UO’s “Art of the Athlete” course gave all the athletes A+’s

10/12/2015: Today’s report by the Daily Emerald on this course, here, doesn’t mention that little detail. How did UO’s Faculty Athletics Representative miss this irregularity?

Fortunately for the Ducks, the UO Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee discovered this and put an end to it several years ago. The course is now pass/fail.

What other questionable courses are UO’s student-athletes taking? Hard to say. AD Rob Mullens and his designees have refused to meet with the IAC since a few days after Mullens and Mike Gottfredson read the EPD report on the basketball rape allegations, and Gottfredson then appointed his handpicked “Presidential Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics” to take over the IAC’s job. The IAC asked too many questions.

And the PAGIA’s meetings are closed.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 8.22.36 PM

10/23/2014: Report on gut classes for athletes leads UNC to fire nine employees

Continue reading

UO Ducks avoid Notre Dame scandal by not making athletes write papers

It’s a national scandal – the NYT has the details here. Notre Dame was trying to make football players write papers. Fortunately the players, or their coaches, hired real students to do the work before any actual damage was done. Jim O’Fallon’s NCAA Infractions Committee will conduct a thorough investigation, just like they did for UNC.

Notre Dame should have plagiarized a page from the Ducks. Make all your athletes take a sham “Family and Human Services” course, taught by Athletic Department employees. Claim that it’s a key part of preventing sexual assaults. And for God’s sake don’t require a paper: just give them all 3 academic credits for posting a “final project” video on youtube:

Read the syllabus here:,

More of the final project videos here:https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fhs+199

If they still have trouble with NCAA eligibility, set up a special “Art of the Athlete” course for them, and give them all A+’s.

For more info, contact UO’s Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon, here, or Duck spokesperson Craig Pintens,here.

UO response ignores the revenue sport athletes

“Around the O”‘s response to Sara Ganim’s CNN investigative piece on the pressures on universities to admit and pass revenue sport athletes manages to entirely ignore the distinction between revenue athletes, and those in non-revenue sports like women’s tennis. Joe Mosely’s piece – with some disturbingly evasive quotes from UO VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson, just back from his Alamo Bowl junket, is here. Presumably CNN will soon update their database with the numbers that UO and Thompson do not want to show.

1/7/14: CNN: UO delaying release of records on athlete’s SATs

As a local reporter, Sara Ganim broke the Sandusky/Paterno story. Her digging got her a job at CNN. (Take note, UO journalism students, athletics is the bright spot in the reporting job market, and there’s always a scandal to write about. Former ODE reporter Ryan Knutson turned his investigative pieces on the Matt Court arena deal into a WSJ job.)

Now Ganim has been digging into the issue of “special admits”. These are students who do not meet a university’s regular admissions requirements, but get in anyway. At football factories such as the one UO has become, these are often athletes who make millions for the coach and entertain the hell out of the boosters, but enter college as illiterates and leave as illiterates with concussion induced brain damage.

Ganim’s CNN story on this is here. The NCAA lays the blame on college presidents:

“Are there students coming to college underprepared? Sure. They are not just student-athletes,” said Kevin Lennon, vice president of academic and membership affairs at the NCAA.

But he said the NCAA sees it as the responsibility of universities to decide what level athlete should be admitted to their schools.

“Once the school admits them, the school should do everything it can to make sure the student succeeds,” he said. “(Universities) don’t want a national standard that says who they can recruit and admit. They want those decisions with the president, provost and athletic directors. That is the critical piece of all of this.”

True enough, when this issue game up in the UO Senate last year, President Gottfredson said he didn’t want the faculty involved in these decisions. OK, it’s on him and Lorraine Davis, who sits on the committee that rubber-stamps the athletic department’s requests.

So, how bad is this problem at UO? Ganim was able to use public records requests to get data from many schools, including OSU. But not UO:

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 9.49.54 PM

But you can get an idea by following this link and watching the student videos from UO’s sham FHS 199 course that was being taught by athletic department employees, for academic credit, without faculty review. Here.

Athletics tutors gave indicted professor a “guest coach” tit-for-tat

That would be at UNC, part of what will likely be a long series of revelations:

On three occasions, the records show two athlete support program counselors offered football tickets and food to Nyang’oro and his family. In one, Reynolds told Nyang’oro he would be “guest coaching,” which meant that he could watch the game with the team on the sidelines.

The Ducks also have a guest coach program for cooperative UO faculty teaching classes to athletes. Turns out they’re not supposed to do that, appearance of potential conflict of interest and so on:

The National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics, a professional standards group, warns academic support programs about offering tickets or other perks to professors who teach their athletes. While not an outright prohibition, the group’s code of ethics says its members “should never be party to the offer of tickets, trips, sideline passes, autographed memorabilia or any other items that would constitute bartering for a grade with an instructor.”

The NAAAA held its annual meeting at UO in October. Program here. Speaking of conflicts of interest, one of the speakers was Lorraine Davis, whose special favors from the athletics department included trips to the Rose Bowl for self and family.

Lorraine G. Davis, Ph.D., Special Assistant to the President and Provost, University of Oregon.

Lorraine Davis currently serves as the Special Assistant to the President and Provost at the University of Oregon. She joined the UO faculty in 1972 and was vice president for academic affairs from 2001 to 2006. All of the deans of the university’s schools and colleges reported to Davis when she was vice president. She previously served as graduate coordinator and department head in the university’s school and community health program before being appointed vice provost for academic personnel in 1990. In 2009-10 she served as Interim Athletic Director and in 2011-12, she served that campus as the Interim Provost. In her current role, Lorraine oversees Support Services for Student Athletes, and is deputy administrator of the E.C. Brown Foundation and Trust, a philanthropic health education organization.

Presidents pushed to reform athletics, lack confidence in boards

9/4/2013: Excellent report in Insidehigered.com, from former ODE reporter Allie Grasgreen, on the latest effort to pressure university presidents to take control back from athletics departments.

Also check out the Ry Rivard story on lack of confidence by presidents in their boards:

Only 20 percent of public four-year college presidents [were confident their institution was well-governed by its board.]

NCAA academic reforms go bad

If there’s one thing the jocks understand it’s how to take the rules and run with them. Today’s excellent story in Inside Higher Ed, by Gerald Gurney and Richard M. Southall, dissects the 2003 NCAA academic reforms – pushed by former UO Pres Myles Brand – and shows how they have been subverted by athletic departments and cooperative central administrators:

Presidents of Division I universities, with the assistance of their athletics programs and some faculty enamored with athletics, knowingly accept watered-down curriculums for specially admitted underprepared athletes as the price of big-time college sport. They willingly leverage loose admissions standards with special exceptions reserved for athletes, massive remedial programs and less rigorous academic majors to maintain or achieve winning programs to keep their donors and regents pleased and proud. The promise of a world-class education and opportunity is a great hoax.

Read it all, reflect on how much of this is happening at UO, and think about what we can do about it, here, soon. Let’s start with having President Gottfredson giving the faculty access to the data on academic performance which the Senate unanimously asked him to provide by last month. 2/14/13.