Contracts between the UO athletic department and its employees often include a clause saying the department will provide the employee one or two courtesy cars to use during their employment. The clauses also state that if the athletic department is unable to provide a car, it will pay the employee a stipend instead of a car, usually between $300 and $600 a month.
Those stipends have added up to more than $1.1 million in the last decade, EW’s analysis shows. In the last two years, the athletic department has paid an average of more than $12,500 a month on stipends and $150,000 a year.
The athletic department promises employees far more cars than it actually has, so the majority of employees involved in the program receive monthly stipends in lieu of cars. The athletic department currently has 36 courtesy cars at its disposal, but as recently as August 2017, 42 employees collected stipends in lieu of cars. The athletic department declined to say whether all 36 cars were currently in use.
Many employees, including UO athletic director Rob Mullens, have collected tens of thousands of dollars in monthly stipends over several years. Mullens’ contract entitles him to two courtesy cars on top of his $700,000 base salary; he drives one and collects $600 per month in stipends in lieu of the other. …
Chris Sinclair, a math professor and president of the UO faculty senate, calls the program an “embarrassingly ridiculous” use of funds, which could be allocated to other purposes, such as reducing the cost of football tickets the athletic department charges to students. According to the athletic department’s projected 2018 budget, it expects to bring in $113 million in revenue and spend every dollar.
“It’s clearly just a way of getting some additional money into these people’s pockets,” Sinclair said. …
According to EW’s analysis, 104 different employees have received more than 3,200 monthly stipends in lieu of cars in the past 10 years. The courtesy car program started in November 2007, when then-athletic director Pat Kilkenny paid himself and four other employees stipends of between $300 and $500. The number of employees participating in the program grew to 17 in 2008, and by 2009, it reached 35. In 2017, 52 different employees have received stipends, including head coaches, assistant coaches and athletic department administrators.
Kilkenny. Of course.