Free Jock Box parking for Lorraine Davis and other Duck Nomenklatura

Back in in the day the land now occupied by the Jaqua Center for Student Athletes – or as the NYT calls it the Jock Box – was a parking lot, mostly used by OA’s in Oregon Hall.

In 2010 or so UO gave the land to the Ducks, for free. The eastern part of the lot is still a parking lot, but it’s now reserved for Duck Athletic Department camp-followers. Some might ask why UO is still employing Lorraine Davis, much less giving her a free parking spot. Apparently Mike Schill has not.

FWIW, neither of the employees the Ducks list as “Sports Psychologists” can be found in the state’s registry of professional psychologists, here. One can be found in the list of licensed counselors list, here, as a “Marriage and Family Therapist”. The APA rules are strict:

APA recognizes sport psychology as a proficiency acquired after a doctoral degree in one of the primary areas of psychology and licensure as a psychologist.

So that’s two parking slots that should open up as soon as someone reports them to the notoriously strict Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, who have fined UO Counseling Director Shelly Kerr $5K for past violations.

Here’s the latest list of free Jock Box parkers, courtesy of Kevin Reed’s public records office. If you want to know their salaries, check

NCAA cartel rejects Pres Schill’s modest proposal on academic fraud

From the NC NewsObserver here. They got the records through a public records request. I wonder how much Kevin Reed would charge for a similar request to UO. It seems like, despite his well-paid advisors, Schill simply got outmaneuvered:

Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National Collegiate Players Association, said Schill’s unsuccessful proposal speaks to why California lawmakers passed their legislation — they don’t believe the NCAA can adopt their own meaningful reform. The association advocates for athletes’ right to compensation, health and safety standards and academic opportunities, and describes the NCAA as an “economic cartel.”

He said what happened to Schill’s idea appeared to another example of “that economic cartel squashing a reform idea that could have helped improve academic protections for college athletes.”

The academic fraud reform effort stems from the outcry following the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ decision two years ago that it could not punish UNC-Chapel Hill over classes that offered high grades but no instruction. A detailed investigation by a former federal prosecutor found an academic secretary created and graded many of the classes. More than 3,100 students took at least one.

The NCAA wants to pretend the problem is the faculty. This is why our Athletic Department makes the Provost pay the $2.5M for the Jock Box – so their sleaze can be blamed on the academic side – and why the academic budget is still paying for Lorraine Davis and Tim Gleason:


And why Provost Phillips has to send out CYA emails like this:

Dear UO Faculty,
I am writing with an important reminder from the University of Oregon’s Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Committee (IAAC). The committee wants to remind all faculty about NCAA rules as they pertain to academic misconduct and academic extra benefits for student-athletes.
While most NCAA rules do not involve faculty members, the IAAC wants to ensure that each of you understand how these two areas can impact decisions you might make regarding the treatment of student-athletes.
Please take the time to read the important memo below. If you have any questions, please contact Tim Gleason, the university’s Faculty Athletics Representative, at [email protected] or by phone at 541-346-3739.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I wish you the best as we start the fall term.
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President
To:       UO Faculty
From:   Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Committee (IAAC)
RE:       NCAA Academic Misconduct and Academic Extra Benefits
Student-athletes at the University of Oregon (UO) and all other member universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are required to follow a number of rules and regulations that may not apply to other students. While most NCAA rules do not involve faculty in any significant way, the current rules concerning “academic misconduct” and “academic extra benefits” create the real potential for faculty to unintentionally contribute to violations that could jeopardize a student-athlete’s athletic career and result in sanctions against the university and athletic department coaches and staff.
In this memo, the IAAC briefly details these regulations and provides guidance concerning compliance with them. Please note that this information is shared with a full commitment to academic freedom and to the academic integrity of the University of Oregon. If you have questions now or later, please contact Tim Gleason, the UO Faculty Athletics Representative.
Academic Extra Benefits
Under NCAA rules, an academic extra benefit is “[s]ubstantial assistance or the granting of an exception that is not generally available to an institution’s students, which results in the certification of a student-athlete’s eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics or receive financial aid.” A recent rule change extended the application of this rule to all university faculty, staff, and student employees. It is now possible for a university employee with good intentions and no connection to the athletic department to provide a student-athlete with an impermissible academic extra benefit.
There are two “bright lines” to keep in mind concerning academic extra benefits:
  1. Student-athletes may not be given special treatment simply because they are student-athletes. If you are considering an accommodation for a student-athlete and you have not offered and would not offer the same or a similar accommodation to another student, you should not offer it to a student-athlete.
  2. Athletic eligibility may never be a factor in any academic decision. If a student-athlete says that he or she needs to earn a certain grade to be eligible to compete, please inform the student-athlete that you cannot consider athletic eligibility in any decision.
Areas of special concern:
Academic Misconduct
At the UO, “‘Academic Misconduct’ means the violation of university policies involving academic integrity.” Examples include: intentional tampering with grades, resubmitting assignments for more than one class without the permission of the professor; intentionally taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of a test that has not been administered; cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to a university official; and fabrication.
While academic misconduct at the UO primarily focuses on student behaviors, it is possible that an instructor of record who engaged in fraudulent behavior, such as intentionally awarding a false grade or giving credit to a student based on the work of others in order to protect athletic eligibility, would be in violation of university policy. Such behavior may also be viewed as academic misconduct under NCAA rules.
In addition, it is possible for an instructor of record to unintentionally violate the NCAA’s impermissible academic extra benefits rules. There is a real potential for an NCAA violation that could result in sanctions for the university if, for example, an instructor of record knowingly or unknowingly failed to follow university policies concerning grading or believed that a student had violated the academic integrity provisions of the student conduct code and failed to follow university policies for reporting violations.
Student-athlete travel and class attendance/participation
Team travel will result in student-athletes missing classes in terms when their sport is in season. Because they are traveling for university-sponsored activities, faculty are strongly encouraged to make pedagogically sound and justifiable accommodations that will enable the student-athletes to be successful in the classroom, just as we would encourage such accommodations for other students traveling on university-sponsored activities. However, this request has limits and conditions:
  • Student-athletes are given a letter to share with instructors at the beginning of every term that reports when they will be traveling. It is the student-athlete’s responsibility to share this letter with his or her instructors and to discuss travel conflicts in time to arrange for appropriate accommodations.
  • In classes with substantial class participation, project or lab work, appropriate accommodations may not be possible. In those instances, the student-athlete should be informed that the course is not a good fit in a term with significant travel. Under no circumstances should the instructor offer an accommodation that is pedagogically unsound or that would be unavailable to other students.
Late Assignments
Student-athletes have very demanding schedules as they juggle athletic and academic demands. They are, of course, not unique on today’s college campuses. Many students are juggling competing demands. Student-athletes should be held to the same standards as other students who have professional or family obligations or who are traveling on university business.
Grade Change
Any grade change for a student-athlete must be based on consistent criteria applied to all students in a class and should follow the guidelines and procedures for such grade changes published by the registrar.




Mullens, Lananna, Lorraine Davis get free Jock Box parking

Having a hard time finding a parking spot on campus, despite your $420 parking fee? Not a problem for the Duck athletic nomenklatura. They get free parking in the Jock Box parking lot:

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Here’s the list of beneficiaries:

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Eric Roedl, Craig Pintens, – wait, Tim Gleason’s not on the list? The MOU allowing this scam is here:

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They’re really claiming that the parking spots were “donated as part of the Jaqua Building Gift”? Actually, t was the other way around. UO gave the land to the athletic department for $1. At the time it was being used as a parking lot, very convenient for the Oregon Hall staff. Of course they had to pay to use it. For regular UO employees, reserved parking spots range from $1200-$1800:

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Of course regular UO employees don’t get “Courtesy Car Stipends” either:

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And why is the hunting license fee so high, at $420? Because the Ducks stuck UO with a large part of the bill for the underground Knight Arena garage.

Ducks to let regular UO students go upstairs at Jock Box

but just this Thursday at 1:00, for a meeting of the Senate’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee:

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Word is that SSA Director Steve Stolp and his boss Lorraine Davis will address questions about the effectiveness of the Services for Student Athletes operation, which segregates Duck athletes from regular UO students while making the regular students foot the entire $2.4M bill for the athletes.

Only two of the twelve black male athletes UO admitted in 2008 had graduated by 2015. That’s a one-year anomaly, but from what I’ve seen of the data Stolp and Davis are going to have a hard time showing a positive effect, even using some of the NCAA’s specially cooked up measures. More here:

This is an open UO Senate committee meeting, so anyone can attend. Ignore the signs on the stairs saying “Stop: Authorized use only.” Just don’t ask too many questions. The last time UO student reporters started asking questions, AAD Eric Roedl had them kicked out, Dave Hubin made sure they couldn’t use student funds to pay for the public records, UO redacted the shit out of them anyway, and a few years later the administration subverted the IAC with a toothless, secret PAGIA.

Johnson Hall double-booked for protests today, as Black male athlete grad rate drops to 17%. Tom Hart, Craig Pintens monitor athletes

The NCAA reported last week that only 17% of the Black Male athletes who started at UO in 2008 had graduated 6 years later. Only 44% of all Black Male students (includes athletes) entering UO in 2008 graduated:

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For comparison 67% of all students entering as freshman in 2008 had graduated from UO w/in 6 years. This is the most recent data. The cell sizes for gender/race are small, and percentages bounce around a lot. 17% is, from what I can tell, the historical low point for UO. The average is more on the order of 45%.

Something to protest – or at least discuss openly? Despite the millions spent to subsidize the athlete-only Jock Box, from the tuition of regular students who aren’t allowed to use it, the trend on athlete graduation rates looks flat at best.

Maybe segregating athletes from regular students in a fancy glass box is not such a great idea?

Today, 12-1: #millionstudentmarch

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Today, 1-2, #blacklivesmatter march. Starts at the Ford Alumni Center Ballroom, after the the 12-1 Ogletree lecture:

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On the subject of #blacklivesmatter, Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum has discovered that a DOJ employee has been conducting unauthorized monitoring of social media accounts for that hashtag, to keep track of Oregon state employees (and other citizens) who support the movement and therefore might conceivably, in the minds of one of her employees, threaten police. And boy is she pissed at that employee:

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One of the surveilled: “It is improper, and potentially unlawful, for the Oregon Department of Justice to conduct surveillance and investigations on an Oregonian merely for expressing a viewpoint, or for being a part of a social movement,” Harmon Johnson wrote. “We are concerned that such unwarranted investigations are racially motivated, and create a chilling effect on social justice advocates, political activists and others who wish to engage in discourse about the issues of our time.”

On the other hand the Duck Football team has been doing this for years. Chip Kelly even hired a former NH State Cop, Tom Hart, to conduct surveillance on the players. Strictly for their own good, I’m sure. And Duck PR Flack Craig Pintens has the job of making sure they don’t talk to the press without his supervision. Wouldn’t want another Missouri type situation, would we. Here are some links to reports about basketball coach Dana Altman’s successful efforts to shut down his team’s Black Lives Matter protest.

Tom Hart contract here:

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Lorraine Davis and $2.4M Jock Box don’t budge Duck graduation rates

The NCAA made its annual release of graduation data last week, here. Despite UO’s $80M Jaqua Center for Student Athletes and the $2.4M SSA program (which UO’s non-athletic students pay for and which former Interim Provost and Athletic Director Lorraine Davis oversees at ~$200K a year), the graduation rates for Duck revenue sport athletes are near the bottom of the PAC-12. And they’re not increasing.

Here are some extracts. These are sorted on the 6 year Federal Graduation Rate. This measure has lots of problems, but so do the alternatives. The NCAA would like you to use its home-brewed “Graduation Success Rate” on the argument that it deals better with transfers. Which it does. But it also counts players like Brandon Austin, who was able to transfer out of UO in good academic standing, as a success. (KATU story here.)

The most recent available NCAA data is for the 2008 cohort. So Stanford’s FGR of 92 means that 92% of the football players they admitted as freshman in 2008 had graduated from Stanford by 2014, six years later. Not bad. For UO this was 52%, the 9th worst in the PAC-12. For contrast, back in the day for the 1998 cohort UO graduated 66% within 6 years – the second best of the PAC-12:

PAC-12 Football, 2008 v. 1998 freshman cohorts:


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I picked 1998 since it’s the earliest year in the NCAA database, but it turns out to have been a high point for UO’s FGR, though not for the GSR. Here’s the whole history. The simple takeaway is that UO is pretty bad:

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For basketball, the Ducks have always been towards the bottom, and still are:

PAC-12 Basketball, 2008 v. freshman 1998 cohorts:


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GODUCKS.COM has buried the press release on the NCAA data here. No mystery as to why Craig Pintens and Tobin Klinger are hoping not to be asked about this story. Perhaps the Jaqua Center is having a positive impact somewhere? Any comments are welcome.

The are several reviews of Steve Stolp’s SSA on Provost Scott Coltrane’s website, here. It’s the usual white-washing. Here’s Eric Price from the PAC-12, doing what is ludicrously labeled as an “external review”. He doesn’t present any data on outcomes – none – but the building? Just stunning:

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Here’s the conclusion of the report from UO’s former Interim Provost Frances Brohnet. Who cares if they’re graduating, they think they’re doing great, and they’re not complaining to the press:

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Just what does Lorraine Davis do to earn her ~$200K? According to UO’s Public Records Office, that’s top secret:

The NCAA’s blurb on graduation rates is here:

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NCAA FAR Tim Gleason will report to the IAC, 1PM Wed in 109 Friendly

Update: Some brief notes from the meeting today: The PAGIA has not yet met this year. Gleason believes Kim Sheehan (Advertising) is still the chair. Gleason gives an interesting report on some of the topics that he and the PAC-12 and FBS conferences have and will be voting on (including many of obvious academic importance). All apparently done without faculty input. This was followed by a full and frank discussion focused on the athletic department’s unwillingness to meet with the IAC, and the Jaqua Center’s unwillingness to share data. As usual the student members did a great job with questions.

Gleason brought up the use of the allegedly derogatory phrase “Jock Box”, which originally appeared in print in the New York Times, in their 2010 “University of Nike” story. It turns out Gleason has a point, of sorts, according to the well know urban dictionary website:

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One of the student representatives then explained to Gleason that the phrase reflected legitimate concerns by non-athletic students over the fact they are not allowed to use the box, but have to pay for it. Links to Greg Bolt’s stories about this are here. This year the subsidy is $2.4M, including $11K to engrave the $140K worth of Macbooks that the athletes get:

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Why do UO’s regular students have to pay for all this out of their tuition? Why does Gleason expect them to do so happily?

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10/27/2015: Yes, of course it’s a public meeting.

Hopes are high that Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee Chair Andy Karduna (Human Phys) will be able to successfully follow up on the excellent work that Kurt Krueger (Printing) did as chair last year, in the aftermath of the basketball rape allegation cover-up. The less said about the disastrous leadership of 2013-14 chair Rob Illig (Law) the better, although I notice Krueger has a brief history report on the agenda.

The highlight of the meeting will no doubt be the report from UO’s new Faculty Athletics Representative, Tim Gleason (Journalism).

UO’s previous FAR, Jim O’Fallon (Law), was also on the NCAA Infractions Committee, where he contributed to the ruin of many a young student-athlete. Here’s his committee’s report on UConn basketball player Nate Miles:

As stated in the committee’s public infractions report, this case centers on the “extraordinary steps” taken by the university to recruit a top prospective student-athlete to its men’s basketball program. The director of athletics stated it was the “most intense” he has ever seen the head coach about the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete. The committee found that in his “zeal” to get the prospect admitted to the university and eligible to compete, the head coach allowed a booster, who was a certified agent by the National Basketball Association, to be involved in the recruitment process. Further, the committee found that the head coach “overlooked indications” that this booster might be breaking NCAA rules. Specifically, the booster provided the prospect with impermissible inducements, including the payment of at least a portion of the expenses for the young man’s foot surgery;

The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Dr. Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and chair of the Committee on Infractions. Other members are Britton Banowsky, commissioner of Conference USA; John S. Black, attorney; Eleanor Myers, faculty athletics representative and law professor at Temple University; Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto, the Richard H. Larson Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law; Roscoe C. Howard, Jr., attorney; and James O’Fallon, law professor and faculty athletics representative for University of Oregon.

That’s right, some booster paid for an athlete’s foot-surgery, so the NCAA ruined his life. The athlete’s life, that is. There were some claims that the NCAA’s Infractions Committee violated HIPPA in this investigation, but I don’t know what came of that. The NYT reported in 2011 on the consequences of this ruling for “the prospect”:

The former University of Connecticut basketball recruit Nate Miles is effectively homeless. He moves from friend’s couch to friend’s couch, still recovering from a violent assault that left him with a stab wound and a punctured lung and a monthlong stay in the hospital.

Miles, 23, has obligations to go with his troubles, two sons from different mothers, and no great confidence in where his next meal is coming from. A life playing basketball, the sport he once planned to make a grand career of, seems unlikely. He was fired from the Premiere Basketball League’s Dayton, Ohio, team, and he now says he cannot afford to play at a local recreation center because he lacks the $10 fee.

… “I don’t feel like it’s fair, but it’s life; life isn’t fair,” Miles said.

NCAA enforcer and UO FAR Jim O’Fallon NCAA player Nate Miles

But life is more than fair for the FAR. We paid O’Fallon $97K to do this job, half-time:

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And now we’re paying Tim Gleason $100K:

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This money – and all the expenses of the FAR office – come out of UO’s academic budget. So the IAC should expect a pretty thorough report from our faculty colleague Tim Gleason, on what he has been doing, and plans to do, to ensure that the Duck’s revenue student-athletes get something besides an A+ in their “Art of the Athlete” class, in return for all the money they bring in for their coaches.

IAC Agenda:

Location: 109 Friendly
Day: Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Time: 1-2 pm

Tentative Schedule
1:00 Welcome and introductions: Chair
1:10 A Brief History: Kurt Krueger, Immediate Past Chair
1:20 Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) report/comments: Tim Gleason
1:30 Role of IAC Executive Committee: Chair
1:35 Discussion of the charge of the committee: Chair
1:45 Open Discussion – member questions, concerns, priorities, agenda items, etc.
1:55 Scheduling of future meetings

The big dog Phil Knight puts his mark

on what the NY Times calls “Oregon’s Jock Box”. RG photographer Chris Pietsch catches him in the act, here.

Does this mean that the big donation is coming soon? Will it just be for Hayward field and other 2021 Track Championship construction, or will new President Michael Schill insist that Knight toss the academic side a bone, in exchange for signing off on the IRS declaration that there’s an academic purpose to the madness?

And while we’re on metaphors: To the left, the sleek, overflowing infinity fountain of the Jacqua Jock Box, symbolizing purity, strength, and athletics. To the right, the empty, broken, debris-filled fountain in front of the Knight Library, symbolizing the messy, shallow, underfunded, and filthy life of the mind.

FAR Jim O’Fallon endorses “separate and unequal” athlete tutoring subsidy

FAR Jim O’Fallon: 0.5FTE at $195K FAR Tim Gleason: 0.5FTE at $219K

Jim O’Fallon has been pulling down $100K or so a year to serve as UO’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for 25 years, without any faculty review. Last summer Mike Gottfredson appointed retiring Journalism Tim Gleason to replace O’Fallon in this sinecure, but let O’Fallon stay on for a last year. So at the moment we’ve got two FARs – both paid out of the academic budget, of course. The academic side even pays for their away-game junkets.

On March 4th the UO Senate unanimously passed two pieces of athletics legislation. The first will require the Ducks to gradually start paying a modest amount of money to UO’s academic side, for things like student scholarships. The second will replace Gleason with a Faculty Athletics Representative that’s actually picked by the faculty. Sounds crazy, I know.

Meanwhile, here’s O’Fallon’s letter to the RG Editors in response to the first legislation. He’s defending the $2.2M subsidy the academic budget pays the Ducks for the athlete only Jock Box:

Jaqua center aids student-athletes

Register-Guard readers may find some additional information helpful in understanding the circumstances of the academic support program for student athletes that was covered in the March 7 article regarding the University of Oregon Senate’s effort to secure fund transfers from the athletic department (“Faculty eyeing athletics budget”).

The exclusionary policy in the Jaqua academic center for athletes is functional. Its purpose is to secure an environment where student-athletes can study without undue distraction.

For many high-profile student-athletes, that’s not possible in more accessible study spaces. It wasn’t a point of contention in the space previously occupied by the program, but it’s become an easy target for invidious comparison in the new building.

The article mentioned “free lunch.” That’s a benefit recently authorized by the NCAA as part of a reform package aimed at student-athlete welfare. It addresses concerns related to the nutrition of these very active young women and men. Even though these people will surely have set meal plans and supplements like the ones from Unify Health labs (find these unify health labs reviews as an example) to keep their bodies in good shape for whatever their chosen sport requires from them.

One further bit of information may be worth mentioning. While academic support services are a staple of Division I athletics programs, there’s a significant split in how they’re funded.

Many institutions believe the best practice is to keep the funding in the hands of academic authorities, rather than in the athletic department. The UO’s practice reflects agreement with that judgment.


Jim is full of shit, of course, as the commenters on the RG page point out. It’s even more absurd than they know. While UO’s regular students are stuck subsidizing the athlete-only Jock Box, it’s the athletic department that controls it. To the point of charging the academic side if we want to use it:

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UO faculty establish their “paramount authority” over Duck athletics

From the UO archives, 18 September 1895:


My OCR chokes on this, but it appoints a committee of 2 profs and 1 student and says

“… All proceedings of the Athletics Club concerning Intercollegiate games must have the approval of this committee. This shall in no way interfere with the paramount authority of the Faculty. The committee shall report to the Faculty at every regular meeting.”

1/31/2012: Back in 1895 the Ducks were leaders when it came to faculty governance of athletics. I’m no history professor, but Teddy Roosevelt didn’t found the NCAA until 1906, motivated in part by public outrage over what would now be called repeated MTBI, in part because he figured it would give Harvard an edge over the public universities with recruiting.

Since then, there’s been a certain amount of slippage here at UO, and nationwide. Harvard, however, is still embarrassing itself over sports. So is Yale. So is UO. Some things never change.

As for the NCAA and UO’s place in it, read the latest from NYT columnist Joe Nocera on what he calls the “moral bankruptcy” of the NCAA. UO Faculty Athletics Representative and former law professor Jim O’Fallon sits on their infractions committee. What was his role in this decision? Good question – but good luck trying to get our Faculty Athletics Representative to actually communicate with mere faculty. We do  have to pay his salary and expenses from academic funds, however.

Paris announces Ducks will open Jaqua Center to regular students and pay 2/3 of athlete tutoring costs!

5/5/2014 Update: That’s according to the report by Margie Paris in the Senate minutes, here:

Looking at the issue of whether student athletes receive preferential benefits, the task force considered the levels of financial and academic support, registration, and enrollment benefits. They concluded that there are preferential benefits, particularly in the area of advising, but not inappropriate benefits. For example, two-thirds of the student advising services are paid for by the athletic department but are rendered through the university’s academic support services, not the athletic department itself. Ms. Paris said there is integrity in these services and that they are available to all students, not just student athletes.

Oh wait, that’s from 2003, when the cost was a few $100K. Currently the entire $2.4M cost of the Jaqua Center’s support services is paid by Provost Scott Coltrane out of the academic budget – i.e. regular student tuition – and the Jock Box’s services are emphatically off limits to regular UO students.

5/2/2014: Breaking news from the UO Senate minutes: Duck AD agrees to use athletics profits for academic Presidential Scholarships

[Senate] President Marcus asked about the task force recommendation that the athletics department contribute to academic scholarships. [Athletic Director] Mr. Moos replied the that the athletics department will implement the recommendation with the actual amount of funding support determined each year, dependent on the revenue stream. The department is in the process of completing the budget for next year and determining the scholarship contribution amount, which will go toward funding presidential scholarships.

Oh wait, that’s from 2005, never mind.

The athletic department never followed through, of course. A year or two later Phil Knight ordered Dave Frohnmayer to fire Bill Moos. The UO Senate is still trying to get the money from the athletic department, and end the millions in athletic subsidies that Frohnmayer allowed to creep back in over the subsequent years. And President Gottfredson is fighting the Senate’s efforts by hook and by crook.

UO student paper calls out athletics for under-prepared special admits

In the Oregon Commentator, here:

We’ve all heard stories. We’ve sat in class with them and seen them on campus. We’ve seen the tutors take notes and we are constantly reminded of how special they are every time we see the shiny glass cube that the Jaqua center is [or, as the NYT calls it, the Jock Box] …

Professor indicted for sham courses that kept revenue athletes eligible

That was at UNC. What about UO? The NYT has the UNC story:

One of dozens of courses in the department that officials say were taught incompletely or not at all, AFAM 280 is the focus of a criminal indictment against Mr. Nyang’oro that was issued last month.

Eighteen of the 19 students enrolled in the class were members of the North Carolina football team (the other was a former member), reportedly steered there by academic advisers who saw their roles as helping athletes maintain high enough grades to remain eligible to play.

Handed up by an Orange County, N.C., grand jury, the indictment charged Nyang’oro with “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously” accepting payment “with the intent to cheat and defraud” the university in connection with the AFAM course — a virtually unheard-of legal accusation against a professor.

At UO, for 5 years Steve Stolp, Director of the Jaqua Center for Student-Athletes, (or, as the NY Times calls it, Oregon’s Jock Box) required all entering athletes take an athlete-only course called “Special Studies: Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics”. This course was taught by Duck athletic department employees, who gave out 3 UO academic credits for it.

You can get an idea of the academic content of this course by checking out the final project videos by the students, several of which they posted themselves on youtube, here: The syllabus included academic highlights such as “Athletic Department Scavenger Hunt” and “Read 101 things to do in Eugene. Do one thing on the list and respond to the discussion board”:

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This course had been taught for 5 years without any review by the UO faculty, to perhaps 500 athletes. It was cancelled last year by the UO Senate Committee on Courses, after it was finally submitted for review, 3 years after the deadline, and only after some strenuous prompting by UO Matters.

Academic oversight of athletics is supposedly done by long-time Duck booster and administrator Lorraine Davis, currently a semi-retired “special assistant” to President Gottfredson and Interim Provost Scott Coltrane. When I made a public records request for a copy of the contract spelling out Ms Davis’s precise job duties, I got the heavily redacted document below.

The academic operations of the Jaqua Center, whose services are only available to student-athletes, costs UO’s academic side $2.2M a year.  The UO administration justifies the subsidy by arguing the academic side can’t provide oversight of this operation unless we pay. We do pay, but we don’t have any oversight. Move it along professor, nothing to see here. Literally:

AD reserves increase, Jock Box subsisidy grows, and still no action from Gottfredson on ending athletic subsidies

10/12/2013: The Duck AD tells OUS its financial picture is dramatically better than forecast, due to increased revenue and the savings from Helfrich’s contract relative to Kelly:

But still no substantive response from President Gottfredson on the Senate resolution calling for an end to athletic subsidies. In fact it looks like interim Provost Coltrane has allowed Jock Box tutoring costs (code 267830) to increase by 22%, from $1.8M to $2.2M:

7/23/2013: Pdf here. May 8th 2013 Senate discussion of this resolution, which passed 19 to 4, here. Video here.

This is much better than I expected:

One intent of the resolution is to ensure that athletics is paying an appropriate
share of the costs associated with tutoring and advising of student athletes
and for the arena. This is clearly an appropriate aim and one with which I am
fully supportive. More analysis needs to be undertaken to ascertain the nature
of these obligations while preserving legitimate expectations derived from the
existing agreements. We will expeditiously work to resolve these issues in
collaboration with athletics.

Of course these are just words and not actions. And the words are very different than the angry, dismissive ones we got from Sharon Rudnick and Tim Gleason today, when these subsidies were raised in bargaining.

This letter is now 2 weeks old. So, has Gottfredson’s position on this changed, is he telling different people different things, or did his bargaining team not get the memo?