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Taylor Branch proposes transparency on athletics

The famed Pulitzer prize winning historian of the civil rights movement has turned his attention to college sports and the NCAA hiring cartel. His 3 point program for reform is here – it starts with transparency:

At any college or university that hosts an intercollegiate sports program, the principal stakeholders must be assured candid, complete, and verifiable records for athletic revenues and obligations as well as for academic standards and performance. These records should be open for public inspection and accountability, subject only to appropriate privacy protections for the identity of individual students.
The body of sports stakeholders should include representatives of the school’s trustees and administrative leadership, its athletic department, its faculty, and students both on and off its sports teams.

Transparency regarding Duck athletics is exactly what Bob Berdahl tried to destroy – first when he insisted that all requests from the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Office for information from athletics be vetted by his office, and second when he rescinded President Lariviere’s fee waivers for public records requests, and third when he allowed the General Counsel’s office to take charge – despite their obvious conflict of interest.

Check the many fees and long delays for simple recent requests like contracts and invoices in the UO public records log, here. I’m not saying Lariviere was perfect, but his public records policies and practice were far, far better than what Berdahl has done. The fight to restore some level of transparency at UO will start again when Gottfredson takes office Aug 1.

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