$600K a year and Rob Mullens can’t even give UO a clean volleyball program?

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.39.49 PM

Perhaps he’s spending his time on Duck sports that pay him a bonus for “competing at the highest level of excellence.” Reporter Kenny Jacoby has the latest Duck athletic scandal in the Emerald, here:

Read the story for the really disturbing quotes, and a link to the courageous letter from UO’s former student-athletes. Here’s a snippet:

… [Former volleyball players] Crittenden and Kevorken said both talked to an athletic department official about their concerns in 2015 but Moore and Metro continued to coach.

… Crittenden said the purpose of her letter is not to “bash coaches,” but to tell the story she had previously kept quiet and encourage others to do the same. She said it’s time for athletic departments to stop being negligent when athletes come forward to them.

“I want other athletes who may be suffering in silence to know that their feelings are valid, their words are valid, and their stories matter,” she wrote.

Haylee Roberts, Canace Finley, Chloe Buckendahl and Maddie Magee were the other four players whose names and signatures appeared at the bottom of the letter to Schill and Mullens.

“We can rest easier knowing that the former coaches are no longer in a position to negatively impact young athletes and we no longer feel ashamed to identify ourselves as former Oregon Ducks,” they wrote.

This story came out just 30 minutes after the year’s second meeting of the President’s Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Committee. Athletics Director Rob Mullens and President Mike Schill sat across from each other. Faculty Athletics Representative Tim Gleason was missing. IAAC Chair Andy Karduna was there along with 2 of the IAAC’s 8 faculty members. There was an hour long, rambling discussion of what to do about athletes who had to miss classes to travel to away games to earn money for the athletic department. Someone was supposed to have brought data on how many classes athletes miss, but they didn’t. No one asked anything about this, or any of the other recent Duck athletic scandals.

Meanwhile, Mullens’ volleyball coaches are still receiving public funds:

According to public records obtained by the Emerald, Moore and Metro will be paid according to their respective salaries through their resignation dates: May 15, 2017, and January 31, 2018, respectively.

AD Mullens buys out Duck basketball coach Don Altman for 12 Gottfredsons

11/29/2016 update: The RG’s Ryan Thornburn has the shocking details here.

Or at least I think it was the basketball coach – he’s about to drop out of the rankings too. But maybe his buyout is next year.

Meanwhile, Mullens, Altman, Helfrich and the other well-paid Athletic Department employees haven’t been giving much to the University’s Charitable Fund Drive for state and community charities:

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-9-52-31-pm

11/28/2016 update: Matt Helfrich wins excellent $9.4M buyout with lousy 34-44 Civil War loss

Continue reading

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:

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 3.55.34 PM

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:

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 1.09.49 AM

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.

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?

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.39.49 PM

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

Continue reading

Helfrich & Mullens give Lillis expensive lesson on regression to the mean

10/10/2015: Apparently unaware of a basic statistical principle, Chuck Lillis and the BOT gave Mark Helfrich and AD Ron Mullens fat new contracts in February, just after the #2 BCS outcome.

It will now cost about $15M to buy out Helfrich, although there’s a 50% discount if he doesn’t win at least six games in each of 2 consecutive seasons:

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 9.42.48 PM

Which explains why UO paid EWU and GSU $1.5M to come to campus and lose this year. Even with those two body-bag games, six wins is looking iffy for Helfrich,  Presumably a buy-out will be too embarrassing for the BOT and Mullens, so instead they’ll give him more money, to hire some smart assistant coaches.

Expect Mullens to pay for the Ducks to go to some easy low-ranked bowl game if needed to get Helfrich to six. And expect Helfrich to bring some risky recruits to campus next year – although hopefully not as risky as Dana Altman’s.

9/22/2015: Helfrich picked perfect time to hit up UO Trustees for fat contract renewal

Cousins Jim and John are the football experts, not me. But the betting markets now give Helfrich’s Ducks a 1% probability of winning the BCS championship, without the unpaid labor of Marcus Mariota:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.18.34 PM

That’s less than the probability that Donald Trump will be the next POTUS:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.56.41 PM

In February the UO Board of Trustees gave big raises to Duck AD Rob Mullens and football coach Mark Helfrich, after a second place finish in last year’s championship. Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms kept the purpose of the meeting secret until the last minute, and even left the contracts off the docket of meeting materials. The board approved them with no discussion after then Interim President Scott Coltrane enthusiastically endorsed the raises:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.42.05 PM

The contracts were made public later, and along with many perks and bonuses the Trustees basically doubled Helfrich’s base salary, which had been a mere $1.8M:

 Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.45.41 PM

Perverse financial incentives add $20K to Duck AD Rob Mullens’s $700K pay

Rob Moseley has the news here:

By Rob Moseley
Editor, GoDucks.com

A strong spring fueled by NCAA championships in men’s and women’s track & field propelled the Oregon athletic department to a school-record 13th-place finish in the 2014-15 Division I Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, as announced Thursday.

The Directors’ Cup uses a points system and accounts for 10 men’s and 10 women’s sports from each school to calculate an annual ranking of the nation’s most successful athletic departments. Despite fielding just 18 NCAA programs, Oregon totaled 933.5 points to finish in the top 15 for the third year in a row, and the fourth time ever.

The Ducks remain the only program ever to finish in the top 15 with 18 or fewer NCAA-sponsored sports. Stanford, UCLA and USC took the top three spots in this year’s ranking and Cal was 12th, giving the Pac-12 five of the top 13 spots.

“The culture of excellence we’ve worked to foster with our staff, student-athletes and supporters is unique, and provides an incredible competitive advantage,” UO athletic director Rob Mullens said. “We’re competing in the toughest conference in the country and enjoying unprecedented success.”

And that success means money. While all of these sports, except football, lose money, that doesn’t mean Rob Mullens will. In Feb 2015 the UO Board of Trustees (minutes here) gave Mullens a $250K raise, to $700K, plus a generous package of performance incentives, including renewing this:

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 7.36.53 PM

The full contract is here. This clause gives Mullens every incentive to increase the number of UO sports teams, and increase the amount of money that each spends on coaches, recruiting, travel, etc. If ticket sales and TV revenue isn’t enough, he can try paying for it by raising the amount athletics charges UO’s student government for “free” tickets.

Many of the UO Trustees are business people who serve on corporate boards. Why didn’t they do what a corporate board would do, and write Mullens a contract that included incentives for reducing the financial subsidies that the Duck athletic department gets from UO? Or even give him an incentive to actually helping out the academic side, by cutting costs so and saving some money for, say, merit scholarships for Oregon undergrads?

I don’t know.

University Panel recommends dropping 8 sports

11/15/2011: From the Washington Post. The president of the University of Maryland established the panel to take control of the athletic department’s budget. The problems at UO seem similar: massive overspending on salaries, chronic deficit, depletion of the reserve funds. Dropping Duck sports – baseball is the obvious candidate – would be very unpopular with UO Athletic Department Director Rob Mullens. His pay is tied to UO’s performance in the “Director’s Cup“, a bogus competition set up by the NCAA to encourage colleges to field lots of teams. Next time we hire an ADD, we need to make sure we write a contract tied to balancing the AD budget!

Oklahoma coaches support athletes’ protests against racism. UO’s Dana Altman, not so much.

3/15/2015: From InsideHigherEd.com, here:

This article contains explicit and potentially offensive terms that are essential to reporting on this situation.

Instead of practicing on Thursday, University of Oklahoma football players held a silent demonstration protesting the behavior of an Oklahoma fraternity that was caught on video using racist slurs while singing about not allowing black members to join the fraternity. In a statement, the football players said the video is a symptom of “a larger disease,” and called on the university to investigate and “severely discipline” responsible members of the chapter’s executive board. Two students who were seen leading the chant have already been expelled.

“The chant was not invented by the two that led it, but taught to underclassmen by people of higher authority,” the players stated. “As a team, we have come to a consensus that, in any organization, the leadership is responsible for the culture created, and in this case, encouraged.”

In an apology released by his father earlier this week, one of the expelled SAE members stated that the racist song “was taught to us.”

The football players’ statement, released on Twitter by the team’s quarterback, is one of several public responses athletes have made to the video this week. A football recruit who had committed to play at Oklahoma on Monday tweeted that he was withdrawing his commitment, and a current linebacker for Oklahoma, Eric Striker, sent a video through Snapchat furiously calling out members of SAE and other fraternities who cheer on black players when they’re on the field, only to sing racist songs behind their backs. “Same motherfuckers that talk about racism doesn’t exist are the same motherfuckers shaking our hands, giving us hugs, telling us how you really love us,” Striker said. “Fuck you phony-ass, fraud-ass bitches.”

In their statement Thursday, the players thanked the team’s coaching staff for “supporting each and every action we have taken, even when these actions may have seemed extreme.”

Of course the coaches, and the players, are not exactly saints. From Reason:

University of Oklahoma President David Boren expelled two students for racist chanting, ostensibly because the school has an unofficial zero tolerance policy on racism. But Boren had plenty of tolerance for OU football players who committed violence against women and were allowed, not merely to remain at the university, but also to rejoin the football team.

The Daily Caller News Foundation‘s Blake Neff notes that last year, freshman Joe Mixon was caught on tape punching a female student in the face. He knocked her unconscious and broke four of her facial bones. He was later convicted of a misdemeanor assault charge.

What did the university do? According to Neff:

Despite his conviction, Mixon faced a comparatively light punishment compared to the massive crackdown on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon students. He was suspended from the team for the season, but faced no other repercussions, remaining on campus and continuing to attend classes like any other student.

In February, Mixon was allowed to rejoin the football team.

Boren, at the time, said that while Mixon’s behavior was abhorrent, it was important to grant second chances.

12/10/2014: Coach Dana Altman thinks National Anthem is the wrong time to protest racism

Our fool of a basketball coach thinks he owns those players. They shouldn’t protest when he’s trying to collect his $2M paycheck, off their free labor. Fortunately we’ve still got people who hear someone sing “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and actually understand what it means.

Want to ask the players what they think? No. Duck AD Rob Mullens and his PR guy Craig Pintens have a rule about players talking to reporters without permission, and “Benjamin and Bell have not been made available to comment.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.03.11 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.11.18 PM

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.

IMG_0519

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:

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.14.11 AM

Continue reading

Coltrane to give Duck AD Rob Mullens a retention offer, drop perverse incentives?

Rumor down at the faculty club snookers table is that Duck athletic director Rob Mullens is entertaining an offer from high roller Gordon Gee, currently president at West Virginia University. It seems unlikely Mullens would seriously consider a step down like that, even if he is an alumnus. But maybe he can turn it into a retention offer?

Personally, I think it would make sense to write a new contract that gives Mullens some incentives for reducing the $4M or so in subsidies the Duck athletic department is taking from UO’s academic side.

The perverse incentives in Mullens’s current contract do almost exactly the opposite, as explained here: http://uomatters.com/2010/10/perverse-incentives-for-mullens.html

The contract is here, and Gottfredson’s firing gives Mullens an easy out on the salary he’d otherwise have to repay UO:

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 5.39.50 PM

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

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

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.33.35 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile Josephine Wollington reports in the Register Guard that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Byline: ROB MOSELEY The Register-Guard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UO’s most recently reported APR was 918:

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

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

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

Continue reading

How the NCAA can reform

I’m not sure that the NCAA can reform itself, too many powerful people are making too much money off the unpaid players. But there’s some fascinating history in this piece by Ken Pendleton of the Sports Conflict Institute:

In 1956, the NCAA finally accepted the idea that scholarships could be awarded entirely on the basis of athletic merit. … By 1973, the NCAA made a subtle but crucial amendment: Scholarships were renewed annually at the coach’s discretion. The ostensible purpose of the rule, which took shape during the late 60s, was to allow coaches to impose standards of behavioral conduct that were stricter than those imposed on other students. But in reality this meant that coaches had more leverage to control athletes, for example, make them lift weights more, and run off the ones that were failing athletically (what was then delicately referred to as ‘dead wood’).

UO’s new random pot testing policy – which Randy Geller and Rob Mullens pushed through last year – gives the coaches an additional threat. If they fail one test, the AD can kick them off the team and take away their scholarship. Of course the coaches don’t literally need run them off . Instead they can just encourage the players that aren’t bringing in enough money for the AD to “voluntarily” transfer to another school. And under the cartel’s rules the coach’s approval is essential: without it, the player is almost sure to have to sit out a year as a redshirt.

Rob Mullens drives another student-athlete to drink

2/23/2014: UO BBaller caught using a fake ID (a passport?) at Taylor’s. Coach Dana Altman desperately needs this kid in the next few games to save his season, have any chance of making the NCAA tournament, and get some bonuses to top off his $1.8M salary. We’ll see how many games he suspends him for. Maybe Mullens should do what the Russians did at Sochi and relax his THC threshold? Keep these players safe in the Courtside Apartments, doing cannonballs on the couch.

10/12/2012: A little data and theory:

  • August 2011, Duck cornerback Cliff Harris busted for driving 118 MPH after “we smoked it all”.
  • April 2012, ESPN published a story on widespread weed use by Duck athletes.
  • September 2012, Duck athletic director Rob Mullens begins random drug testing of his players for marijuana. This raises the expected cost of smoking pot and lowers the relative cost of drinking. Players, as rational optimizers, substitute toward the cheaper good.
  • UO General Counsel Randy Geller accuses Senate President Rob Kyr and IAC chair Brian McWhorter of “false and misleading” statements about his efforts to subvert the law and implement an OAR allowing random pot testing and taking away scholarships.
  • People smoke pot at home, then fall asleep on their dorito encrusted couch. They drink in bars, then try to drive home.
  • October 2012, Duck defensive tackle Isaac Remington busted for driving drunk.

For more, see this UO economist’s work, here:

The current study examines the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic fatalities, the leading cause of death among Americans ages 5 through 34.  The first full year after coming into effect, legalization is associated with an 8 to 11 percent decrease in traffic fatalities.

10/15/2012: More on Drugs:

1) Pres Gottfredson (in his Senate speech) said the new random drug testing policy is not an academic matter. This claim is contradicted by many things. The OAR itself states:

(3) Illicit Substances. If the student-athlete tests positive for the use of prohibitedIllicit Substances, the sanctions will be consistent with the sanctions listed in this subsection. These sanctions define the least severe sanctions that may be taken after each positive test. Notwithstanding the sanctions outlined in this subsection, if thought appropriate, a student- athlete may be dismissed from the team and lose all grant-in-aid after a single positive test.

Losing all your student aid because of one positive random urine test for pot or adderall strikes me as a very consequential academic matter. I know I would have had to have been pretty lucky to have finished college under this rule.

Continue reading