Mullens starts AD job Monday

8/15/2010: George Schroeder of the RG has a story on new AD Rob Mullens, he starts work Monday, 2 weeks early. And the RG Editorial Board gives him a lengthy To Do list, including:

3. Get your staff in order. The athletic department’s current administration is a hodgepodge from the Bill Moos, Pat Kilkenny and Mike Bellotti eras. Loyalties are mixed, and there is friction over the future direction of UO athletics, ranging from proposals to build an indoor track facility to the allocation of resources to non-revenue generating sports. It’s traditional for new ADs to bring their own people on board, folks they know and trust from past experience. Something for you to think about.

No kidding. Too bad Lariviere didn’t do the same on day one, starting with Melinda Grier.

Speaking of hiding things from the public, the faculty, the press, and the President, the athletic department faces financial troubles of all sorts. It will be interesting to see how far Mullens will go in terms of making those troubles transparent. President Lariviere has done a pretty good job pushing transparency for the academic side, but athletics is where the real trouble is. Will we get info on donations for Bellotti’s payoff – the truth could easily lead the IRS to rule the gift(s) are not tax-deductible. The terms of Knight’s donations for new coaches’ offices and the football museum? Accurate numbers about the extent of the athletic deficit? Some honesty about how the increase in faculty/staff/student parking fees will subsidize the Matt Court underground parking, or more bullshit a la Frances Dyke? An end to claims that “The University of Oregon Athletic Department is financially self-sufficient and does not receive any support from state funds” – despite the lottery fund subsidy? BANNER accounting reports on what the athletic department is really doing with the money the UO Foundation collects from fans as donations for “student athlete support”?

Lat month when I asked Lorraine Davis, the interim AD, about the latter I got this reply:

I have received your concerns.  Be assured that I, with lots of able assistance,  will continue to monitor the various budget matters in the Athletics Department.

My best,

Then she and her able assistants realized their answers weren’t even close to the Foundation’s, or to what UO reported to the NCAA, and they all stopped answering emails.

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