a meeting on Jan. 30. Ronnie Grenier-Hemphill, the chief liaison between the Athletics Department and ACFC, informed the Committee that Eric Roedl, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director of Finance, had brought up the possibility of having to cut the amount of tickets, if anything less than the 3 percent increase were approved.

The Emerald followed up with Roedl on the matter and he delivered the following comment:

“Maybe we’d adjust the ticket allotment in some ways to more accurately reflect the value and the money that’s being transacted…we’d continue to have dialogue to find something that works for everybody.” Roedl said.

Funny, I don’t remember anything about falling attendance in Roedl’s powerpoint, when he was hitting up the students for a 10% increase.

If the students do pay this, where will the money go? To people like AD for Finance Eric Roedl, who’s already managed to scrape up the funds to give himself a $42K raise, to $212K, in just two years:

2014:

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.14.23 AM

2012:

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UO charges Kelly 0% interest, forgives fine and legal costs

8/26/2013: A correspondent notes that if UO faculty leave early (i.e. take a sabbatical and then don’t come back) we also have to repay a year’s salary. Link here. Of course we don’t get 3.5 years to do it, and we have to repay the cost of our benefits too. 

8/24/2013: Ken Goe has the story in the Oregonian:

When Kelly jumped to the Philadelphia Eagles last winter he was contractually obligated to pay a $3.5 million buyout to the school. 

But Kelly has until June of 2016 to pay up, and is being charged no interest. 

According to documents released by the school in response to a public records request by UO economics professor William Harbaugh, Kelly is paying $85,365.85 every month until the summer of 2016. 

A couple things jump out. The $3.5 million figure is hard to get your hands around. When it’s cut into 41 monthly, $85,000 chunks it becomes easier to understand just how staggeringly well the former UO coach was being paid. According to a survey published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the average salary for a full professor at the University of Oregon for the 2012-13 academic year was $110,900. [Actually Kelly was paid about $300K a month, his total buyout is about 1 year of salary.] 

Now, imagine how sweet it is for Kelly that he isn’t required to pay any interest during his three-and-half year payment schedule. 

The U.S. Department of Education parent loans I took out for my daughter’s four years at Oregon total less than one of Kelly’s monthly repayments. I pay a healthy interest rate. I’ll be paying it for a long time. …

Rates on loans to students average 5.6%. And if students cannot pay, UO or the lender turns the debts over to bill collectors. But UO Associate Athletic Director for finance Eric Roedl has made no effort at all to recover the $20K NCAA fine UO had to pay for Kelly’s infractions:

And of course not only did UO pay all the $200k+ legal costs of the Willie Lyles infractions, Randy Geller actually made the academic side pay most of them – another free-ride for the jocks. Speaking of which, I wonder how much of Kelly’s monthly $85K repayments go to the academic budget?