Duck drug testing begins, without Senate approval

9/6/2012: In trying to defend random drug testing UO spokesperson Phil Weiler comes close to slandering UO’s acrobatics and tumbling team, formerly known as Competitive Cheer. Diane Dietz of the RG has the story here:

In acrobatics, Weiler said, “there are bodies that are literally flying through the air. The chance of injury if an athlete wasn’t caught properly or supported properly is pretty high. You want to make sure people are not under the influence.”

And there was some probable cause or reasonable suspicion about the team that led him to make this statement about UO students to a reporter? Or is it just public relations bullshit to take the heat off the football team’s Purple Kush problem?

President Gottfredson went ahead with this drug testing policy change without going through the Senate Executive Committee as Lariviere’s agreements with the faculty require. Perhaps Randy Geller convinced him that Duck athletics has nothing to do with UO academics, and therefore the policy didn’t need Senate review? It looks like Randy Geller needs to know more, and learn about saliva drug tests and the legality of conducting said tests.

Dear Rob and Brian:

I received your email of July 24, 2012, requesting a delay in the public hearing scheduled for August 23rd, 2012. The hearing will be rescheduled for September 13, 2012. Written comments will be accepted until noon on September 14, 2012. We will similarly postpone the date the rule will be filed with the Secretary of State and become final. The rule will be filed on September 21, 2012.

Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.

Randolph Geller

General Counsel
University of Oregon

The mild-mannered email from the UO Senate President and the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee Chair that set off Geller is here. He has a history of using this sort of intimidation. President Gottfredson made him apologize to the former AG for similar language, but apparently it’s OK to threaten the faculty – particularly when it works.

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18 Responses to Duck drug testing begins, without Senate approval

  1. Anonymous says:

    Weiler has never been believable. And now he has Pintens to company in the dirty work.

    Does anyone actually wonder why UO was opposed when it comes to self governance?

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Or is it just public relations bullshit to take the heat off the football team’s Purple Kush?”

    Right-o. Can’t have institutional control with the keys to the kingdom!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well I meant to say “can’t have institutional control without the keys to the kingdom”. But maybe there’s still some sense in the nonsense.

  4. Doctor Reefer says:

    Cannabinoids tend to create a paranoid response in some susceptible individuals. A urine test of General Counsel Geller might be in order, to make sure he’s not emailing under the influence.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think paranoia is the problem. It’s more likely he’d test positive for steroids.

  6. Retired River Fishing Fool says:

    Randy said: “Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.”

    I say: False??? Prove it.

    I bet this bone head doesn’t have a clue of truth about the University other than what the upper crust has told him is true…and we all know the rules they wrote for themselves. Deny deny deny deny….

  7. Anonymous says:

    The NCAA wants schools to do this. UO is bargaining with the NCAA staff over the punishment for the Will Lyles infraction right now, and is in no position to cause trouble. This was not a hard call. As for Phil Weiler, well he’s paid to deflect attention and he didn’t have a lot to work with here.

    • Frank Stahl says:

      It looks as though Weller was, indeed, given the task of minimizing a kerfuflle. Randy’s plan was to ram through a policy change (on October 3) without having the plan vetted by the Senate. The confrontation that was being created vy Randy’s plan has now been avoided by the adoption, on an arguably legitimate emergency basis, of a temporary policy. The Senate can now look at the issue of random testing in a proper way. In the meanwhile, the AD can get on with his plea bargain with the NCAA. Ho hum.
      PS: In my 30-second interview with Diane Dietz, reported in today’s RG, I had no idea what action the UO had in fact taken, and was expressing a generalized dissatisfaction with the relations between the GC and the Faculty on this issue.

  8. Beliver in Education says:

    Did anyone or a “group of some” true UO minded faculty have a meeting with President Gottfredson and inform him that the administration of this university is here in SERVICE to the faculty and students? And that it is the president and the faculty that work together for the better of the University? That’s according to a century’s plus charter.

    By sidestepping the Faculty it looks like the “transition team” has done their damage and we may have another dave to contend with. If that true?? time to close the doors, turn off the lights cause the UO will never be the UO again.

    The UO will continue to be a University for Administration enrichment and sport at the expense of all others.

    Strike one for the new pres…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Weiler is insinuating that the cheerleaders are on drugs? A new low, and I don’t say that lightly.

  10. uomatters says:

    Careful, he’s saying they *might* be on drugs. And the preferred nomenclature is “acrobatics and tumbling”, dude.

  11. Anonymous says:

    While I agree that the process might have been better if it had gone through the IAC and/or other governance procedures since this does affect our students, I am disheartened that I don’t see anyone else weighing in that the desired end goal here is actually a good thing. Random drug testing is the norm at nearly every other school in the NCAA and it does not change any of the repercussions here at Oregon. We still have a four strike policy (at least one more than I personally would have). I for one think the policy is sound and should be supported, although I would have liked the process to be more responsive. The Athletic Department certainly has to become more sensitive to the shared governance model, Geller needs to butt out since all he does is antagonize, but faculty also need to publicly give the AD some props for trying to do the right thing. All of the negatives on this and other sites just serve to build the barriers to cooperation, not engender a closer working relationship.

    • uomatters says:

      Rob Mullens never even told the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee that this policy change was in the works. Not exactly a close working relationship!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Random testing is ridiculous if zero drug use is the end goal. No employer uses random testing for preemployment screening. Why not 100% screening at the beginning of the season and again prior to post season play with random testing during the season?

    And why four strikes for recreational drugs while only two for performance enhancing?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure “zero drug use” us the end goal. But, the football team clearly did have a “Purple Kush” problem. I’m a big supporter of weed. At the same time, weed usage was so rampant on the football team that it eventually became problematic (Jermiah Masoli, Cliff Harris, and others that were both reported and unreported). My guess is that with all the problems, it was Chip Kelly’s idea to crack down a little bit.

      Darron Thomas was in the car with Cliff Harris when they “smoked it all”. Thomas has to have been smoking something when he decided to go pro…then, not get drafted.