Rob Mullens on "the industry", plus concussion contest!

1/18/13. Rob Moseley of the RG extracts a little too much honesty from UO’s well incentivized Athletic Director Rob Mullens, talking about the search for a new football coach:

“I think we do things the right way here; I think most people in the industry absolutely understand that,” Mullens said. “I just have confidence that, industry wide, people know what’s going on here, and people are doing it the right way.”

Uh, you’re supposed to take your $500K and pretend this is all about academics and amateurs, Rob.

Then there’s this quick contest. A free UO Matters coffee cup to the first winner, and apologies to Joe Moseley of “Around the O”, from whom I stole the idea:

  1. Research from UO’s Human Physiology program says concussion danger lasts for ____ months?
  2. Coach Dana Altman played Arsalan Kazemi against Oregon State ____ days after a concussion?
  3. ____% of UO athletes that know how to game the athletic department’s concussion test?
  4. UO has $____ million in insurance coverage from United Educators for an NFL type concussion lawsuit?
  5. VPFA Jamie Moffitt is making the athletic department pay $____ for this coverage, while hanging the rest on the academic side?

Clawbacks of Kelly and Mullens bowl bonuses?

1/16/2012: Ducks confirm Kelly’s going to the Eagles. So the contractual issues below are back on the table. Is UO going to take steps now to ensure it can recoup some of the costs of the Kelly / Lyles recruiting violations from Kelly, or is the academic side going to get stuck with the tab again?

12/20/12. Here are the contracts for AD Rob Mullens and Coach Chip Kelly, which include bonuses for bowl appearances and wins. If UO had agreed to a plea bargain over the Lyles recruiting infractions that included vacating some of these wins, could UO have clawed back the bonuses? I’ve got a question on that in to UO’s VPFA Jamie Moffitt. Due diligence, I think the lawyers call this. More later.

Mullens:
Kelly:
And of course Kelly’s contract includes a clause allowing UO to dock his pay for NCAA infractions, etc.

Geller blew UO money on Glazier: NCAA refuses plea deal

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  scouting business – while he and UO “Faculty Athletics Representative” Jim O’Fallon refused to share any information about the infractions settlement  efforts with the UO Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.

An in-your-face violation of UO Senate rules, and our shared governance constitution, and one more example of the loss of institutional control by UO over its athletic department.

Not only that, it seems Geller, Mullens, and O’Fallon wasted our students’ money. The NCAA has just refused Glazier’s plea bargain offer, and is going to try the case in their “Committee on Infractions” kangaroo court. Charles Robinson and Rand Getlin have the story on Yahoo Sports:

The sources said the committee ultimately did not accept Oregon’s presentment, disagreeing with “various aspects” of both the infractions the school believed occurred, and the sanctions the school deemed appropriate. That impasse has made a full-blown hearing necessary. Had Oregon’s request for summary disposition been successful, the school could have avoided a hearing in which individuals such as head football coach Chip Kelly could be made to appear and take questions.

All’s not lost though: UO’s Athletic Director, Rob Mullens, can still hit up Chip Kelly for the legal fees and any NCAA fines and lost revenue – but only if he acts fast, before Kelly flees for the NFL:

Reporters trying to get info on this case should ignore O’Fallon and Geller’s claims that NCAA investigations are confidential. Take a look at the Oregon Attorney General’s Public Records and Meetings Manual, and particularly this 1981 opinion. Oregon law still trumps the NCAA, I think. Don’t forget to cite it when making requests to UO Public Records Officer Lisa Thornton, here. And ask for a fee waiver – how UO has been spending public money is certainly a matter of public interest!

November 12, 1981, Blaine Newnham. Order granted inspection of NCAA complaint against the University of Oregon, with some deletions. The conditional exemption for interagency advisory communications was not applicable, because the NCAA is not a public body. The exemption for information submitted in confidence was not applicable, despite NCAA demand for confidentiality and university agreement, because the information could not reasonably be considered confidential and the public interest required disclosure of information relating to staff misconduct resulting in substantial adverse consequences to university athletic program. No adverse consequences to continuing investigation were likely. Names and other identification of students involved were deleted as required by federal law. University president had option under ORS 351.065 to delete names of staff members. Names of other persons involved, without official responsibilities, were deleted to protect their privacy except in a case in which wide publicity naming the person had already occurred.

Of course this is all bad for the players. Kelly wanted them, they were willing to come to Oregon, and Willie Lyles was willing to arrange this mutually advantageous deal in return for a very modest emolument. But the NCAA cartel will collapse if the coaches and the players start negotiating over “impermissible benefits” – and it’s the job of the NCAA Committee on Infractions to enforce their rules on indentured servitude. The NCAA is the real guilty party here – and some day I hope their chickens will come home to roost. 12/2012.

Duck football is below the curve. Mullens’s pay is above.

Last year was the best ever for Duck football. Perfect regular season, second in the BCS. So good that AD Rob Mullens and Interim President Bob Berdahl argued that it was time to expand Autzen, and that if we did the athletic department might finally be able to follow through on its 2004 promise to start contributing towards academic scholarships:

1. The Task Force and the Athletic Department recommend a voluntary financial contribution by athletics to the Presidential Scholarship fund. This voluntary contribution will help symbolize the mutuality of the relationship between athletics and academics.

But the Ducks have not been doing so well when it comes to profits – the most recent data has them falling well below average, controlling for stadium size. In fact there are only a few AD’s doing worse. Oregon got trounced by places like Washington State, Wyoming, and Florida Atlantic – all with much smaller stadia:

The Duck’s problem is not revenue, it’s spending. So here’s hoping Mullens makes at least some effort to get his expenses under control before he tries to sell an Autzen expansion to President Gottfredson. Of course the Duck’s biggest variable costs are the salary for Mullens and his coaches. And those guys have no problem whatsoever diverting the money that should be going to fund scholarships to fill their own pockets. Rob Mullens is paid $200,000 or so more than his comparators:

Does Mike Gottfredson have the stones to rein in Rob Mullens and his buddies? UO will find out soon.

Thanks to an anonymous UO Matters contributor for the figures. Your bottle is on its way. Any defamation is the sole responsibility of UO Matters. English libel law does not apply, since this post was written under the influence of scotch.

Mullens cuts another secret financial deal with UO

10/16/2012: Word around the faculty club snookers table is that the jocks have signed another secret “Memorandum of Understanding” with our administrators in Johnson Hall. The 2009 MOU between Kilkenny and Frohnmayer in 2009 cost the academic budget millions. Last year, after many public records requests and petitions, we forced them to post it and some other basic financial information on their website. Steve Duin of the Oregonian wrote a great column about that episode, here:

Even as the University of Oregon football team geared up this fall for another BCS run, an enterprising student/faculty committee began asking questions about the hidden subsidies that sustain the myth the Ducks’ athletic department is self-supporting…. 

That memo capped the athletic department’s overhead assessment at 3 percent through June 2012. That is one half the assessment rate charged other UO auxiliaries this year, including ASUO. … 

As The Oregonian’s Rachel Bachman (now with the Wall Street Journal) detailed last fall, UO diverted $8.5 million in general fund dollars from 2002-2010 to pay for academic support — including tutoring and counseling — of its athletes.

I don’t know if this new MOU is about the tutoring costs, the overhead rate, the Willie Lyles / Chip Kelly costs and fines, the $467,000 Mac Court scam, the Skybox tickets, the bowl game junkets, or some fresh scheme dreamed up by Mullens and Moffitt. They’ll tell the Senate when they decide to tell the Senate. Or maybe they won’t.

UO to build a Golf Course?

9/21/2012 update: President Gottfredson and Provost Mullens’s double secret faculty salary improvement plan will let faculty pick up summer pay caddying for the boosters and JH administrators. Tips go into a startup money pool for new science hires.

Personally, I don’t know what’s wrong with just using Hayward Field, it was good enough for Otter:

But enough joking, here’s the even more absurd truth. 9/19/2012: The UO Intercollegiate Athletics Committee met today for its annual retreat, agenda below. Part of the IAC’s charge from the Senate says:

As part of its function and in order to carry out its governance function, the IAC shall be consulted by:  

1. The athletics department on: …  

3. any decisions that potentially affect the campus environment, including construction, removal, or remodeling of facilities, changes in the timing of facilities use, or changes in permitted uses of facilities;  

We sat through a 5 hour meeting with AD Rob Mullens. Rob did not once mention a golf course. Neither did spokesperson Craig Pintens. And while they were busy keeping the IAC in the dark, Diane Dietz broke this story in the RG:

… A group of alumni led by Mick Humphreys, who was a UO golf standout in the early 1960s, earlier this month won the Lane County planning director’s approval for a proposed golf course on 796 acres of farmland and forests about two miles west of Creswell. Establishing the course would cost an estimated $25 million, including construction costs and the cost of creating an endowment to defray the cost of operations, said Mike Evans, a Springfield land use consultant. The money would be provided entirely by donors, he said. … The University of Oregon Athletic Department is in discussions with the prospective golf course donors, spokesman Craig Pintens said.

Tax deductible contributions, presumably.

IAC Retreat Agenda

Sept 19, 10-3pm
Johnson Hall Conference Room
  1. 10am – Introductions 
    1. introduction and overview of AD administration and structure
    2. introduction and overview of IAC administration and structure
  2. 10:15am – initial discussion points:
    1. overview of charge
    2. charges, responsibilities, membership, reporting
    3. IAC structure and internal communicative protocol 
    4. overview of our general mode of inquiry this year (where we are/where we are going)
    5. ground rules
    6. internal communication
    7. confidentiality, public meetings law  (Jim O’Fallon)
    8. notes, recording
  3. 2012-13 agenda overview and topics of discussion topics
    1. monthly meetings
    2. 10th year review
    3. Task Force Items overview and delegation
    4. further topics: conversations with coaches, messaging efforts, fundraising, NCAA certification report
  4. 11:15am – Charge: Represent the academic standards of the university as embodied in the University of Oregon Mission Statement in all decisions;
    1. mission statement overview 
  5. 12:00 – catered lunch
  6. 12:30pm – Charge: Promote greater understanding, for the university community, of intercollegiate athletics and the relationship between academics and athletics.
    1. 12:30pm – Dominican Republic Video and report (Katie Harbert)
    2. 12:40pm – Life of a student athlete (James Harris)
    3. 12:55pm – Tim Duy on the economic impact of Athletics on the wider community
    4. NCAA Eligibility (Gary Gray)
    5. Website updates (Dev Sinha)
  7. 1:10pm – Charge: Advise the administration, the senate, and the athletics director on any athletics department policy or program, including the athletics department budget;
    1. what is our communicative protocol with these three parties?  how can we be clear and effective?
    2. overview of departmental policy and programs including Title IX concerns (Mullens)
    3. NCAA Academic Rules, non-academic Rules and Legislation (O’Fallon)
    4. overview of departmental budget, a discussion on the involvement of the IAC in capital projects and hiring, financial situation for this year and projections for the next 10 years (Eric Roedl)
  8. 2pm – Charge: Promote and safeguard opportunities for student athletes to excel in academics and protect and ensure the academic integrity of student athletes; and
    1. overview of the current body of student-athletes – distribution of majors, graduation rate etc: Steve Stolp
    2. report on Student Experience Waddell/Harbaugh 
And thanks to bojack for the link.

UO athletics department FAQ updates

I’ve posted some updates to the DUCK FAQ. One tidbit:

Bob Berdahl signed this new contract for AD Rob Mullens, 2 weeks before departing: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/971644/uomatters/IAC/2012%20Mullens%20contract%20and%20update.pdf

The amendment (last page) extends Rob’s contract til 2017. It requires UO to pay him the $450,000 base salary until 2017 if he is fired without cause – i.e. $2,250,000. It removes the previous requirement that he pay UO the amount of his salary if he decides to leave UO while UO has the president that hired him – moot, at this point!

The salary and incentives for NCAA tournaments, the NCAA “Director’s Cup” ranking and (smaller) for APR rates remain the same.

AD gives $6M to academic causes, draws on reserves

Of course this is not about Oregon. Here we subsidize the money-losing jocks to the tune of $6 million or so, and then our administration signs off on their 21% raises anyway. 8/24/2012, From the University of Florida, reported by Hays Carlyon in the Florida Times-Union:

GAINESVILLE — Florida’s athletic department, the University Athletic Association, will contribute $6 million dollars to the university this fiscal year, but is having to take roughly $500,000 out of its reserves to do so to make up for a 7-percent shortfall from the previous year reported in its 2012-13 operating budget executive summary. 

The UAA, which operates separately from the university, budgeted a $5.575 million contribution to UF. That’s down from $6 million a year ago. A UF spokesman said the UAA would still contribute $6 million to the school, drawing on reserves. 

Senate calls for drug testing postponement

Two weeks back UO announced it was going to try and change the Oregon Administrative Rules which forbid random drug testing of Ducks. Bob Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and Randy Geller ignored both the intent of Oregon law (which requires public input) and the UO “Policy on Policies” (which requires Senate approval) to rush this through when school was out of session and there wouldn’t be an embarassing public debate.

But now the relevant UO Senate officers are calling for a postponement. Great. I do not understand why they are not also explicitly saying that this policy will require Senate approval. Scared of Randy Geller? Come on, Geller’s too chicken to even show his face. Yup, UO’s $200,000 a year general counsel has foisted responsibility for his latest off on his $45,000 a year executive assistant – there’s courage for you.

Update: Frank Stahl has now emailed Ms Hatch, saying “This postponement will allow time for the University Senate to act upon this Policy as required by the University Policy on Policies and the UO Constitution.” Which is going to make it a little harder for Randy to pass the buck.

To: Amanda Hatch, Rules Coordinator
re: Rulemaking Announcement – OAR 571-004 

Pursuant to OAR 571-001-0020, and as President of the University
Senate and Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC, a
standing senate committee), we are writing to you to request a
postponement of the public hearing that is currently scheduled for
August 23rd, 2012 at 2:00 pm (Walnut Room of the EMU). The purpose of
this public hearing is to receive public input regarding the proposed
amendments to OAR 571-004-0020, 571-004-0025, 571-004-0050 and
571-004-0055, and the proposed adoption of OAR 571-004-0038.
August 23rd does not fall during a time in our academic calendar when
school is in full session. This makes it virtually impossible for our
constituents to attend this important public hearing, and if it goes
forward as planned, our constituencies will feel that they were cut
out of the “public” process, which numerous individuals will assume
was intentional. 

We request a postponement that will set the date for the public
hearing during the second week of the fall quarter (Monday, October
1st through Friday, October 5th) or later. This time frame will enable
our constituents– especially members of the faculty and student
populations–to participate fully in a truly public process that is
synchronized with our standard academic calendar. 

Robert Kyr
Philip H. Knight Professor of Music
President, University of Oregon Senate 

Brian McWhorter
Associate Professor of Music
Chair, Intercollegiate Athletic Committee (IAC)

Because the lesson from Penn State is

that coaches need private hot tubs with waterproof video displays. Diane Dietz of the RG on UO’s newest football palace.

FWIW, AD Rob Mullens never completed the report to OUS on how he’d cover the operating expenses. My suggestion – cut baseball. $76,274,142 in expenses for crap like this, but ask Mullens what the Ducks can afford to give UO back for academic scholarships, and his answer is $0. From the report to the NCAA:

The full report is available on the Ducks financial info page here – created after a few public records requests and petitions to the AG.

Update: The RG is reporting that the Ducks falsely claimed that there were never any private hot tub plans – sorry, it’s right there in the blueprints. That’s transparency for you.

But Duck spokesperson Craig Pintens is now saying that there will be no private hot tub – damn NCAA lawyers.

But now Duck spokesperson Dave Williford reports that the hot-tub and adjoining steam room are still in the plans, but will be open to all the football coaches, in a special shared “wet room”. 7/17/2012.

Rob Mullens and coaches pull new scam on UO and players

4/25/2012: I’ve written before about AD Rob Mullens’s perverse incentives. Now the word is that the athletic department is having a hard time coming up with the cash to pay for these, and for the coaches’ bonuses. So they are auctioning off the players’ game jerseys, and keeping all the money. There are some unhappy players student-athletes, now that they’ve figured out the scam. One pissed off LaMichael James broke this story on twitter. George Schroeder of the RG has the writeup, with great quotes:

You might remember Mark Asper. Big guy. Played very well. Saved a choking man’s life a few days before the Rose Bowl, which generated some fairly positive publicity for his school. Hey Mark, what do you think of the auction? “It’s just like another scheme, another wrinkle where the university, the football program and Nike are gonna make tons of money off me and my buddies,” Asper says.

How about using some of the money to help out with the $2 million bill for the Jaqua Jock Box tutoring – currently all paid by regular students? Nope, then Mullens wouldn’t get his cut.

Of course, nothing in Jim O’Fallon’s NCAA infractions committee’s rules prohibits a *coach* from profiting from memorabilia sales – though this one’s violations are now under investigation by a considerably higher authority. Thanks to a commenter for the meme.

Rose bowl cost, part II

1/1/12: Last week we wrote about how past athletic victories caused UO donors to give more to athletics, and less to academics. Today Sam Stites of the ODE writes on how much Chip Kelly and Rob Mullens will get from the Rose Bowl win etc: $295,000. Not clear if the assistant coaches also get bonuses. Naturally the players get jack. There is also no deduction for costs, leaving these two with every reason to continue spending more and more of the academic side’s money. Mullens won’t even make Chip Kelly pay for the $150,000 Willie Lyles investigation. I’m no economist, but I believe they call these “perverse incentives”.

NYT on NCAA cartel

1/1/2012: Joe Nocera, the NYT columnist better known for stories on corruption in the financial sector, finds plenty of dirt in college athletics, and lays out a workable plan for cutting the burdens on the academic side, and shifting some of the benefits from overpaid athletic directors and coaches to the athletes:

Recently, Mark Emmert, the president of the N.C.A.A., tried to make the rules a tad less onerous. He got the N.C.A.A. board of directors to approve an optional $2,000 stipend as well as a four-year scholarship instead of the current one-year deal for players.
And how did the cartel react to these modest changes? It rose up in revolt. Enough universities signed an override petition to temporarily ice the new stipend. The same thing happened with the four-year scholarship.

A lawyer in Fort Worth, Christian Dennie, who specializes in sports law, got ahold of an internal N.C.A.A. document outlining some of the objections. One is especially worth repeating: “The new coach may have a completely different style of offense/defense that the student athlete no longer fits into,” wrote Indiana State. Four-year scholarships might mean that the school would be stuck with “someone that is of no ‘athletic’ usefulness to the program.” Thus does at least one school show how it truly views its “student athletes.” (Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated first reported on this document.)

At the N.C.A.A. convention in mid-January, both of these rules will be reviewed. In all likelihood, the N.C.A.A. will roll them back. However benignly it characterizes this action, it will be as clear-cut an example of collusion as anything that goes on at an OPEC meeting.

How can it be that the N.C.A.A. can define amateurism in one moment as allowing a $2,000 stipend and in the next moment as forbidding such a stipend? How can it justify rolling back a change that would truly help student athletes, such as the four-year scholarship, simply because coaches want to continue to have life-or-death power over their charges? How can the labor force that generates so much money for everyone else be kept in shackles by the N.C.A.A.?

Which side of this debate are UO athletics director Rob Mullens and our Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon on? The side that preserves their salaries and perks.