Video shows secret meeting of President and advisors, plan to recruit academically unqualified football players

Last spring Professors Kim Sheehan (Advertising and PAGIA Chair) and Tim Gleason (Journalism and Faculty Athletics Representative) refused to let me attend a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics, as explained in detail here.

President Mike Gottfredson had set up the PAGIA – with handpicked members – to replace the UO Senate’s elected Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, in the midst of the basketball rape allegations cover-up. The IAC is known for asking tough questions about athletics at UO and keeping the Senate informed. The PAGIA, on the other hand is still meeting in secret, and the administration is still letting athletic director Rob Mullens skip IAC meetings and avoid IAC questions.

UO Matters has now obtained a secret video of what seems to be a PAGIA meeting. It shows some disturbing conversations between the president and his advisors, about a plan to subvert academic standards so that the football coach can recruit the kinds of “student-athlete” transfers needed to get the team back to winning. They lay this all out in explicit detail. Much of the plan is not just a violation of NCAA rules, it is blatantly illegal, as the meeting participants openly acknowledge.

We all know this sort of thing has been going on for a long time, and we all know the administration and the NCAA winks and chuckles at it. I don’t think it’s funny. I think it’s an outrageous effort to subvert higher education and the proud academic tradition that universities like ours once stood for.

I’m against it. Therefore I felt I had no choice but to post the video below, despite the inevitable retaliation that will follow:

“This college has had a new president every year since 1888 …”:

More Horsefeathers here, and thanks to an anonymous (and untenured) faculty member for sending the links a year or so back. I’d never heard of this movie before. It’s almost as funny as South Park’s “Crack Baby Athletic Association” episode, which the NCAA’s lawyers have apparently made them take down. Bad screen capture of part of that here.

And for a more serious look at college athletics,

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18 Responses to Video shows secret meeting of President and advisors, plan to recruit academically unqualified football players

  1. Sun Tzu says:

    Humorous misdirection UOMATTERS but in your rush to amuse, you’ve missed the point. The effort to destroy the effectiveness of the IAC began 10+ yrs ago with Frohnmayer who abruptly stopped seeking input from the IAC because it refused to rubber stamp every athletic proposal that came before it. The anti-IAC sentiment grew with every subsequent administration and reached the boiling point when Gottfredson established a parallel administrative committee, PAGIA, and told the Athletic Director and FAR that they should not attend IAC meetings anymore. This presidential action sent the chillingly anti-democratic message to the Senate and the entire UO Community that our president could and would ignore campus governance rules whenever it suited. Gottfredson’s action was effectively identical to that of the Kentucky County Clerk, Kim Davis, who wrongly decided she could pick and choose which State and Federal laws to follow. The establishment of PAGIA was a clumsily effective method to muzzle the faculty voice. However by this action Gottfredson circumvented our democratic shared governance processes explicitly stated in the UO Charter, UO Constitution and Senate Enabling Legislation. The UO Administration cannot expect any respect from the UO community if it continues to behave as if it is not bound by the rules and processes of our governance system. Until the UO administration publicly agrees to adhere to our shared governance system, there will be absolutely no hope whatsoever of rebuilding our flagging campus morale or reversing our declining academic standing. Are you listening Johnson Hall? Do you care?

  2. Jennifer Freyd says:

    On the University of Oregon web page about Committees (http://committees.uoregon.edu/ ) the following is stated regarding Administrative Advisory Groups:

    “These groups are formed by administrators to advise the administration about a particular area of concern. Their membership and charge are defined by the administration in consultation with the University Senate. They also have an obligation to raise matters of concern to the University Senate and to keep the Senate apprised of major decisions.”

    That language comes from this UO policy that was enacted in May 2000 and as far as I know remains legitimate policy here:

    http://pages.uoregon.edu/uosenate/dirsen990/US9900-15b.html

    It is hard to reconcile the formation of new advisory groups in recent years with our own policy. A disregard for our own policy is demoralizing to members of our community and destructive to the institution.

    However, I have much hope for our future. In addition to appreciating collaborative and sincere shared governance, I believe our new president understands the tremendous importance of respecting policies, regulations, and laws.

  3. tell the truth says:

    Please, tell the truth, Gottfredson created the PAGIA cause Bill made the IAC effectively non-functional. They have to have some committee on athletic affairs, as mandated by the NCAA. Since the IAC would not function, they quickly put together the PAGIA. It was a bad idea, but where does the blame lie?

    Bill will now respond with an ego-centric view of events.

    • uomatters says:

      Some people just don’t get Groucho.

    • Sun Tzu says:

      As an IAC member when Bill was on the committee, I can tell you that the IAC worked perfectly well. Bill and other committee members politely and respectfully asked tough questions about athletic dept decisions, including athletic department spending priorities, plans for long range financial stability, improving the relationship between athletics and academics, the existence of rigor-less courses for athletes only and the student-athlete admissions process. These are appropriate issues for the IAC to address (see its charge at http://committees.uoregon.edu/iac). Sadly the FAR and AD refused to answer most of these questions in the IAC and it became increasingly clear that their lack of openness was because they did not want the UO community to know what they were doing and why.

      The IAC chair at that time, Rob Illg, a strong, unquestioning supporter of the athletic dept, actively prevented discussions of these issues and actually closed IAC meetings to the UO community. His frustrations led to him issuing a unilateral letter to the president claiming the IAC was nonfunctional because committee members kept raising difficult questions that athletic dept personnel did not want to answer. Following the Gottfredson’s decision to emasculate the IAC and establish a parallel administration committee (whose meetings are closed and confidential), the IAC has continued to function admirably under last year’s chair Kurt Krueger. I have no doubt but that this year’s chair, Andy Karduna, will do the same.

      Bottom line: Gottfredson deliberately circumvented long standing University shared governance policies and Senate rules by establishing a parallel administrative committee on athletics and by permitting administrators to shirk their governance responsibilities by not attending IAC meetings. This is a direct attack on our shared governance system established in the original 1876 UO Charter and followed by all University Presidents for 125+ yrs.

      Let’s learn from past mistakes and return our system of shared governance to a functional state. This will require all sides to trust and respect each other, both of which are in very short supply here at UO. If this does not occur very soon, the UO will continue its rapid decline into mediocrity from which it will not emerge for generations.

  4. tell the truth says:

    I guess we can test out our opinions next year when Bill takes over the Senate. I predict two possible outcomes. One, Bill continues his inability to work with others and the Senate degenerates into a series of vocal, over-top pronouncements. Two, Bill, in an effort to appear rational, over compensates, pretends politeness resulting in a milktoast year of formula, passive pronouncements. Of course, both predictions result in an ineffective Senate which, quite frankly, is an easy bet.

    • Dog says:

      Neither the Universe or UO policy/functionality revolves around Harbaugh. Commentators should stop elevating his impact.

    • Fishwrapper says:

      “…when Bill takes over the Senate.” What a crock of misunderstanding of how the process works. Yes, he will have a greater impact in some areas, but in many more he will in fact have reduced his ability to rake muck.

      I’m sure he will quickly pine for the days of being a lay Senator and faculty member, positions from which it is easier and often more productive to reach for the quiver…

      • uomatters says:

        Yes, probably easier from the outside. But I’m not sure it’s more productive. I intend to find out though.