Fiesta Bowl chief starts 8 month prison term

6/21/2014 update: The Arizona Republic has the story here. No word on how much Duck money was involved.

2/1/2013: No Policy Update: Duck administrators fly south for Felony Bowl

UO has no policy on free tickets or travel – not exactly “best practices” when it comes to claiming it’s exempt income, folks.

From: “Thornton, Lisa”
Subject: Public Records Request 2013-PRR-185Date: February 1, 2013 12:28:59 PM PST
02/01/2013
Dear [UO Matters]-
The University does not possess records responsive to your request for ” a copy of UO’s policies and/or procedures on paying for travel and tickets to away games and/or postseason games”, made 1/28/2013.
Thank you for contacting the office with your request.
Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records

1/28/2013: Ever wonder how the Ducks get our administrators to look the other way about the accounting tricks that leave the academic side holding the bag for millions in athletic department costs? Free junkets are part of it. The Fiesta Bowl has a long history of corruption, see here.
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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:

The life of a college basketball recruit, and the coaches cashing in on him.

6/1/2014 update: The Chronicle of Higher Ed has a fascinating story, here:

MARVIN CLARK JR. was sold. Fresh off a recruiting visit to the University of Oregon two years ago, he was convinced he wanted to play there.

He loved the Ducks’ fast-paced offense, the team needed a player at his position, and one of his youth coaches had played for an Oregon assistant. That was the type of edge that could help in a battle for playing time.

The campus wowed him. Everywhere he looked, he saw the Nike swoosh. The company’s co-founder, a big Oregon donor, had helped finance some of the nicest facilities in the country. For a kid who had spent time in homeless shelters, it seemed like nirvana.

A year ago, Mr. Clark made it official, committing to the Pac-12 program over more than a dozen other suitors. Around the same time, he had surgery to repair a fractured foot, forcing him to miss several months on the court. A fractured foot, surgically repaired with a screw, set Mr. Clark’s plans back a year ago.

He was prepared to graduate from high school last year, but Oregon’s coaches had encouraged him to spend a year at a prep school. The week he returned to the court, two Oregon coaches visited him there. It was his first game back, and it showed. After the game, he says, the coaches started to walk out of the gym without offering a word.

That night Mr. Clark hardly slept, fearing that he had lost his scholarship. The next day he called one of his coaches, who had been in touch with Oregon. Mr. Clark’s instincts were right—Oregon had moved on. …

5/12/2014: Did Lorraine Davis vet Brandon Austin?

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NCAA to share administrators’ perks and family junkets with the players?

4/24/2014: This is a stunning development from the NCAA, reported by Rachel Bachman in the WSJ. It must be bitter news for UO’s FAR Jim O’Fallon, who has spent his professional life taking away kids athletic scholarships for just this sort of thing:

Other changes that the five power conferences are likely to consider if their autonomy is affirmed by the board of directors in August include the following, according to an NCAA news release:

  • Enhanced insurance policies for athletes that protect future earnings
  • Greater academic support, particularly for at-risk athletes
  • Allowances for players’ families to travel to games
  • Free tickets to athletic events
  • Payment of expenses related to practice and competition such as parking fees.

1/16/2014 Alamo Bowl junket list drops admins with conflicts of interest:

Dave Hubin’s public records office is still hiding this year’s memo from President Gottfredson inviting his JH admin’s on UO paid Alamo Bowl junkets, but they’ve finally released the list itself, after a variety of sneaky delays.

It appears the Geller family was indeed left off the bus this year, consistent with the timing of Randy’s enraged “fully engaged” holiday letter to the faculty. Also missing are VP for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and family, the Davises, strategic communicator Tim Gleason, and a number of other administrators with rather obvious conflicts of interest related to their responsibility for approving the athletic department budget, paying for its lawyers, approving employment contracts for Rob Mullens and his coaches, etc. Good for President Gottfredson on this one. Interim Provost Scott Coltrane and spouse got a trip, but after spending $2.2M for Jock Box tutoring, I suppose he wanted to see if what he’d bought was worth our money.

In totally unrelated news, U.S District Judge David Campbell has set the sentencing date for former Fiesta Bowl CEO and convicted felon John Junker for March 13. The aptly named Mr. Junker laundered Fiesta Bowl money for illegal political contributions, strip club parties, and presents for the UT admissions office when they admitted his daughter. It’s not clear how much if any money from the Duck’s 2002 appearance was involved. Meanwhile our Alamo Bowl is paying its CEO Derrick Fox well over $500K a year, while giving just $128K for scholarships. Latest IRS report here.

Given all the corruption in big-time college sports, it’s nice to see JH has finally come clean about “Faculty” Athletics Representative and emeritus law professor Jim O’Fallon, now frankly listed as athletic department staff. Of course the academic side is still paying his salary, but rumor has it he’s going to resign soon in the face of a Senate motion for a 25-year-overdue performance review. Not clear if he’ll also have to give up his NCAA infractions committee gig harassing unpaid athletes.

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1/22/2014 update: Correction from the Public Records Office on Jim O’Fallon:

On January 15, 2014 the office released documents in response to your public records request for documents released in response to the following public records request: “the names of all university employees who were invited to as well as those who actually attended the Valero Alamo Bowl for pre-game events in San Antonio, Texas. Second, if it is possible I would also like to request invoices for the costs of their trip that the University of Oregon paid for, in the form of a per diem or any comparable allowance”.

One of the documents you were given has Mr. James O’Fallon categorized as “Athletic Dept. Staff- Faculty Rep”. Mr. O’Fallon should have been categorized as “Faculty Athletics Representative”. This mistake has been corrected, and a corrected copy of this document is attached.

UO response ignores the revenue sport athletes

“Around the O”‘s response to Sara Ganim’s CNN investigative piece on the pressures on universities to admit and pass revenue sport athletes manages to entirely ignore the distinction between revenue athletes, and those in non-revenue sports like women’s tennis. Joe Mosely’s piece – with some disturbingly evasive quotes from UO VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson, just back from his Alamo Bowl junket, is here. Presumably CNN will soon update their database with the numbers that UO and Thompson do not want to show.

1/7/14: CNN: UO delaying release of records on athlete’s SATs

As a local reporter, Sara Ganim broke the Sandusky/Paterno story. Her digging got her a job at CNN. (Take note, UO journalism students, athletics is the bright spot in the reporting job market, and there’s always a scandal to write about. Former ODE reporter Ryan Knutson turned his investigative pieces on the Matt Court arena deal into a WSJ job.)

Now Ganim has been digging into the issue of “special admits”. These are students who do not meet a university’s regular admissions requirements, but get in anyway. At football factories such as the one UO has become, these are often athletes who make millions for the coach and entertain the hell out of the boosters, but enter college as illiterates and leave as illiterates with concussion induced brain damage.

Ganim’s CNN story on this is here. The NCAA lays the blame on college presidents:

“Are there students coming to college underprepared? Sure. They are not just student-athletes,” said Kevin Lennon, vice president of academic and membership affairs at the NCAA.

But he said the NCAA sees it as the responsibility of universities to decide what level athlete should be admitted to their schools.

“Once the school admits them, the school should do everything it can to make sure the student succeeds,” he said. “(Universities) don’t want a national standard that says who they can recruit and admit. They want those decisions with the president, provost and athletic directors. That is the critical piece of all of this.”

True enough, when this issue game up in the UO Senate last year, President Gottfredson said he didn’t want the faculty involved in these decisions. OK, it’s on him and Lorraine Davis, who sits on the committee that rubber-stamps the athletic department’s requests.

So, how bad is this problem at UO? Ganim was able to use public records requests to get data from many schools, including OSU. But not UO:

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But you can get an idea by following this link and watching the student videos from UO’s sham FHS 199 course that was being taught by athletic department employees, for academic credit, without faculty review. Here.

Athletics tutors gave indicted professor a “guest coach” tit-for-tat

That would be at UNC, part of what will likely be a long series of revelations:

On three occasions, the records show two athlete support program counselors offered football tickets and food to Nyang’oro and his family. In one, Reynolds told Nyang’oro he would be “guest coaching,” which meant that he could watch the game with the team on the sidelines.

The Ducks also have a guest coach program for cooperative UO faculty teaching classes to athletes. Turns out they’re not supposed to do that, appearance of potential conflict of interest and so on:

The National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics, a professional standards group, warns academic support programs about offering tickets or other perks to professors who teach their athletes. While not an outright prohibition, the group’s code of ethics says its members “should never be party to the offer of tickets, trips, sideline passes, autographed memorabilia or any other items that would constitute bartering for a grade with an instructor.”

The NAAAA held its annual meeting at UO in October. Program here. Speaking of conflicts of interest, one of the speakers was Lorraine Davis, whose special favors from the athletics department included trips to the Rose Bowl for self and family.

Lorraine G. Davis, Ph.D., Special Assistant to the President and Provost, University of Oregon.

Lorraine Davis currently serves as the Special Assistant to the President and Provost at the University of Oregon. She joined the UO faculty in 1972 and was vice president for academic affairs from 2001 to 2006. All of the deans of the university’s schools and colleges reported to Davis when she was vice president. She previously served as graduate coordinator and department head in the university’s school and community health program before being appointed vice provost for academic personnel in 1990. In 2009-10 she served as Interim Athletic Director and in 2011-12, she served that campus as the Interim Provost. In her current role, Lorraine oversees Support Services for Student Athletes, and is deputy administrator of the E.C. Brown Foundation and Trust, a philanthropic health education organization.

Professor indicted for sham courses that kept revenue athletes eligible

That was at UNC. What about UO? The NYT has the UNC story:

One of dozens of courses in the department that officials say were taught incompletely or not at all, AFAM 280 is the focus of a criminal indictment against Mr. Nyang’oro that was issued last month.

Eighteen of the 19 students enrolled in the class were members of the North Carolina football team (the other was a former member), reportedly steered there by academic advisers who saw their roles as helping athletes maintain high enough grades to remain eligible to play.

Handed up by an Orange County, N.C., grand jury, the indictment charged Nyang’oro with “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously” accepting payment “with the intent to cheat and defraud” the university in connection with the AFAM course — a virtually unheard-of legal accusation against a professor.

At UO, for 5 years Steve Stolp, Director of the Jaqua Center for Student-Athletes, (or, as the NY Times calls it, Oregon’s Jock Box) required all entering athletes take an athlete-only course called “Special Studies: Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics”. This course was taught by Duck athletic department employees, who gave out 3 UO academic credits for it.

You can get an idea of the academic content of this course by checking out the final project videos by the students, several of which they posted themselves on youtube, here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fhs+199&sm=3. The syllabus included academic highlights such as “Athletic Department Scavenger Hunt” and “Read 101 things to do in Eugene. Do one thing on the list and respond to the discussion board”:

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This course had been taught for 5 years without any review by the UO faculty, to perhaps 500 athletes. It was cancelled last year by the UO Senate Committee on Courses, after it was finally submitted for review, 3 years after the deadline, and only after some strenuous prompting by UO Matters.

Academic oversight of athletics is supposedly done by long-time Duck booster and administrator Lorraine Davis, currently a semi-retired “special assistant” to President Gottfredson and Interim Provost Scott Coltrane. When I made a public records request for a copy of the contract spelling out Ms Davis’s precise job duties, I got the heavily redacted document below.

The academic operations of the Jaqua Center, whose services are only available to student-athletes, costs UO’s academic side $2.2M a year.  The UO administration justifies the subsidy by arguing the academic side can’t provide oversight of this operation unless we pay. We do pay, but we don’t have any oversight. Move it along professor, nothing to see here. Literally:

DA makes UO release redacted athletics/Nike data

Matthew Kish has an excellent story in the Portland Business Journal about payments from Nike to UO athletics department’s employees. This stuff has conflict of interest all over it. I wonder how much Lorraine Davis gets?

As Ted Sickinger reported in the Oregonian last year, these sorts of payments were part of the reason for Mike Bellotti’s record breaking $500K a year PERS scam. And now it seems that UO is doing everything it can to hide what’s going on with Rob Mullens and the rest of Ducks:

Employees of NCAA-regulated athletic departments are required to file an annual report that lists income received from non-university sources. As part of its ongoing investigation of the footwear and apparel contracts of university athletic departments, the Business Journal filed public records requests for copies of the forms for employees at each university with a football team ranked in the Associated Press top 25 as of late September.

Roughly half of the universities provided the Business Journal records. Some universities have not responded, while others, including the University of Oregon, Oregon State UniversityOklahoma State University and the University of Nebraska, cited state public records laws and denied the Business Journal access to documents.

The University of Oregon cited a provision of state law that prohibits the release of personnel records when it denied the Business Journal’s initial request for the outside-income reports of athletic department employees.

After the Business Journal appealed the decision to the Lane County district attorney, the university agreed to release redacted documents that list Nike compensation by athletic program.

The names of employees who receive compensation from Nike have been redacted.

Special Agent Lorraine Davis’s secret athletics assignment

8/14/2013: I will be very surprised if Oregon’s public records law actually allows UO to completely redact the job assignment for an employee receiving an $192,278 salary, at an 0.55 FTE:

Full pdf here. While “The University” refuses to give faculty modest child-care allowances for attending talks and dinners with job candidates, UO has had no problem in the past giving central administrators like Ms Davis some rather remarkable perks. More here:

PR Office email for the latest contract:

Attached are the records responsive to your request made 08/01/2013.  Some information is exempt under OAR 571-030.  The univesity has searched for, but was unable to locate, a job description for Ms. Davis. 

The office considers these documents to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  Thank you for contacting the office with your request.
Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records

I’ve looked at the OAR and the ORS it references, 351.065 Personnel records; rulesThe only circumstances I can imagine where they could redact Ms Davis’s job assignment would be if it said something that might be construed as a personal record of another employee, e.g.:

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to clean up the disastrous mess left behind by …. . As usual, should you be captured or killed, the Provost will disavow any knowledge of your assignment.”

Duck sports roundup with NCAA report.

6/26/2013 update. The public NCAA report is here. Hilariously pompous. Public Censure and Reprimand. Presumably much more will be released eventually, thanks to this public records opinion from Dave Frohnmayer’s DOJ. The NYT has this quote from Kelly:

Kelly, in a statement issued through the Eagles, apologized to the university and its fans. “I accept my share of responsibility for the actions that led to the penalties,” he wrote, adding that the investigation did not have a role in his decision to leave the university.

Whatever you say Chip, but are you gonna pay UO back for the $200K we spent on lawyers? One quick excerpt from the NCAA report, dealing with a special admit problem:

The institution discovered a deficiency in prospect H’s Scholastic Aptitude Test
(SAT) while performing a review of his academic credentials. Due to the deficiency,
prospect H was required to return to Houston immediately to take the earliest available
SAT. 

An assistant football coach and the former assistant director of operations sought
the assistance of the recruiting service provider in facilitating the prospect’s taking of the
SAT. The recruiting service provider contacted prospect H via telephone and ultimately
delivered to him the required SAT registration packet at a Houston area gas station the
evening before the test.  

Further, there was evidence that the recruiting service provider was involved in the
arrangements for prospective student-athletes to travel to the institution for their official
visits. Following the official visits of prospects E and F, the former assistant director of
operations sent the recruiting service provider a hand-written note he composed under the
former head coach’s signature, stating: 

I really appreciate your help in getting [the names of the visiting
prospects] and the whole crew here this past weekend. We’ll work on
getting [prospect A] here soon too! Thanks for orchestrating everything
and all your help with these guys. I hope you enjoyed the game . . .Go
Ducks! 

Rob Mullens, Lorraine Davis, and Jim O’Fallon have opposed letting the UO IAC be involved in special admits, despite language in UO’s most recent NCAA recertification saying the situation was under control. I wonder how much of that they conveyed to the investigators?

6/26/2013: After rejecting UO’s proposed plea bargain, Jim O’Fallon’s NCAA Committee on Infractions is expected to hand down the penalties this morning. O’Fallon’s recused, of course. Still no word on who will replace O’Fallon as UO’s Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA.

UO has now spent more than $200K on NCAA cleaner Mike Glazier, to defend the Duck brand against the Kelly/Lyles infractions. More if you value the opportunity cost of Randy Geller’s time at something positive. The academic side has paid about half this. No word yet if Gottfredson will go after Chip to try and recoup the legal and the other costs of his infractions.

Rumor is that a group of traitorous UO law profs are writing to President Gottfredson to protest the UO decision to effectively prohibit small local Duck paraphernalia manufacturers from getting licenses to use the Duck brand. Don’t these ingrates know who paid for their building, and what eternal reciprocal obligations they incurred in exchange?

Who’s on first?

3/16/2013. What exactly are “the duties of the University President for the 2012 Rose Bowl”? And why did our students have to pay Lorraine Davis to go to Pasadena and perform them?

Who knows. The real question is how much money VPFA Jamie Moffitt will let Johnson Hall spend on these junkets next time. According to the history Nathan Tublitz has dug up – which includes UO paid trips for Moffitt and her husband – that would be quite a lot:

On 15-03-2013 16:36, Office of Public Records wrote: 3/15/2013 

Dear Mr. Tublitz- 

My apologies, Rob Mullens should have been included on the list. He
received two tickets. 

I have been informed that Lorraine Davis, who was acting Provost at
the time, fulfilled the duties of the University President for the
2012 Rose Bowl. 

Please let me know which Senior Administrators you believe are
missing from the list, and I will look into the matter further. 

Thank you,
Lisa
Lisa Thornton
Public Records Officer
University of Oregon
Office of the President
6207 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-6207
(541)346-6823

Futile update #2: Provosts gone wild

2/17/2013: Time to get real. Gottfredson’s not going to fire Bean. He’s not even going to fire Geller. It’s up to us faculty. Sure, we could fight with conventional weapons, like Tublitz’s senate resolution. But that would take years. No, this requires a really stupid and futile gesture. And

So get to work. Post your list of our Provost’s five two greatest accomplishments, and suggested wording in the comments. I’ll add some fluff and a signature,

and send the letter off to academic headhunter firms. Surely there’s a Dental Hygienics College somewhere in Dubai that needs a leader.

2/16/2013: I thought I’d repost this classic, since it bears on both the never-ending Bean and public records issues. Note the part at the end, explaining Berdahl’s revocation of the fee-waiver policy which had been instituted by Lariviere after a year of hard work and perseverance (some have called it intimidation) by the Senate Transparency Committee.


5/4/2012: When Richard Lariviere found out about the secret Frohnmayer/Bellotti deal he wrote:

“This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past. That will not be repeated by my administration.”

Apparently that message didn’t get through to John Moseley, Jim Bean, and Lorraine Davis. I wrote a little about their latest deal here. All in all this involves maybe $60,000 in UO money, plus a bunch more from OSU. In addition to the questionable UO contract addition, there are some expense issues. In a nutshell, after a 2009 audit investigation raised a few issues with Moseley’s contracts and expenses – he was charging UO for his travel between his homes in Eugene and Bend – UO promised the auditor that Moseley would not receive any more reimbursements  … :

The auditor made it a point to cc James Bean on the report. Moseley and Bean broke that deal within 2 months:

and

  
The full document dump is here – many interesting expense charges and more info on the contract extension. It was obtained in response to this public records request:
Dear Ms Thornton –

In the documents you sent me last week in response to my 4/4/2012 request there was a letter from acting Provost Davis stating in part

 The March 2011 interagency agreement between OSU and U0 clearly articulated the percent of FTE necessary for you to oversee the transfer of undergraduate academic programs at OUS-Cascades from UO to OSU. OSU agreed to reimburse UO for your time from July 1 to December 31, 2011 at 0.5FTE and January 1 to June 30, 2012 at 0.25FTE. It is my understanding the time necessary to oversee the program transfer was underestimated and resulted in an agreement between you and Jim Bean to increase your FTE to 0.5 FTE for the time period of January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012.

This is a public records request for

a) a copy of that OSU/UO agreement

b) any letters, emails, notes, cocktail napkins, or other public records documenting the side agreement in which Jim Bean agreed to pay John Mosley an additional 0.25 FTE

c) any expense reports submitted by Moseley to UO or OSU or OUS from June 31 2009 to the present.

I ask for a fee waiver on the grounds of public interest. The golden parachute contracts between UO and Moseley involve the expenditure of a lot of UO and now apparently OSU money. They have been the subject of news stories in the Oregonian, Register Guard, and Bend Bulletin. In June 2009 OUS issued an audit report (attached) finding irregularities with Moseley’s previous contracts and travel expenses. The Oregon Politico database indicates that Moseley has been reimbursed for in-state travel since the agreement described in this audit report.

It turns out there is no written agreement between Moseley and Bean for the extra 0.25 FTE salary and benefits that Lorraine Davis is paying special assistant to the provost John Moseley – not even a cocktail napkin. (Davis did write out a contract to legitimize it, after Bean went on sabbatical.) These are acceptable business practices?

A few hours after getting these documents via a public records request, I got this email from Dave Hubin announcing that Interim President Berdahl was revoking the public interest fee-waiver arrangement which Richard Lariviere helped set up. Lisa Thornton of the Office of Public Records had been giving these waivers for the past 8 months, and I used one to obtain these documents.

Less transparency, less trust.