UO’s Jim O’Fallon and UConn’s Nate Miles

3/8/2013: Back in 2009 the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which includes UO’s Faculty Athletics representative and former Knight law professor Jim O’Fallon, ruled that UConn had paid impermissible benefits to a basketball player, Nate Miles:

NCAA enforcer Jim O’Fallon NCAA player Nate Miles

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has penalized the University of Connecticut for violations in its men’s basketball program…. As stated in the committee’s public infractions report, this case centers on the “extraordinary steps” taken by the university to recruit a top prospective student-athlete to its men’s basketball program. … Specifically, the booster provided the prospect with impermissible inducements, including the payment of at least a portion of the expenses for the young man’s foot surgery; … The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include … James O’Fallon, law professor and faculty athletics representative for University of Oregon. 

From the official report:

What’s the problem? Well, the federal health privacy law HIPAA prevents the release of medical records, including billing records, without the patient’s consent. According to CBS, the NCAA may have obtained the records illegally, and then O’Fallon’s committee used the illegally obtained records to punish UConn:

Miles told CBSSports.com he authorized neither the Tampa Bone and Joint Center nor the NCAA to discuss his medical condition. 

“I didn’t authorize anybody,” he said. 

“I never told anybody to share anything,” Miles said in a later interview. “I just couldn’t believe they did. I thought they couldn’t. I lost everything.”

Yes, we wouldn’t want to let universities or their boosters pay for foot surgery – let that go unchecked and it could take a serious cut out of the NCAA’s take. In 2011, the NYT reported on what eventually became of Miles:

The former University of Connecticut basketball recruit Nate Miles is effectively homeless. He moves from friend’s couch to friend’s couch, still recovering from a violent assault that left him with a stab wound and a punctured lung and a monthlong stay in the hospital. 

O’Fallon, on the other hand, is doing quite well in his 24th year as FAR without faculty review, pulling down $93K and free junkets to the games, with a sweet half time job in President Gottfredson’s office. And PERS, and a law school job to fall back on. Which is nice:

Thanks to http://brewonsouthu.wordpress.com/ for the CBS link.

Bowl junkets and an independent UO Board

3/8/13: Thanks to the ever curious Nathan Tublitz, here’s the list of UO employees who got free Rose Bowl tickets in 2012. 635 total tickets. (It took 3 months for Dave Hubin’s public records office to release the records.) Street price was about $1700 a pop for last year, according to these market analysts. Let’s say $1500 for the 2012 UO game. (But see the comments for a discussion.) So, about $1,000,000 total opportunity cost, or enough to give the faculty a 1% raise. And this doesn’t count the travel cost giveaways – data on that is coming. This sort of thing sure buys our athletic department a lot of friends – and if they give them out to the right UO administrators, a lot of hidden subsidies from the academic side.

Just imagine what’s going to happen when they start giving these junkets to the new UO Board members. Full file here. A snippet:

A few more of our duck nomenklatura:
And check the “junkets” tab below for more on this popular and expensive topic.

Some people would be ashamed …

to spend their time enforcing the NCAA’s rules against giving the athletes “impermissible benefits”, given all the cash they bring in for the cartel, coaches and athletics directors. Other people have no shame, like UO’s “Faculty Athletics Representative” Jim O’Fallon:

NCAA enforcer Jim O’Fallon NCAA player, kicked off team for selling music

O’Fallon helped write this infractions report penalizing USM for, among other things, letting a coach pay half the cost of a day of skin-diving for his tennis players:

Another NCAA rule is even more egregious: players can’t sell anything with their likeness attached to it. Not even their own music on iTunes, for 99 cents a song. Why? Because the NCAA *owns* its players – including the gentleman on the right, above. 2/18/2013.

Mullens must now pay all of "The Cleaner’s" fees

2/27/13: The academic side is finally off the hook for the 50% we’d been covering out of tuition money.

We’ve written a fair amount on UO General Counsel Randy Geller charging the academic side half the cost of “The Cleaner” Mike Glazier’s work on the Chip Kelly / Willie Lyles recruiting infraction.

Here are the latest accounting statements. It takes 5 minutes to run these off – but it took a month to get them from Dave Hubin’s public records office. Note the date in the corner: 11-Feb-2013. Hubin sat on them for 15 days after they were ready. Full doc dump here.

And check the text in the lower left. The athletics department only paid half of the cost of Chip Kelly’s lawyer through November 2012. The academic side paid the other $75,000 or so. But for the December invoice, it looks like athletics paid it all.

Why the change? Because I raised a stink. Not as big a deal as the $555K a year in overhead payments I finally got Jamie Moffitt to admit they owed us, but every little bit helps. Next let’s go after the $1.83M in Jock Box subsidies and the second mortgage on Mac Court that Frohnmayer and Kilkenny stuck us with, for $467K a year. Only 26 more years of payments.

Of course UO “Faculty Athletics Representative” and athletic department shill Jim O’Fallon still refuses to share any information about the infractions settlement efforts with the UO Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. A violation of UO Senate rules, and our shared governance constitution and another example of the loss of institutional control by UO over its athletic department. Hubin wants $386.62 before he’ll show those docs:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “any and all documents received by the university — the president’s office, the athletic director’s office, the athletic department’s compliance office — from the NCAA regarding a “Notice of Allegations” from Dec. 21, 2012-Jan. 19, 2012. This would include the actual “Notice of Allegations” and any accompanying documents, in any form, as well as emails, memos, letters, notes regarding the same” on 01/23/2013, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request.  By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $386.62. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure.  Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

Glazier through Nov:

Through Dec:

Athletics and FAR hid info from faculty oversight committee

That’s the latest from the sham course scandal at UNC. The NCAA Infractions Committee decided it was an academic scandal, not an athletics one, and washed their hands of it. So did an investigation opened at request of the UNC president, and overseen by the Baker Tilly accounting firm.

But now the faculty on the UNC Faculty Committee on Athletics, who were kept out of the loop by the athletic department and their NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, are fighting back to clear their names. The firm that ran the investigation has already retracted one key claim – that the faculty committee knew of, and therefore implicitly approved of, the sham courses:

The only officials Baker Tilly has found who knew about the fraudulent classes, other than the department head and his assistant, were from the athletic department and the faculty representative to the NCAA.

“Sort of offline,” these athletic department officials “asked a question” – apparently so meekly that no faculty member remembers it.

To expose the fake classes, surely these athletic department officials sent an email to the chairman of the Faculty Committee on Athletics? Or wrote a memo to the chancellor? No such paper trail exists. Because there’s little evidence a serious warning was sounded.

Here at UO, our Faculty Athletics Representative is former law professor Jim O’Fallon. He has made it very clear he answers only to the UO President, and not to UO’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee or the faculty. Nine years now have passed since the UO Task Force on athletic reforms recommended a review for Jim. Still hasn’t happened. FWIW, O’Fallon’s name is on the NCAA’s UNC report. 2/2/2013.

NCAA and O’Fallon find "lack of institutional control"

The University of Oregon’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, James (Jim) O’Fallon, talks about the violations in the New York Times:

Taken as whole, said O’Fallon, they presented a “lack of institutional control.” … The amount of money was not so much an issue as was the fact that there appeared to be a consistent pattern, he said, adding, “These are very serious violations.”

Oh wait, that’s from 1993, and he’s talking about a few players getting free meals and a loan at UW. Never mind.

Here at UO it’s 2013, almost two years since Chip Kelly paid Willie Lyles $25,000 to recruit Seastrunk et al. and then cheated him out of another $25,000. Kelly’s gone, and Lyles is working for minimum wage in a Houston grocery store. But Jim O’Fallon is still UO’s NCAA FAR, still has never been reviewed by the faculty, and still will not explain the infractions or the penalty negotiations with the NCAA to the UO Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. The charge of which says:

As part of its function and in order to carry out its governance function, the IAC shall be consulted by: … 3. The faculty athletics representative about all ongoing investigations and major violations.

Sure sounds like “loss of institutional control” to me, Jim.

NCAA nails UO for tweeting infractions

Not a joke:

The tweets are secondary infractions – probably no penalty. Next Jim O’Fallon’s NCAA Infractions Committee will go after schools for giving their players textbooks. Oh, wait – he’s already done that. What a silly thing for a former Harvard Law fellow, noted first amendment scholar, and self-styled Frank Nash Professor of Law, Emeritus to spend his time on. But it does distract people from the NCAA’s real corruption – and presumably he has no trouble getting someone to pay for his Fiesta Bowl tickets.

Coach sues NCAA for libel over infractions report. O’Fallon to sue UO Matters next?

12/4/2012: It takes a heavy hand to enforce the NCAA’s rules against letting college football players get any of the fruits of their labor. UO’s Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon sits on the NCAA Infractions Committee that wields the lash – and he was lucky he recused himself from this particular case. The assistant coach they went after is now fighting back with a defamation lawsuit that seems likely to expose some of that committee’s sleazier practices. Joe Nocera has the story in the NYT.

This post (or perhaps these photos) have provoked a response from a noted UO law professor. I asked him about rumored threats of a defamation lawsuit from him, and got this:

Not sure what the rumor says. I have commented to some people that I am tired of your defamatory remarks and wondered how you would respond if confronted by the need to defend a lawsuit. Defamation claims can extend to any publication. …

James M. O’Fallon
Frank Nash Professor of Law, Emeritus
Faculty Athletics Representative
University of Oregon

A bit later:

[ ] Please remove all references to me from the UO Matters website. JMO

James M. O’Fallon
Frank Nash Professor of Law, Emeritus
Faculty Athletics Representative
University of Oregon
School of Law
Phone 541.346.3830

Before he started shilling for the NCAA O’Fallon’s area of expertise was apparently the First Amendment. Of course. So why should I remove your name from a public forum discussing matters of public importance, Professor O’Fallon?

I’ll let you figure that out.

James M. O’Fallon
Frank Nash Professor of Law, Emeritus
Faculty Athletics Representative
University of Oregon
School of Law
Phone 541.346.3830

Any ideas, readers?

The NCAA *owns* its players

NCAA player Jim O’Fallon

Not only does the NCAA prevent college players from getting paid for their labor or from use of their sports images even after they leave college, and keep them from hiring agents to represent their interests, it even prevents them from borrowing against their own future earnings:

“Loans to a student-athlete based on his or her potential future earnings as a pro athlete are not allowed by the NCAA, except to pay for disability insurance on those future earnings.”

How can this be legal in a free country? Does anyone believe the NCAA and its Committee on Infractions could get away with this if the revenue sports players were from rich white families with political connections?

Ask UO law professor emeritus James O’Fallon, to the right. UO pays him $90,000 a year plus expenses to enforce the NCAA’s rules. The Infractions Committee he sits on will soon be judging the case involving the gentleman on the left. Dan Wetzel story here. 9/7/2012.

Geller opens Glazier’s kimono on UO NCAA violations

8/31/2012. KATU News requested the documents in May, Dan Tilkin and John Tierney have the story. Jake Zivin of KEZI also gives a peek. It’s another of UO General Counsel Randy Geller’s hack jobs, not much meat:

The full dump is here. I’d be very surprised if all Randy’s redactions are legal under Oregon’s public records law. Yes, there’s an attorney-client exemption, but it’s very specific. Not that I know anything about the Oregon DOJ’s Public Records manual.

Geller’s refusal to consider fee-waivers for public records requests on UO’s contracts with law firms helping UO with its NCAA compliance issues was the subject of a post last week. UO President Gottfredson told him to stop that, fix the policy, and give me the contracts. A week later, still no documents from Geller. The Oregon DOJ policy is to fill the request in a week, something simple like this typically takes a few days. So a few nights back I petitioned Lane County DA Alex Gardner’s office. Believe me, they’ve got better things to do with their time than babysit Randy and his crew. For that matter Alex Gardner’s Deputy was not too happy with me for pushing it either.

But that’s what it takes to get Geller to obey the public records law. It would have taken 3 minutes to just email these contracts when I made the request – and after 2 weeks, 2 days, and who knows how much wasted staff time here they are.

They don’t even describe the scope of the work, or limit the amount of billing. Did Geller follow OUS procurement OAR’s when making these deals with Glazier and BSK? How much is the academic side on the hook for this time? Who knows. Reporters are still working on getting the much more revealing Glazier invoices:

Faculty call for outside review of athletics

at UNC. Their local paper has the details. Some of the issues described in the story – e.g. a special committee to admit athletes that don’t meet regular academic standards or have criminal backgrounds – are also going on at UO.

Bob Berdahl and Rob Mullens have hired Mike Glazier of the BSK law firm to do an NCAA compliance review for Oregon, but it’s all secret. UO has been ignoring one reporter’s public records request for 7 weeks now – shades of Melinda Grier and Mike Bellotti. (Update: they’ve now revised to log to show the request as withdrawn – I wonder why? There are a plethora of other athletic info requests stalled because of the fees Hubin and Berdahl have imposed.)

Jim O’Fallon and Randy Geller won’t even share the contract with the Senate Intercollegiate Athletic Committee they sit on. Because that’s the lesson they took from Penn State – hide shit from the public? 7/27/2012.

Berdahl to IAC: stop asking hard questions

3/19/2012: Interim President Bob Berdahl thinks the UO Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee is asking too many hard questions about athletics, and he is going to rewrite the committee’s charge to make it easier for the athletic department to have their way with UO.

From what I can tell this is the first time in UO history a president has gone after a Senate committee like this. In addition, the administration now appears to be attempting to repudiate the 2004 Athletics Task force report, a 3 year joint effort of the UO administration, the athletic department and Senate that produced this 12 point blueprint for athletics reform at UO. This was commissioned by then President Dave Frohnmayer and signed off on by everyone from Jim Earl to Dan Williams to Bill Moos.

There is a series of recent emails between IAC chair Tublitz and Berdahl posted on the UO Senate website, here. Read them all to get the context. Here is an excerpt from Tublitz’s report to the IAC on his meeting with Interim President Berdahl last week.

He [Berdahl] gave several examples where this year’s IAC had improperly strayed into oversight:

a) Requesting information about NCAA violations;
b) Asking for financial information such as donations that had nothing to do with academic issues;
c) Making too many requests to the Athletic Director.

I [Tublitz] pointed out that these items are in our current charge to which the Interim President replied that he would not have approved the current charge if he was president at the time the current charge was adopted.

The Interim President also stated that other items in the current charge such as being involved in appointments of head coaches were also well outside the proper consultative role of the IAC.

We discussed the fact that the current charge and several issues discussed in the IAC this year came directly from the 2004 Athletic Task Force (ATF) report. I noted that the report had been submitted to the Senate by the entire ATF committee, including Mr O’Fallon as FAR, then Athletic Director Bill Moos and then VP for Administration Dan Williams speaking on behalf of then President Frohnmayer and the central administration. Jim O’Fallon strenuously objected to the commonly held notion that he, AD Bill Moos and the administration had approved the Task Force report even though their names were on the final report and the Senate adopted it. The Interim President said that he had consulted with former President Frohnmayer who said he did not “sign off” or approve the 2004 Task Force report.

The Interim President was adamant that the IAC should:

a) Not change its charge;
b) Not change its membership (refer to footnote 1 below);
c) Send all requests to his office; and,
d) Adhere to a more consultative approach.

He also said that he did not trust the committee to follow its charge, that he had full authority to regulate the charge and membership of the committee, and implied that he had considered dissolving the committee.

Current charge here. The IAC has indeed been asking a lot of questions, and it has dug up a lot of previously hidden information – including info on subsidies and secret agreements between Frohnmayer and former AD Kilkenny, now posted for all to see on the athletics department website here. The IAC’s most recent accomplishment has been to make the AD post a copy of UO’s 2006 NCAA certification review – or at least part of it – here. Interesting reading. And you can bet there will be more to come.

"Student-Athletes" skip 2 weeks of 10 week term

2/19/2012: I tend to focus on what Pat Kilkenny’s weird baseball obsession is costing UO in dollars. Kilkenny got the UO Foundation to loan athletics millions to build “PK Park” on a 6.25% ten year balloon loan, pledging future media revenues as collateral. 

But as Richard Sundt notes, the corruption is not just about the money:

17 February 2012

Dear Athletic Director Mullens, Coach Horton, UO President Berdahl, Interim Provost Davis, Senate President Kyr, ASUO President Eckstein:

I read in today’s RG a headline about UO baseball: “Ducks roll up frequent-flier miles to open.” In this report Adam Jude writes that the “unranked” team will be going to Honolulu to open a series of games that will require Duck players to travel 9000 miles in 12 days.  These student-athletes will be accumulating more than frequent class absences (normally about 2-3 days per week during the season); they will accumulate a complete absence from classes for one week and five days. If this is not a travesty of education, I don’t know what is.  More to the point: It is sham education.

This university and all others in the country that allow sports programs to thrive on missing classes for twelve straight days —let alone for 2-3 days a week— should ask if they are not corrupting higher education. The persons complicit in downgrading academics are many, not only Athletic Directors and Coaches, but also Administration officials who wink at this, Faculty who do not speak up against the destruction of the University’s teaching mission (if it still exists, read Arum and Roksa, Academically Adrift), and Faculty in the Intercollegiate Athletic who over the years, and most especially when the baseball program was re-instituted (even when I pointed out the sport’s frequent absence program), have not cared to address head-on the issues relating to the draining of classrooms for the benefit of athletics. When is this going to end?

Faculty, are your classes so unimportant, so devoid of content and originality that students can miss nearly two weeks and this doesn’t matter? What’s the deal? Or, can everything in your courses be done on-line, and if so, then let’s not waste time and money building more classrooms; we can even outsource teaching, and cut any number of positions (even yours) in the process. Or, just let the Jacqua Center do the teaching —what, in the hope that its staff possesses the same level of competency in your area of expertise as you do?

Richard Sundt
Art History

Where is UO’s Faculty Athletics Representative, Jim O’Fallon on this issue? UO is paying him $187,729 at a 0.5 FTE, plus expenses to protect our “student-athletes” from exploitation. But according to the NY Times columnist Joe Nocera, O’Fallon’s busy working for the NCAA infractions committee, making sure the “student-athletes” don’t get free textbooks. Because that would be an impermissible benefit. But it’s OK for UO to pay *him* to do the NCAA’s dirty work. Can anyone make sense of any of this?

NCAA moves to prop up cartel with tougher penalties.

2/12/2012: At its heart the NCAA is a classic hiring cartel. College athletic departments agree among themselves to all pay the athletes a bare minimum, so that the bulk of the profits can be used for inflated salaries for the coaches, assistants, athletic directors, and of course the NCAA administrators.

The catch is that every college has an incentive to cheat, and offer top players a better deal – a few thousand in cash from a booster, a loaner car, good deal on an apartment, and so on. If this gets out of hand the players get the profits, and the cartel can collapse, leaving little money for the NCAA insiders.

The NCAA knows it takes eternal vigilance to hold their cartel together. USA Today now reports that their latest plan is a drastic increase in the penalties for “cheating” – i.e. letting the players keep some of the money they earn. I love the way the insiders getting rich off this throw around phrases like “illicit benefits for student-athletes”:

The plan, which also would streamline the processing of cases and expand the adjudicating committee on infractions to help speed their disposition, reflects a call by NCAA President Mark Emmert for swifter, tougher action and greater deterrence. Amid a spate of cases involving high-profile programs from South California to Tennessee to Connecticut to Ohio State to Miami (Fla.), he has talked of instilling “some sort of constructive fear.”

… It threatens serious payback for programs and individuals involved in what the NCAA terms the “worst of the worst” cases, involving such things as academic fraud, significant payments or other illicit benefits for athletes and a finding of a lack of institution control.  

The people charged with delivering this “constructive fear” to those evil programs that want to compensate athletes for their work are the members of the NCAA Infractions Committee – including UO’s own “Faculty Athletics Representative” Jim O’Fallon.

O’Fallon has had the FAR job for 23 years – since back when he actually was faculty – without going through a review by UO. The 2004 UO Task Force Report on Athletics – signed by Dave Frohnmayer and Bill Moos – specifically called for a review of O’Fallon. Bullet point #2:

This never happened. Weird. O’Fallon’s contract is here.

The NCAA has even set it up so we have to pay their enforcers. O’Fallon’s salary and expenses come straight out of UO’s academic budget. Clever:

O’Fallon even gets called out by NYT financial columnist Joe Nocera, for this inane, officious decision penalizing a school for giving athletes books.