More priceless publicity for UO, courtesy of our rotting athletic “front porch”

Rob Mullens and his new $3.6M football coach sure know how to pick ’em. The Oregonian’s Andrew Greif has the latest on where Coach Willie Taggart’s road to Duck football excellence is taking the University of Oregon, here:

Five days after his hiring was officially announced by the Oregon Ducks, co-offensive coordinator David Reaves is in the process of being fired after his arrest early Sunday on charges of DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

“Reaves has been placed on administrative leave and the process to terminate his employment with cause has commenced,” UO athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. “The University has high standards for the conduct of employees and is addressing this matter with the utmost of seriousness.”

The 38-year-old Reaves, who also was set to coach tight ends for the Ducks and carried the title of passing game coordinator under new coach Willie Taggart, was stopped at 2:12 a.m. Sunday with a passenger in downtown Eugene after “multiple traffic violations,” according to Eugene police.

… Reaves, who was on a two-year contract worth $300,000 annually, was to share offensive coordinator duties with offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. …. His arrest and expected firing follows a tumultuous week for Oregon, which suspended new football strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde on Tuesday for a month without pay, while also including a formal apology on behalf of Taggart, after three UO players were injured during offseason workouts last week and hospitalized for several days. All three have since been released.

I wonder if Mullens gives his coaches the same advice the players get for dealing with the cops: Call the fixer Tom Hart on his personal cell phone, quick.

Duck football player under investigation for alleged assaults of female student

8/26/2016 update: Coach Helfrich has now declared the player guilty, and in doing so has committed a flagrant violation of Klinger’s interpretation of the accused’s FERPA rights. The Salem Statesman Journal reports:

“[The student-athlete] has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of University and Department of Athletics codes of conduct,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said in a released statement. “At the conclusion of the University process, his status as a student-athlete will be evaluated further.”

Oh, right, the athletic department makes their players sign a FERPA release. How could I forget Dana Altman and Craig Pintens not telling me that? How could Tobin Klinger? Video here:

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Why did Mark Helfrich keep this quiet until after the Emerald reporters broke the story?

And guilty of what? The Duck’s team rules include things like a requirement you call Professional Development Coordinator Tom Hart on his *personal* cell-phone if you’ve had contact with the cops:

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And stay away from Egyptian motorcycle gangs and the Russian prostitutes they own.

8/26/2016: The Daily Emerald has the scoop here, from Tran Nguyen, Ryan Kostecka and Cooper Green. The RG and Oregonian reports do a nice job citing them. UO strategic communicator Tobin Klinger has his traditional response:

UO spokesman Tobin Klinger declined to provide details, citing the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Representatives of the UO Athletic Department could not immediately be reached.

I’m no law professor, but here’s what the lawyers at the US Department of Education who supposedly enforce FERPA have to say about Klinger’s FERPA claim:

“Law enforcement unit records” (i.e., records created by the law enforcement unit, created for a law enforcement purpose, and maintained by the law enforcement unit) are not “education records” subject to the privacy protections of FERPA. As such, the law enforcement unit may refuse to provide an eligible student with an opportunity to inspect and review law enforcement unit records, and it may disclose law enforcement unit records to third parties without the eligible student’s prior written consent. However, education records, or personally identifiable information from education records, which the school shares with the law enforcement unit do not lose their protected status as education records because they are shared with the law enforcement unit.

Johnson Hall double-booked for protests today, as Black male athlete grad rate drops to 17%. Tom Hart, Craig Pintens monitor athletes

The NCAA reported last week that only 17% of the Black Male athletes who started at UO in 2008 had graduated 6 years later. Only 44% of all Black Male students (includes athletes) entering UO in 2008 graduated:

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For comparison 67% of all students entering as freshman in 2008 had graduated from UO w/in 6 years. This is the most recent data. The cell sizes for gender/race are small, and percentages bounce around a lot. 17% is, from what I can tell, the historical low point for UO. The average is more on the order of 45%.

Something to protest – or at least discuss openly? Despite the millions spent to subsidize the athlete-only Jock Box, from the tuition of regular students who aren’t allowed to use it, the trend on athlete graduation rates looks flat at best.

Maybe segregating athletes from regular students in a fancy glass box is not such a great idea?

Today, 12-1: #millionstudentmarch

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Today, 1-2, #blacklivesmatter march. Starts at the Ford Alumni Center Ballroom, after the the 12-1 Ogletree lecture:

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On the subject of #blacklivesmatter, Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum has discovered that a DOJ employee has been conducting unauthorized monitoring of social media accounts for that hashtag, to keep track of Oregon state employees (and other citizens) who support the movement and therefore might conceivably, in the minds of one of her employees, threaten police. And boy is she pissed at that employee:

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One of the surveilled: “It is improper, and potentially unlawful, for the Oregon Department of Justice to conduct surveillance and investigations on an Oregonian merely for expressing a viewpoint, or for being a part of a social movement,” Harmon Johnson wrote. “We are concerned that such unwarranted investigations are racially motivated, and create a chilling effect on social justice advocates, political activists and others who wish to engage in discourse about the issues of our time.”

On the other hand the Duck Football team has been doing this for years. Chip Kelly even hired a former NH State Cop, Tom Hart, to conduct surveillance on the players. Strictly for their own good, I’m sure. And Duck PR Flack Craig Pintens has the job of making sure they don’t talk to the press without his supervision. Wouldn’t want another Missouri type situation, would we. Here are some links to reports about basketball coach Dana Altman’s successful efforts to shut down his team’s Black Lives Matter protest.

Tom Hart contract here:

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Missouri football team uprising started with an economist, worked because of economics

11/10/2015: The NYT has the story, here:

… What the student demonstrators who toppled the president of the university system and the chancellor of its flagship campus in Columbia this week may not have known was that somewhere out there — in Frankfort, Ky., to be precise — one of those very students, Gus T. Ridgel, now 89, was watching.

In an interview, Mr. Ridgel said he was surprised and disappointed by the racist incidents at the university that prompted a campus upheaval. “I had always looked at the progress that had been made,” he said.

But as a doctorate-holding economist, he said he had to admire the boycotts of university businesses and athletics that Concerned Student 1950, the main student activist group, wielded to force those changes.

“Anything that affects the bottom line is going to get the attention of the leaders,” Mr. Ridgel said Tuesday.

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… He gained admission to Missouri’s graduate program in economics in 1950 only after civil rights groups won a court ruling desegregating the university. He decided to attend knowing that one of the black men who had gone to court seeking to break the school’s color barrier had vanished. He lived alone in a two-bed dormitory room in the midst of a campus housing shortage, because no white student would room with him.

Blacks had but one opportunity for off-campus socializing, a coffee shop near the university bookstore. Mr. Ridgel recalled entering a second cafe with three white students: “The man looked up from the counter,” he said, “and said, ‘I can serve you three, but I can’t serve him.’

“And they said, ‘If you can’t serve the four of us, you can’t serve any of us.’ And we walked out.”

He speaks almost matter-of-factly of his past as a path-breaker, and remembers his time at the university, during an era when separate-but-equal was still the law of the land, as surprisingly free of conflict. He said his presence had provoked no racial epithets, like those hurled at the current student body president, who is black, or swastikas scrawled on campus buildings, like the one found in recent weeks.

Rather, a student poll claimed broad support for the admission of blacks. Classmates made a point of sitting with him for meals, he said — and, eventually, asking to study with him. …

There are plenty of things this man should be bitter about. He’s lived through years of racism and discrimination. But he’s not bitter at all. Except for those B’s in Econ.

11/9/2015: University presidents’ chickens come home to roost

Joe Nocera’s NYT column is here:

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Budget busting UO Police called in to protect secret football practice

Former UO VPFA Frances Dyke told the faculty – and State Senator Floyd Prozanski and the state legislature – that a sworn and armed UO Police Department would probably save money, compared to contracting with the Eugene PD. She lied. Actually it’s roughly doubled their budget, to $5.6M last year.

But hey, they’re doing a great job keeping Duck football practice secret, according to this Bleacher Report story. No word yet if it was Tom Hart, the Duck’s Director of Football Security – and noted sexual assault prevention expert – who called in the complaint:

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I’m not sure if the $2.7M increase over 5 years shown below includes the $500K plus that new VPFA Jamie Moffitt’s Budget Advisory Group – an attempt to bypass the Senate Budget Committee – gave the UOPD last year.

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How the Ducks monitor Twitter

Update: Idaho athletic director Rob Spear suspends quarterback for tweeting that Idaho athletic director Rob Spear is “stupid”. And petty and insecure as well.

Chip Kelly got a lot of buzz for saying, in response to WSU coach Mike Leach’s twitter ban, “If you can’t trust a player with twitter, how are you going to trust them on third down?”:

Nice sound bite, but actually the Ducks don’t trust their players with twitter. Last year they hired a guy named Tom Hart, with this job task:

30% Monitoring athlete-agent activity and perform regular surveillance on campus, in the community and in cyberspace for the purposes of NCAA compliance and state law.

And of course talking to a reporter without permission can really get a UO athlete into trouble. Tom Hart’s full contract is here – lots of other interesting responsibilities. UO has refused to turn over his resume, but a commenter notes he has years of state police experience, including SWAT team and anti-terrorism training. Anyone got a photo of him? 10/26/2012.