2/20/2018: Austin Meek has the latest on the Lananna and Tracktown in the RG here. No word yet on whether the feds are also interviewing the UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold, who also played a key role in the IAAF bidding, as reported by Diane Dietz in the RegisterGuard back in 2014:
The foundation’s financial guarantee to the IAAF set no upper limit on what the foundation would have been liable for if the Eugene event had turned into a money loser. …
Weinhold said the UO Foundation faced minimal risk in agreeing to cover meet losses because TrackTown USA’s budget was thoroughly vetted and reliable; Kitzhaber favored the legislation that would have provided millions in state support; and the foundation had confidential side deals meant to hold the foundation harmless, Weinhold said in the interview. Weinhold declined to disclose any specifics of those side deals.
“We do not believe we had any exposure, and we had agreements in place that eliminated our exposure. That should be enough for you,” he said. …
2/19/2018: Feds question Duck coach & Tracktown head Vin Lananna over 2021 IAAF Championships
Austin Meek in the RG:
USA Track & Field says it has placed Vin Lananna on temporary administrative leave after learning that Lananna and Eugene-based TrackTown USA were contacted “months ago” by federal authorities investigating corruption in the sport. …
No word yet on how the UO administration and the Foundation will handle this.
2/14/2018: Eugene loses three NCAA championship meets over Tracktown’s 2021 IAAF extravaganza
This is getting interesting. I wonder what the truth is. The Oregonian:
By closing its iconic track stadium for all of 2019, Oregon would void a three-year contract with the NCAA to host the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Because the Hayward Field tart-up for the 2021 IAAF meet will take it out of commission. Or because the NCAA doesn’t want to go down with Lananna?
In any case this certainly cuts into the rationale for Governor Kate Brown’s endorsement of $40M in public subsidies for the IAAF.
2/8/2018: USA Track and Field strips Duck coach Vin Lananna of his powers, as millions in public money change hands over 2021 IAAF championships
Before the legislature passed SB 270 and created the UO Board of Trustees, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Audit Division had authority for investigating this sort of sleaze. Now it’s all up to UO’s Internal Auditor Trisha Burnett (whose audits are apparently exempt from public records requests) – and of course the FBI, federal prosecutors, the IRS, the French government, and USA Track and Field.
And the Oregonian’s Jeff Manning, who has a stunning report here:
Vin Lananna’s rapid rise to the pinnacle of U.S. track and field has been stalled by a divisive fight on the sport’s national governing board over his business interests.
Less than a year after being elected president of USA Track & Field, Lananna was quietly stripped of some of his authority. The board specifically cited his leadership of several companies and nonprofits – including Eugene-based TrackTown USA — that routinely bid on contracts to host and organize track meets.
The board passed a two-page resolution in October that, among other things, forces the former University of Oregon track and field coach to recuse himself from any matter that involves his companies or their competitors.
Millions of dollars have changed hands between the governing body and Lananna’s numerous outside interests. Most recently, the association pledged $6 million to Oregon 21, the organizing committee of the 2021 track and field world championships in Eugene.
“Vin has been engaged in complete conflict of interest,” said Steve Miller, the track and field association’s chair. “The outcome of the vote is that he has to recuse himself from the vast majority of what he does as president of USATF. Your effectiveness as leader is greatly diminished when you can’t be in the room.” …
Will Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum follow up on this?
Meanwhile Lananna is still on the UO payroll, at 0.69 FTE: