Big-time college sports loses appeal

Craig Pintens and UO’s other well paid hypesters are starting to sound a little shrill. Bob Welch of the RG started it off last week with this nicely written column:

The excess. “In a word, that’s how I’d sum it up,” says Darrel Linker, 68, of Springfield, who says the UO is “alienating” its fan base. “New buildings, ticket prices, uniforms. The athletic department is getting ahead of itself.” … “It’s like, ‘We can do whatever we want to do and it doesn’t matter,’ ” Hoard says.

But I believe it’s starting to matter.

On 9/17 Welch added more and explains that reader response to this was 61/62 in support of his argument.

Meanwhile, after fighting the ASUO for months trying to extract a few more $100,000 in student fee money for tickets, the Ducks are now giving them away, to try and fill Autzen for the TV cameras. Rob Mullens has now abandoned his efforts to pretend Matt Court can be self-supporting, slashing many season tickets by 50%.

Maybe the enthusiasm will come back later in the fall, maybe it will drop more when the brain damage news gets worse and we find out more about Kelly’s NCAA violations, but at the moment the meme is not good. Don Kahle followed up the Welch piece with this. And a correspondent sends this, regarding UW:

Transparency is, again, the issue in Pac-12 football, as a 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning institution posits, “UW Football should remember it’s part of a public institution.”

The editorial is a follow-up to an item reported earlier in the week that UW was prohibiting media from reporting on practices. “This continues a trend of
limiting media access to the program, as UW cut this year from four to
two the number of practices open to the media…” Apparently, UW is merely bringing their secrecy standards up to date with other Pac-12 schools, with Oregon included in the list.

Ideally, the only way people will learn about their gridiron warriors is to buy a ticket and show up on gameday. But, really, why would anyone want to know what goes on in a football program outside of gameday…I mean, really?

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6 Responses to Big-time college sports loses appeal

  1. JB says:

    There’s a distinct difference between the UW policy and Oregons, though. UW is not only closing practices (which they pretty much had already done anyway), but telling the press what they’re allowed to report on what the did see, and suggesting punishment for reporters that don’t toe the line. Oregon has closed practices, sure, but no one is barred from reporting anything, unless dealing with Chip’s non-answers are somehow construed as punishment.

    If we buy into the “athletics as part of the academy” line for a second, practice is on par with class-time. I imagine everyone here would agree that press sitting in on a class is the instructor’s prerogative.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Practice is not on par with class time. Even buying that line, you’re blurring curricular versus extra-curricular. Both of which are “part of the academy” but occupy very different roles and different degrees of centrality. You could maybe argue that practice is on par with a chess club meeting. But not classes.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dance students need only take dance school classes no?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Did you catch Welch’s follow up column in the 9/16 RG City Region section?
    Snippets from the article:

    • Sure the athletic department needs to balance the budget, but things like this — when you can afford hot tubs and six helmets per player — clang loudly.

    • The University President can show up for free (to the welcome back International student picnic), but to have the Duck Mascot will now cost $200 bucks for an hour. (used to be free).

    • Oregon football was getting too big for it’s (black/gray/white/yellow/green) britches.
    That moat between Casanova Castle and the commoners was growing wider and deeper, mirrored by the three smallest Autzen crowds since 2003.

    He even wrote it might have been considered blasphemy to speak negatively against the “sacred ducks”.
    Instead, he received 62 e mail responses, all but 1 agreed, the Duck football situation is out of control.

    • Anonymous says:

      My conclusion is that if there is one thing you can count on Eugenians to do, it’s complain. They’re not a very happy bunch – is it the weather?