big time athletics enabled "Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events"

7/12/2012: From the NYT on the Freeh report on Penn State:

“In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university – Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley – repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse,” the report said. Paterno “was an integral part of this active decision to conceal,” Freeh said at a news conference. 

School leaders “empowered Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events by allowing him to have continued, unrestricted and unsupervised access” to campus and his affiliation with the football program, the report said. The access, the report states, “provided Sandusky with the very currency that enabled him to attract his victims.”

No word yet on whether or not Phil Knight will now stop calling Paterno a hero and rename Nike’s “Joe Paterno Child Development Center”Update: Nike will now rename the child care center.

No word yet on how new UO President Gottfredson will strengthen oversight of the UO athletic department. He could start by replacing Jim O’Fallon, who’s had the job of UO’s NCAA “Faculty Athletics Representative” for 24 years, without a review, and who is no longer faculty. Update: …

7/1/2012: There doesn’t seem to be an end to the corruption that big-time college sports brings to universities. It now looks quite likely that former Penn State president Graham Spanier will be indicted for covering for Sandusky and allowing him to continue his child raping, and that Coach Paterno instigated the coverup. Phil Knight’s eulogy of Paterno, whom he calls a hero, is here. (Given before the latest revelations.)

How can anyone read these stories and not understand that college athletics needs more transparency and oversight, not less? Yet Bob Berdahl spent a fair amount of his time and energy during his short term as interim president trying to drastically weaken faculty oversight of UO’s athletic program. And if you’re a sports reporter, good luck trying to get public documents from the UO athletic department ever since Berdahl gutted UO’s public records process.

Berdahl’s not exactly naive. He knows about corruption in college sports, and he knows the effect of his efforts to intimidate the IAC and to limit access to public records. So why did he do this? Why the secrecy about Duck athletics?

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41 Responses to big time athletics enabled "Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Because it wasn’t his first rodeo. A better question would be why would he undermine his institutional position and power by increasing transparency? What would he have to gain?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe Bob just couldn’t take it anymore when the AD complained so loud and so often about ALL THAT EXTRA WORK his overextended, underpaid staff had to do to fill all those “OBVIOUSLY UNJUSTIFIED” FOI requests. I.e, he caved.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I honestly have no idea at all what Berdahl’s motives were. Did he provide any justifications? I don’t get it. Free tickets for life? That’s all I’ve got.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “money, money, money …. MONEY..”

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Why the secrecy about Duck athletics”?
    Well…here’s one guess: they don’t want it know who really is making the real money decisions at the so-called ‘U of O Athletic Dept’.

    Is it only me or has wonder-boy, Rich Mullens A.D. been largely a non-entity during his tenure compared to the real A.D.’s of the past?

    For example, we read in both rags that Lananna is going to focus on ‘other projects’and Johnson will be the new head coach. Say what? Who makes this decision (and just before Gottfredson takes his title)? Was there an UO Athletic Dept press release? Did Mullens say anything about this publicly? Is he even PRESENT or is he locked deep in the Cas Center still crunching ever-increasing lawyers fees for what seems like a never ending football (and basketball?) NCAA investigation?

    WHO really runs the Athletic Dept? AND…most importantly, WHO is asking any questions?? NOBODY.

    They’re all suckin’ on Nike/Olympic milk and checking each others’ press.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Make that Rob Mullens.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why is Berdahl making it harder to find out what the jocks are up to? Because that’s what Phil Knight wants, and because Berdahl can do it with impunity. Look at Frohnmayer. His office ignored the requests for info on the Bellotti contract for months. In the end that cost UO millions. But Melinda Grier got the blame, and Frohnmayer is still collecting a healthy UO paycheck. So if there is another big athletics scandal out there you can be sure that someone like Geller or Mullens will be left holding the bag, and that Berdahl will walk off looking golden.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So readers know, Anonymous on July 4 is UOMatters Guy. It’s obvious from the fact that the comment is an incoherent rant riddled with factual inaccuracies. Frohnmayer never ignored requests for info on the Bellotti contract. And Bellotti got exactly what was owed under his contract as football coach and nothing more.

    UOMatters Guy, the fact that you use anonymous monikers to try to substantiate your baseless comments is even more clear evidence of your querelous paranoia.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for the insight Frohnmayer guy. Good to know we have someone as unbiased as you to keep us honest around here. Doesn’t sound at all like you are biased toward Frohnmayer, Frohnmayer guy.

      (You won’t believe this, but this isn’t UO Matters guy speaking.)

    • Anonymous says:

      I do know Frohnmayer well, as I said in another post (not that it would be easy to find). For proper context, though, everything UOMatters guy says about Bean, Geller, Berdahl, Moffitt, etc. is also false. I just can’t speak to those situations specifically because I don’t know of the falisty the way I know it w/r/t Frohnmayer.

      Your sarcasm is pretty lame, fyi.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not “uomatters” or “Frohnmayer guy” but I think it’s great to finally have someone challenging uomatters on this blog. Uomatters obviously has some very strong biases so what’s wrong with hearing some counterpoints?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing wrong with counterpoints – they should be encouraged and they should be challenged. This statement, “everything UOMatters guy says about Bean, Geller, Berdahl, Moffitt, etc. is also false. I just can’t speak to those situations specifically” is just idiotic – its an example of the kind of bias UO Matters is accused of. Doesn’t add anything to the conversation.

      And, it is obviously a false statement – easily disproved.

    • Anonymous says:

      Original poster here. I appreciate your interest in constructive conversation. The statement “everything UOMatters guy . . .” is hyperbolic, admittedly, but it is not idiotic. UOMG has defamed those and many others viciously and repeatedly. I don’t have the time or energy to look into it beyond that, but the fact that I’ve pointed out so many lies with regard to Frohnmayer should at least give that statement credence. I’m hoping other people who do have more insight into the other things UOMG says can share for themselves.

  8. Anonymous says:

    My bad, *querulous

  9. Anonymous says:

    Some facts: Dave Frohnmayer retired as President June 30, 2009. Richard Larivere became President on July 1, 2009, the same day Mike Bellotti became Athletic Director.
    According to an April 7, 2010 Register-Guard article, the RG submitted requests for Bellotti’s contract on June 25, 2009, November 11, 2009, and January 14, 2010.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dog says

    Its a blog – everyone impersonates every one else. I may or may not be a dog. I may or may not be UOmatters bitch (dog). What I do I know is this as I look enthusiastically forward to yet another fall term:

    The combined leader ship of DF, JTM, LGD, Linton, Bean, Dyke, Moffitt, etc has

    a) produced football and basketball teams that have higher winning percentages than in the past.

    b) a commensurate large increase in athletic facilities

    c) a commensurate decrease in the Academic and instructional facilities quality over the last 15 years.

    d) a strong erosion of the UO as a Graduate Student Research University

    Are those desirable outcomes after 15 years of combined leadership? Do we blame lack of state funding on producing those outcomes and wash our hands of it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Re propositions (c) and (d), can anyone really measure the difference between a 5th and 6th rate university? Does anyone really care? UO has been skating on the world-class reputations of a small handful (3-5) of faculty for generations. The rest of the bunch, students and faculty, are public-school average, at best.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Re propositions (c) and (d), can anyone really measure the difference between a 5th and 6th rate university? Does anyone really care? UO has been skating on the world-class reputations of a small handful (3-5) of faculty for generations. The rest of the bunch, students and faculty, are public-school average, at best.”

      Not sure what your point is here. That we shouldn’t strive for improvement? Yeah, we’re not Harvard or Berkeley, but there are a lot of smart people here who do good work.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m more here to refute specific factual statements that are incorrect (e.g. the state overpaid Frohnmayer until UOMG reported it), but I will say that (c) and (d) are the type of absolutely idiotic statements that only one particular UO Professor has been known to make.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should clarify – do you actually work at UO as an instructional faculty? Do you have any daily, on the ground experience as to the conditions of teaching, research and facilities at UO? If not, what credibility do you have to say the (c) and (d) are idiotic?

      Or, are these observations wildly colored by you being Frohnmayer guy. You can’t both assert absolute bias in refuting all statements by UOMatters guy (which I am not by the way) and deny your own absolute bias (which you freely admit – “everything UOMatters guy says about Bean, Geller, Berdahl, Moffitt, etc. is also false. I just can’t speak to those situations specifically”…talk about an idiotic statement).

    • uomatters says:

      When Frohnmayer became President in 1995, there were 26 students per tenure track faculty. When he left in 2009, there were 34. Many more undergraduate students, but essentially no growth in the number of faculty. Obviously this was not all his fault, but having been here all that time I do not recall him pushing any initiatives to increase the number of faculty. Does anyone?

      I do remember his long fight against the Senate whitepaper on increasing faculty pay – while he was accepting raise after raise from Pernsteiner for himself. All in secret, until I started posting the contracts. Not to mention the whole furlough fiasco, Moseley and Bend, etc.

      Oh yeah, regarding your dates on his contracts – the retroactive contracts were not written, and the repayments made, until *after* I made a public records request on 8/1/2009 for contracts showing why Frohnmayer was being paid in summer. Looks like a coverup to me. Read the audit report. Sorry Frohnmayer guy, but you have picked a rather flawed hero to worship.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not going to address your first two points.

      With regard to the “retroactive” contracts: this is the exact sort of thing that you would lie about and have lied about. You said something very similar about the overpayments from the state; you claimed that it was your reporting that caused Frohnmayer to pay the money back. I called you out for lying, pointing out that Frohnmayer wrote a letter to the state five days after receiving the payments alerting the state to the mistake. You then deleted the entire thread where you made the claim in the first place.

      So no, I’m not biting here. You have zero credibility. End. of. Story.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog on idiotic statements

      well gee, if I only made 2 in one post then I am improving …

      proposition c is largely perceptual but can be shown quantitatively

      proposition d is clearly shown quantitatively and much of that has been
      posted in this forum before.

      Here are some G-rated recommended synonyms for idiotic

      asinine
      moronic
      inane
      and my personal favorite, fatuous

      UOmatters has banned from listing the non G-rated ones

    • Anonymous says:

      Will you not address the first two points because they don’t fit your theory that everything UOMatters says is false? I’d say that speaks to your credibility in this debate.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, I’m just not interested in having a debate on Frohnmayer’s career in this subthread. My concern is everything UOM has said about the ethics problems, conspiracies, conflicts of interest, etc. Literally all that has ever been posted on those issues has been false. I’m not going to spend my time quarreling on larger issues like faculty relations etc.

    • Sarcasm Guy says:

      Yes, let’s not waste our time here quarreling over the big issues like faculty relations and quality education and research.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “I’m not “uomatters” or “Frohnmayer guy” but I think it’s great to finally have someone challenging uomatters on this blog. Uomatters obviously has some very strong biases so what’s wrong with hearing some counterpoints?”

    It is good to see some challenging comments on this blog – finally. But these challenges haven’t just started to be written, they have just started to be published. You’ll note that when you hit ‘publish’, a statement comes up that says your post will appear after it has been approved. Up until a few months ago comments refuting a blog posting sometimes weren’t approved, or if they somehow got published, they often were deleted quickly. The transparency which UO Matters worships wasn’t a part of his own actions until recently. It appeared that there was almost 100% agreement with whatever had been posted, which was not the case. If whatever UOMatters posts is true and verifiable, and yes, transparent, then there should be no problem having contrary postings appear.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Who would Gottfredson replace O’Fallon with? Is $100,000 for half time work + free trips to the games enough to get someone new?

  14. Anonymous says:

    The title of this article: “Big time athletics enabled ‘Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events.'”
    The actual quote: “School leaders empowered Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events…”

    Seems like there’s a big difference in the first part of the sentences, but maybe the former doesn’t make severe enough of a point for UOMatters to be acceptable as a proper reference.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What ‘big difference’ is there? If we’re talking violations for selling game tickets illegally, then fine. But, we’re talking child rape. Repeated and sanctioned child rape at a ‘big time athletic’ school. Any bells, besides dumb ones, ringin’ for ya yet?

    Quibble stupidly, if you must, however it’s high time authentic college administrators get hold of their athletic programs. Whatever UOMatters can promote in the realm of ‘transparency’ will be appreciated.

    • Anonymous says:

      So what you’re telling me is that “big time collegiate athletics” is to blame for what happened at Penn St?

      So by that logic, if something happened at a big time academic school or a religious institution, they should be gutted as well? Maybe we shouldn’t have youth sports anywhere in the country, this happens more in that capacity far more than in collegiate athletics.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon from Thursday, you really missed the point. The Sandusky incident has nothing to do with college football. It illustrates a moral failure on many levels–Sandusky; those above him who put the prestige and reputation of themselves and their institution above the needs of abused children; and those below him who were too fearful for their own jobs that they did not do what was right. That sort of moral failure is not unique to nor even prevalent in college athletics, and this incident represents a learning opportunity for people in government, corporations, and all other organizations alike. The fact that UOMatters Guy is using it to indict college athletics or Bob Berdahl is logically fallacious and counterproductive.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a shower scandal, not a football scandal. If the locker rooms didn’t have showers, none of this would have happened. Blame it on the plumbers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Am I saying “big time college athletics is to blame for what happened at Penn State”?

      Yes and no. I know it’s fashionable to claim this has nothing to do with athletics or football but that’s simplistic. It also has nothing “technically” to do with religion, youth sports or any group gathering where evil can and has gained a grip. What it has to do with primarily is power, money and the corruption it brings through whatever fertile ground available.

      Unfortunately, as we’ve seen with all the various scandals and episodes that have come out lately,’big time college athletics’ is really fertile ground for such activity and a good place for exposure and change. So in that sense, given that Penn State was supposedly some hallowed ground where the god Football/Paterno was to be worshipped, then YES.. it’s about football; or more appropriately, football culture.

      If you blinker-up and compartmentalize, claiming this isn’t at all about college football (and it’s money connection to the pros and the mothership), then YOU are missing the point by stopping short in your analysis. It’s incumbent upon administrators to keep their athletic departments in control. Penn State was woefully corrupt from the top down. Transparency is key.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This post is literally a garbled mess of ideas having NOTHING to do with each other strung together to rant against Bob Berdahl. So Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation crimes prove that college athletics is “corrupt” and thus the UO Athletic Department needs more “oversight” and “transparency” by FACULTY?? LOLOLOLWTF!?!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m an outsider, a faculty member elsewhere. I believe the consensus among impartial observers is that Frohnmayer damaged the UO’s standing. A second-rate flagship school that had a fleeting opportunity to improve its reputation, the UO actually sank under the weight of too many students, a misplaced emphasis on athletics, and inferior compensation for the faculty. That’s the common view. The UO is regarded as a university that can be raided with impunity, because it’s unable to reward or even identify its best people.

    Frohnmayer never grasped the principle that senior administrators must be recruited from the universities that UO aspires to be. (None of his provosts and few of his deans, for instance, had ever worked at a top-tier university.) There are many excellent people on the UO faculty, but they have been treated as expendable by the mediocre people above them. Other institutions pick off some of the best ones at will, but that still leaves many fine scholars who feel bitter at being trapped at a university that doesn’t deserve them. Over time, that bitterness is a poison to the institution. While it’s true that some of what appears on this blog is outlandish and even paranoid, most of it appears to be a service to the community. At its best it sheds light on issues that would be routinely shared with the faculty of a well-run university; at its worst it serves to vent frustrations.

    Those who find fault with the blog must realize that the disaffection and hostility on display here are uncommon in higher education. The UO environment is especially toxic. Who is ultimately responsible for that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Your first paragraph had me cracking up – faculty members elsewhere really care that much about the UO to know as much as you do? Hilarious. But the second paragraph really took it to a new level. Other institutions pick off the best faculty here? I’m in one of UO’s top-rated departments and not a single faculty member has left the department in 10 years outside of retirement. Another department that I’m very familiar with has had 1 person leave in the same time frame. As for the “bitter fine scholars”, I know for a fact that you’ll find them at any university, good or bad. But I don’t think we have that many, at least in the departments I know.

    • Anonymous says:

      In Spring 2011, Provost Bean remarked in multiple venues that UO had its worst year for faculty departing for other institutions, a situation so bad that it was part of the rationale for the equity increase. There were significant departures in Psych and Human Phys at that time; I assume, if the Provost was correct, that there were significant departures in other programs. In my brief tenure here, I’m aware of major departures in Philosophy and Economics and inability to retain junior hires in English, History, Economics, and Political Science. So anon above’s comments are not quite as laughable as you make them out to be.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t see how anyone would really draw a conclusion from anecdotes on either side. Citing Bean certainly doesn’t seem like it’s going to get you much cred around these parts. Especially when he’s trying to justify the faculty raises that got Lariviere fired – certainly motivation for exaggerating the situation. Is anyone aware of any real data on this subject?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog Says

      Unfortunately there is not an “official” list of departed faculty so all one
      has to go one is anecdotes. Nothing is maintained by IR on this, for instance.
      For the last 15 years, CAS looses a few top flight faculty on a annual basis (order 5-10) but its unclear if this departure rate is abnormal.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dog responds to Anon Outsider

    I think the perspective shared here closely aligns with, well, at least mine –
    particularly the last sentence of the first paragraph. I also agree, and have stated in the vast, about the value and courage of this blog.

    In terms of the last paragraph:

    1. What exactly is “especially toxic” about the UO. Last time I got called into
    the Johnson Hall woodshed my feet didn’t melt off from the toxic walk over there.
    Hell, I don’t even know what a toxic environment means, beyond the literal chemical transition. Who is this environment toxic for? Students, faculty, OAs, wandering ducks, everyone?

    2. As to the who is ultimately responsible for this toxicity? I imagine other readers and the poster would have better answers than I, since I don’t understand what toxic means. If I can rephrase the question, using my UOmatters quota, —
    why is the UO a dysfunctional clusterfuck? — I can better answer that one.

    Briefly:

    A) 1990: Measure 5 was far more devastating to the UO than it should have been.
    The UO culture became defensive and hostile then but we had not good plan to overcome this slap in the face. We are put in, now in historical retrospect, a trajectory that we have not overcome such that we generally say “No, we can’t do that because we have no resources …”

    B) 1994: After utter duck futility in the Rich Brooks coaching era, the UO finally goes to the Rose Bowl. California Kids notice and now think the UO is cool …

    C) 1997: JTM decides that maximum de-centralization becomes the optimal way to deal with our meager budget. All the schools and colleges become entrepreneurial and compete against each other for pie slices in a fixed pie. The UO lost its central academic mission then and there.

    D) 1999: The large scale “process for change” initiative occurred. Zero outcomes from that other than Karen Sprague obtaining her present position. This was proof (to me), that good ideas don’t matter here (Note that the 2009 Big Ideas competition was just a repeat of this).

    E: 2008-present: Oh screw it, let them all in – maximize our tuition revenue while not scaling our TTF or our Academic Infrastructure.

    My faculty colleagues leave the UO for more than just salary consideration. Item E above has killed and already previously bad morale. I too would leave if other Universities actually hired dogs but I keep looking in the chronicle for the “Malcontent Academic Dog” position, but alas, that seems uniquely affixed to the UO.

    So, in conclusion, I haven’t a clue who is ultimately responsible for any of this. Consistently myopic leadership – consistently passive aggressive faculty doesn’t help – students acting as sheep doesn’t help – donors woo’d by shiny buildings instead of academic principles – locating a flagship University not in Portland — too much rain.

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