Are feds questioning UO Foundation head Paul Weinhold over IAAF “side deals”?

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. …

Side deals?

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:

Yikes! Oregon Senate trims Track Town subsidy

2/27/2016: Saul Hubbard has more in the RG here:

A last-minute change by the Oregon Senate on Friday to a proposed increase in the state’s lodging tax left Lane County lawmakers fuming.

The change, adopted because of pressure from Portland area Democratic senators, would erode further the size of the tax increase, meaning a smaller pot of new revenue for tourism-­related ventures across the state.

It also could make it more difficult for the tax increase to cover the full $25 million subsidy that will be requested for the 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene.

Under the latest amendments, the state’s lodging tax would increase to 1.8 percent, from 1 percent now, for four years. It would then drop down to a 1.5 percent permanent rate. …

I’m not sure why the legislature is considering even this, given that on Jan 14 Diane Dietz quoted Lananna as saying he can make this work without state subsidies:

Not getting the lodging money would be a big challenge to TrackTown’s goal of bringing 2,000 athletes from 214 countries to Eugene for a nine-day event in August 2021, Lananna said.

But coming up empty-handed in the February session would not stop TrackTown, he said.

“Are we going to go ahead? We’re absolutely going to go ahead. (But) don’t ask me what the next step is. I don’t know.”

And here’s what the Oregonian’s Jeff Manning had on Jan 10:

Track Town is not backing off its contention that it eventually needs $40 million in public funding to stage the event. Backed by the formidable political power trio of Nike, Phil Knight and the University of Oregon, it has plenty of clout in Salem.

“But we don’t have to get there today in this short session,” Lananna said. “We’ve got five years to bring people around.”

…  It’s a lucrative arrangement. Even at part-time, Lananna gets paid $440,000 a year, including some deferred compensation, by the university. Track Town and related entities paid him another $334,300 annually, according to the non-profit’s tax return.

On top of that, Nike pays Lananna $30,000 a year as part of a long-term consulting contract.

… “I heard through the grapevine that you are working on possible plans for an IAAF proposal,” then interim UO President Scott Coltrane wrote in an Aug. 26, 2014, email. “Can you give me an update and briefing via telephone when convenient?”

After talking to Lananna, Coltrane immediately emailed his top lieutenants clearly concerned about whether the UO could fulfill the promises Lananna was making.  “Yikes,” Coltrane wrote in the Aug. 28 email. “Have any of you seen any proposals for what specifically is being proposed for new housing for rehabilitation of residence halls?”

2/23/2016: House passes IAAF subsidy, UO won’t waive fees on public records

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Diane Dietz’s RG reports blow the Track Town / IAAF scandal wide open

Online at the Register Guard tonight, and in print tomorrow. There’s no way to adequately summarize this, read it all here. Vin Lananna’s take is  ~$800K a year, from 2012 to at least 2021. Lananna also owns a private media company that will be in on the championships. And while Lananna is making bank on this deal, he wants UO to give the IAAF everything at no charge – and cancel classes:

TrackTown USA is asking the UO to cancel all other activities during the championships — including orientations, seminars, camps or classes.

… “Participating teams will be lodged in University of Oregon housing, all of which will be brand new or renovated prior to” the event, according to the bid book. The UO has said it is borrowing money to finance the construction.

TrackTown USA also has plans to use the Knight Law building, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Matthew Knight Arena — all, Lananna asks, at minimal charge.

Hayward Field would be upgraded with triple the seating, including a new main grandstand featuring 300 linear feet of flexible suite space for corporate hospitality and event operations, according to the bid. The work will be privately funded, according to the UO. [I thought Hans Bernard was asking the state to pay for this.]

TrackTown USA is asking for the use of various physical spaces at no charge, including classrooms, meeting rooms, lecture halls, lounges, outdoor spaces and the university’s 6,100 parking spaces, according to UO documents.

TrackTown USA will require help from UO employees in catering, housing, IT and network services, the UO Police Department, Enterprise Risk Services, plus employees from academic departments, including athletics, architecture, business, international affairs, journalism, human physiology and the Global Studies Institute.

Any regular University of Oregon staff time spent working on the event would not be charged to Track Town USA,” according to UO documents.

Dietz has everything, except maybe a quote from Vladimir Putin. If she doesn’t get a Pulitzer there is no justice. But she’s got more. Way more:

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33843964-75/email-released-by-university-of-oregon-sparked-french-probe.html.csp

An email released by the University of Oregon in October caused French prosecutors to open an investigation into how TrackTown USA won the bid to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene.

The email showed a connection between Nike executive Craig Masback and International ­Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe, who also was on the Nike payroll at the time.

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33804692-75/lananna-ties-to-nike-phil-knight-have-grown-ever-tighter.html.csp

2007: Craig Masback, CEO of the nonprofit USA Track & Field, announces Eugene will get the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, of which Nike is the sponsor. One month later, Masback quits the national track group to take an executive position at Nike.

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33736651-75/lananna-draws-paychecks-from-multiple-public-and-private-sources.html.csp

Who pays Vin Lananna?

The University of Oregon? TrackTown USA? Phil Knight? Nike Inc.?

The answer appears to be: All of the above.

Since Lananna is a two-thirds-time public employee who also works fulltime as president of a non-profit corporation, the public can know a lot about how much he is paid each year for these two jobs: $769,105.

That’s $434,105 from the UO and $335,000 from TrackTown USA, according to the latest figures.

He also gets $30,000 a year straight from Beaverton-based Nike for “endorsement or consultation” work, according to a disclosure form he filed with the UO.

And, of course, free parking at the Jock Box.

Lord Coe quits Nike, French cops investigating Track Town bid

11/26/2015: 

The BBC has the latest from the IAAF headquarters – in Monaco, of course. Apparently the IAAF will replace his Nike money by paying Coe a salary, in an effort to reduce the IAAF’s longstanding system of bribes, kickbacks, and side deals:

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 11.46.34 AM

The British press is now asking why public money was spent on lobbying the IAAF members to elect Coe. And British MP Damian Colin’s parliamentary hearings will be on Dec 2. Report here:

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