State legislators call for investigation of former AG’s ties to athletic scandal

It’s not Oregon’s Frohnmayer and Kilkenny, it’s Pennsylvania’s Corbett and Sandusky. But the expensive fallout from Frohnmayer’s secret jock deals are on Gottfredson’s plate, according to the notes from his meeting with the heads:

Q: Has UO considered taxing the athletics program?
A: Evaluating relationship with athletic program


University cuts baseball

in an effort to reduce subsidies from the academic side:

Current athletic director Troy Dannen took over the battle in the spring of 2008, and just a year after landing the job, Dannen had to make the difficult decision to eliminate the baseball program. 

At the time, the university was looking for ways to trim its overall budget by 20 percent, equal to about $20 million, while at the same time facing a 9 percent reduction in state funding. For athletics, that meant a cut of more than $500,000 in the 2009-10 budget.
Dannen covered that shortfall by eliminating baseball, reducing travel budgets and leaving several positions in the athletic department unfilled.

That’s the University of Northern Illinois. This happened because the system Chancellor and the President made it happen. Here at UO the subsidies, and the lying about them, continue. I wonder what sort of meetings President Mike Gottfredson and Rob Mullens have been having about how to stop it. 9/5/2012.

Pres Gottfredson to watch Arkansas game?

If so he’ll do it from the “Presidential Skybox”, which costs UO’s academic side $375,000 a year. We pay the jocks because Dave Frohnmayer put his signature to this secret deal two weeks before he stepped down as UO President:

This was after Kilkenny had contributed some serious money to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation. A sad story in many ways. It took a petition to Attorney General Kroger to make UO give up the documentation on this, the complete file is here. After it came out, UO spokesperson Phil Weiler told KEZI reporter Kate Renner the $375,000 came from donations to the UO Foundation. It turns out that wasn’t true – it all comes directly from UO’s academic budget:

Weiler refused to correct his statement. I’ll go out on a limb and guess our current AD Rob Mullens is going claim those ungrateful students should be glad athletics gets their money, because the boosters in the box with the Pres are big donors to the academic side. That’s a nice story – but it’s not what the data show.  A few years back Stefan Verbano of the ODE had a great interview with former UO Business School Dean and current Warsaw Sports Marketing Prof Dennis Howard on the link between athletic contributions and the real University of Oregon:

“It’s called a donation or a contribution … when, in fact, as we have discovered in our research … it’s a transaction,” Howard said. “It has nothing to do with giving back to the University or a philanthropic motive. It is purely and simply a commercial transaction in which the individual in paying for tangible benefits: better seat location, access to the Autzen Club amenities. All of those things are driving those transactions.”

Howard’s paper, which uses data from UO donors, is brutal:

“Both alumni and non-alumni show an increasing preference toward directing their gifts to the intercollegiate athletics department-at the expense of the donations to academic programs. Sperber’s (2000) assertion that giving to athletics undermines academic giving is strongly supported.”

And here’s an update of the UO data on giving to the academic and athletic sides, showing that most of the growth in giving to UO over the past 11 years has indeed been to the athletic side – and this excludes most if not all of the Knight donations, which have all been to athletics since the WRC fiasco.

And last fall the UO Foundation’s annual report revealed a $1.4 million cut in the amount it provides for academic scholarships, and a $2 million increase in their own administrative expenses. 9/1/2012.

WARP and Arkansas State tickets


We report on an experimental test of the Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference (Samuelson, 1938). We recruited approximately 6,000 University of Oregon student freshman, offering a combination of higher education and athletic entertainment in exchange for tuition, fees, and opportunity costs ranging from $0 to $100,000. In an effort to obtain a bound on the hedonic value of the football component of this joint commodity we then offered the freshman free tickets to attend a Duck football game. UO’s educational quality and the non-educational hedonic benefits of college life were held constant. Fewer than 229 freshman subjects accepted this offer. We assume continuity to conclude that 95% of UO’s entering class wouldn’t watch the Ducks humiliate Arkansas State even if you paid them. This work demonstrates that the athletic department was wasting money when they paid AS $950,000 to play UO, and that the value of football – or at least bad football – has been oversold as a UO undergraduate admissions recruiting tool. We conclude that there is no statistically significant evidence of irrational choice behavior on the part of this sample of UO undergraduates.

Will Rubin ODE story here. Recent UO game contracts here. Big paydays for the visiting teams to take these big losses to the Ducks. Well, big paydays for the coaches and AD’s, that is. Tennessee Tech gets $500,000, Arkansas State $950,000. Excerpt:

AD gives $6M to academic causes, draws on reserves

Of course this is not about Oregon. Here we subsidize the money-losing jocks to the tune of $6 million or so, and then our administration signs off on their 21% raises anyway. 8/24/2012, From the University of Florida, reported by Hays Carlyon in the Florida Times-Union:

GAINESVILLE — Florida’s athletic department, the University Athletic Association, will contribute $6 million dollars to the university this fiscal year, but is having to take roughly $500,000 out of its reserves to do so to make up for a 7-percent shortfall from the previous year reported in its 2012-13 operating budget executive summary. 

The UAA, which operates separately from the university, budgeted a $5.575 million contribution to UF. That’s down from $6 million a year ago. A UF spokesman said the UAA would still contribute $6 million to the school, drawing on reserves. 

Kitzhaber fires Rob Mullens over raises for coaches

Just kidding. While Kitzhaber fired Lariviere in part because of the 6% raises he gave faculty, and rescinded the raises Kroger gave at the DOJ, there’s no sign he is going to do anything about the 21% raises that Athletic Director Rob Mullens and Bob Berdahl gave the coaches – paid in part with UO tuition money. I guess the coaches are more important to UO’s academic mission and the Gov’s 40-40-20 plan? 8/16/2012.

UO asks state to pay for Duck drug tests

The $2 million that Jim Bean is making regular students pay for the jock box tutoring isn’t enough? David Lieberman has the story in the ODE:

The University of Oregon released on Friday a list of proposed amendments and additions to its current student-athlete drug policy, including implementing random drug tests. Using an Ehrlich test kit and others like it, coaches and school facility members will be able to test students to ensure that they do not have any drugs in their systems.

The rules “emphasize that illicit and performance enhancing drugs are not allowed, provide for random drug testing, outline sanctions for positive drug tests, outline drug testing methods, and encourage self-reporting and treatment for drug use.” …

The amendments and additions will not be enacted until after a public hearing has occurred. The hearing will take place on Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Walnut Room of the EMU.

In order to make these changes a reality, the UO is requesting $35,000 of additional annual funding from the Oregon University System.

The NCAA’s random drug testing rules appear to violate both Oregon law and the sentiment of Oregon voters. A pot legalization referendum just made Oregon’s November ballot, and Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week reports that 1/3 of Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s campaign donations come from dope growers and their supporters.

Given this, and since good cheap weed and lax testing seems to be an important recruiting tool for the Ducks, I assume all involved know this new policy will vanish as quickly as a bong hit of Purple Kush in a crowded Courtside Apartment living room. Anyway, there are many ways to manipulate hair drug testing so that you pass, so it’s quite hard to know who is and who isn’t taking drugs anymore. Just an attempt by Rob Mullens to convince the NCAA he’s doing all he can legally do. 7/13/2012.

With more and more ways being created to assist people to beat random drug screening tests is there anyway we can really know for sure if someone has legitimately passed a drug screening tests or if they have been online and bought and used something to help them beat the test.

Although none of the methods offer 100% success in beating the urine test there are those that now offer a 99% success rate, that being said it does depend on whether the drug urine test is supervised or unsupervised. To read more about the different types of methods that are now being used to beat drug tests visit ouchclub as they have a wealth of information pertaining to the most current methods.

Athletics department cuts 7 sports to balance budget

6/30/2012: That would be the University of Maryland. From the WaPo:

With its multimillion-dollar deficit mounting and no deep-pocketed donor to cover the shortfall, the University of Maryland’s athletic department will proceed with plans to cut at least seven of its 27 varsity teams this weekend. The downsizing is an attempt to correct an unsustainable pattern many households know well: Spending more than you earn.

But the forces behind the bleak reality in College Park aren’t unique to Maryland. Athletic departments at nine out of 10 public universities that compete in big-time sports spent more money than they generated last year — and many are grappling with the question of whether dropping some sports is the solution.

I’m not sure if UO is still claiming that the athletic department balances its budget. We don’t – but if we cut baseball, I think we’d come pretty close.

It ain’t about the ducks

6/4/2012: LA Times article on why so many students leave CA for college:

The University of Oregon, which enrolled about 500 California freshmen five years ago, has also seen that figure balloon to more than 1,000 in 2011. The university’s increased presence in the Golden State, paired with the wandering eyes of frustrated parents and students, has led to a boon for the school, said Roger Thompson, vice provost of enrollment management.

“The gold rush is on, and in this case the gold rush is for college-going students,” he said. “We’ve got a pioneer spirit at the University of Oregon.”

But the administration continues to spout the fiction that winning sports teams lead to increased enrollment. To justify the subsidies for Kilkenny’s baseball? Come on. That money would hire 20-40 new profs – enough to make at least a dent in the student-faculty ratio and increase the chances students can get their courses and graduate on time.

Do you think  UO administrators would support these subsidies – or at least look a little more closely at them – if they weren’t getting thousands of dollars in free tickets and travel to away games for themselves – and often their families too? Why isn’t Bob Berdahl worried about this sort of conflict of interest?

Everybody gets a car!

6/3/2012: Bob Berdahl says UO can’t afford to give a few $200 fee waivers for public records requests anymore. And UO’s “self-supporting” athletics department can’t pay the $2 million a year that they are spending on athlete only Jock Box tutoring, so Jim Bean is taking it from the regular students. But there’s plenty of money in the UO budget to help Berdahl and a surprisingly large number of athletics department employees make their car payments:

Name  Title  2012 car stipend
Berdahl, Robert M Interim President $14,400
Mullens, Robert A  Dir Intercollegiate Athletics  $7,200
Westhead, Paul W  Head Women’s Basketball Coach  $7,200
Altman, Dana D  Head Men’s Basketball Coach  $6,000
Abrams, Harold J  Assoc AD – Dir of Dvpmt  $4,800
Beck, Jennifer L  Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach  $4,800
Duncan, Michael P  Sr Assc AD Facil Ops & Events  $4,800
Fincher, Shawn A  Regional Dir Dev Ptld/S Ca  $4,800
Larson, Thomas J  Assoc AD/CFO  $4,800
Moffitt, Jamie H  Exec Sr Assoc AD Finc & Admin, now VPFA $4,800
Mulkey, Felecia L  Head Coach Stunts & Gymnastics  $4,800
Peterson, Lisa L Senior Associate Athletic Dir $4,800
Scott, Ria Denise G  Head Women’s Golf Coach  $4,800
White, Michael C  Head Softball Coach  $4,800
Davis, Lorraine G  Special Assistant to AD  $4,650
Redding, Michael  Vice Pres University Relations $4,650
Andreasen, Michael C Vice Pres for Univ Development $4,500
Ancell, Joseph D  Group Sales Manager  $3,600
Campbell, Gary L  Assistant Football Coach  $3,600
Cohen, Jill A  Events Coordinator DAF  $3,600
Cook, James F  Asst Men’s & Women’s T&F Coach  $3,600
Frost, Scott A  Asst FB Coach – Wide Receivers  $3,600
Johnson, Robert A  Assoc Hd Coach M&W Track Field  $3,600
Lee, Shandrika T Asst Women’s Basketball Coach $3,600
Metro, Stacy A  Asst Volleyball Coach  $3,600
Muscatell, Daniel R  Asst Women’s Basketball Coach  $3,600
Neal, John C  Assistant Football Coach  $3,600
Osborne, Thomas S  Special Teams Coordinator  $3,600
Uhlman, Jason A Assistant Baseball Coach $3,600
Weir, Robert  Asst Men’s & Women’s T&F Coach  $3,600
Whittington, Keila A  Asst Women’s Basketball Coach  $3,600
Miller, Blake A  Assistant Softball Coach  $3,000

Senate election results, if it matters

5/19/2012: Bob Berdahl’s threats to veto faculty votes on who will chair our committees are getting more strident. And the administration has been setting up its own committees on important issues like policing, without even consulting the senate. But FWIW the senate and committee election results are now posted here.

Update: A comment posted by Pres Berdahl:

Once again, Bill Harbaugh tries to stir dissent with misinformation. I have NEVER threatened to veto Senate committee chairs. All I have ever said is that we could not bring to the Senate Transparency Committee a discussion of public records fee policy so long as the chair of that committee, Bill Harbaugh, has a conflict of interest about fee policy. This is not threatening to veto committee chair selections.

This comment raises still more questions – Berdahl is going to ignore the charge of a senate committee, purely on his own judgement about what constitutes a conflict of interest? Right.

On the veto issue, here’s an email from him to the IAC a few days ago, emphasis added. Berdahl is correct about his veto threat point, in that this is not an explicit threat to veto the faculty’s vote on who should be IAC chair.

On Fri, 18 May 2012 17:25:21 +0000, Bob Berdahl wrote:

This will be my last word on this matter.  I am not going to waste
any more time on it.  You asked that I publicly acknowledge that the
athletic department is not self- supporting, based on the USA piece. I
did so.  Although the USA data included revenue that may be
challenged, as I pointed out, I accepted the 2.8% as the number to be
compared to other universities.  By that number,  which is the only
apples to apples number we have, UO’s subsidy is lower than 212 out of
227 universities.

Now you seem to be rejecting the USA report because you think the
number is higher.  And you cite the other subsidies the university
provides.  My response is simply that everywhere i have been, the
universities provide similar services.  The UO is not unique in this
no matter what you may think.  And many of those services — general
counsel, public records, public safety, senior management,
parking–are provided all auxiliaries.

You reject the notion that athletic scholarships paid to the
university are a source of revenue for the university. Tuition is not
counted by USA, so it is not a part of that calculation.  However,
because non-resident tuition  subsidizes the education of residents —
non-residents pay more than the actual cost of education, the
difference between the cost of educating students and what the
athletic department pays is revenue to the university.

None of these calculations, of course, count the intangible benefits
— the visibility via television exposure, the enthusiasm of alumni,
the benefit to the city and local businesses that come from the
athletic program.  These intangible benefits can’t be measured, but
they are real.

Thus, I conclude that the only analysis of the institutional support
for athletics, the one you asked me to respond to, shows the UO to
look very good  compared with other Division  1 schools.

I do not think that an uncritical booster should be chair of the IAC, but neither do I believe a relentless and unfair critic should chair it either.

Please share this email with the entire committee.

Bob Berdahl 

Earlier correspondence between Berdahl and the IAC is here. There’s been a lot more lately, I’ll post when I get a chance in a day or two. For now I’ll just point out that Berdahl’s comments on athlete tuition (which originate with Jim Bean) would make sense, except for the fact that we don’t have a shortage of non-athlete out-of-staters willing to come to UO and pay the tuition.

And most of those are better students than the out-of-state athletes that the AD recruits. Many of those players (though certainly not all!) have academic records that require special dispensation from the admissions office. And they then require the $2 million in special jock box tutoring, subsidized by tuition money from the regular students.

It quacks like a subsidy, and it is a subsidy. I hope our next president will recognize that fact, and then move on to helping us reduce it, instead of trying to subvert the work of the IAC.

Rob Mullens and coaches pull new scam on UO and players

4/25/2012: I’ve written before about AD Rob Mullens’s perverse incentives. Now the word is that the athletic department is having a hard time coming up with the cash to pay for these, and for the coaches’ bonuses. So they are auctioning off the players’ game jerseys, and keeping all the money. There are some unhappy players student-athletes, now that they’ve figured out the scam. One pissed off LaMichael James broke this story on twitter. George Schroeder of the RG has the writeup, with great quotes:

You might remember Mark Asper. Big guy. Played very well. Saved a choking man’s life a few days before the Rose Bowl, which generated some fairly positive publicity for his school. Hey Mark, what do you think of the auction? “It’s just like another scheme, another wrinkle where the university, the football program and Nike are gonna make tons of money off me and my buddies,” Asper says.

How about using some of the money to help out with the $2 million bill for the Jaqua Jock Box tutoring – currently all paid by regular students? Nope, then Mullens wouldn’t get his cut.

Of course, nothing in Jim O’Fallon’s NCAA infractions committee’s rules prohibits a *coach* from profiting from memorabilia sales – though this one’s violations are now under investigation by a considerably higher authority. Thanks to a commenter for the meme.

jocks give back to UO students

Rob Mullens and his pals in the AD roll the students for $2 million a year to pay for the athlete-only Jock Box tutoring, $1.5 million for secret overhead subsidies, and even $75,000 for Chip Kelly’s lawyer.

But now they’re going to give away $25,000 in free student tickets to the LSU NIT game on Tuesday and try to call it even. Or that’s the latest rumor. (Now verified). Reminds me of this. 3/11/2012.

Students want more bread, fewer circuses

3/2/2012: Back of the envelope, each UO student pays $200-$500 per year in various subsidies for the jocks. In December the students voted 9 to 1 to start pressuring AD Rob Mullens to come clean about this, and fulfill longtime promises from past athletic directors to start making a contribution towards academic scholarships. At the November Senate Intercollegiate Committee meeting Jamie Moffitt (then AD finance person, now UO CFO) told the students that athletic director Rob Mullens has no plans to fulfill those promises:

The recommendation that the athletic department start contributing something for academic scholarships was made in 2004. AD Bill Moos and President Dave Frohnmayer agreed to it. Nothing has been done in seven years, and now Rob Mullens is telling the students he has no plans to even think about it for another six years. (Or until he gets another big subsidy for the Autzen expansion.) Meanwhile the costs to the student’s keep growing. Rob Mullens even has them paying half the cost of Chip Kelly’s NCAA investigation lawyer. Chutzpah.

The students are getting a little tired of this bullshit. So, now they’ve started picketing the games. ODE Story here. Photos here.