Everybody gets a car! Every Duck coach, that is. Or extra cash.

Kenny Jacoby in the Weekly:

Contracts between the UO athletic department and its employees often include a clause saying the department will provide the employee one or two courtesy cars to use during their employment. The clauses also state that if the athletic department is unable to provide a car, it will pay the employee a stipend instead of a car, usually between $300 and $600 a month.

Those stipends have added up to more than $1.1 million in the last decade, EW’s analysis shows. In the last two years, the athletic department has paid an average of more than $12,500 a month on stipends and $150,000 a year.

The athletic department promises employees far more cars than it actually has, so the majority of employees involved in the program receive monthly stipends in lieu of cars. The athletic department currently has 36 courtesy cars at its disposal, but as recently as August 2017, 42 employees collected stipends in lieu of cars. The athletic department declined to say whether all 36 cars were currently in use.

Many employees, including UO athletic director Rob Mullens, have collected tens of thousands of dollars in monthly stipends over several years. Mullens’ contract entitles him to two courtesy cars on top of his $700,000 base salary; he drives one and collects $600 per month in stipends in lieu of the other. …

Chris Sinclair, a math professor and president of the UO faculty senate, calls the program an “embarrassingly ridiculous” use of funds, which could be allocated to other purposes, such as reducing the cost of football tickets the athletic department charges to students. According to the athletic department’s projected 2018 budget, it expects to bring in $113 million in revenue and spend every dollar.

“It’s clearly just a way of getting some additional money into these people’s pockets,” Sinclair said. …

According to EW’s analysis, 104 different employees have received more than 3,200 monthly stipends in lieu of cars in the past 10 years. The courtesy car program started in November 2007, when then-athletic director Pat Kilkenny paid himself and four other employees stipends of between $300 and $500. The number of employees participating in the program grew to 17 in 2008, and by 2009, it reached 35. In 2017, 52 different employees have received stipends, including head coaches, assistant coaches and athletic department administrators.

Kilkenny. Of course.

Duck baseball coach George Horton’s porkalicious contract expires in June

Duck AD Rob Mullens has shown quite the talent for signing expensive long term contracts just before Duck coaches start to lose. But Horton peaked years ago. His players won some sort of NCAA championship in 2012, so Mullens gave him the sweetheart contract below. All downhill since. This year the Ducks aren’t even ranked in the pre-season top 40, while OSU is #5.

So it will be interesting to see how much Mullens will spend to save Pat Kilkenny’s baseball program, which is losing millions for UO. Horton’s 2012-17 contract expires in June. More on the secret deal that built Kilkenny’s PK Park here.

etc. Contract here.


The very thought of hiring a Harbaugh makes Pat Kilkenny puke

He also thinks Phil Knight’s birthday should be a state holiday.

Kilkenny is the Duck booster who in his brief reign as Dave Frohnmayer’s AD created a new baseball program that he swore would make money and set up the creative funding plan for Knight Arena, which the academic side is still subsidizing. Not to mention the Jock Box. From Andrew Greif in the Oregonian:

A report by ESPN’s Darren Rovell that Knight sought to lure a top coach to Eugene with a $10 million salary, the highest in the country, “made me throw up,” Kilkenny said, calling it out of line with UO’s desire to keep its athletic department financially self-sufficient and “irresponsible journalism.”

Knight, according to Kilkenny, has never told anyone “living or dead” that he’d offer a sum of $10 million for a coach.

“That just creates real problems for (AD Rob Mullens) and makes Mark Helfrich’s job that’s already difficult more difficult, and it’s not fair to Phil and Penny Knight,” Kilkenny said.

Kilkenny, who behind Knight is UO second most-influential donor, defended the Nike creator’s contributions to UO, saying the state of Oregon should have a holiday on his birthday.

FWIW, I doubt cousin Jim would move for a mere $10M a year. And the Ducks would have to buy out his Michigan contract for maybe $50M, plus $11M for Helfrich’s contract. But too bad Pat – you made this mess, time to pony up the money to fix it.

Kilkenny Towers

2/5/2016: Kilkenny Towers sold for $30M. Elon Glucklich has the story in the RG here.

2/21/2012: ODE reporter Deborah Bloom teams up with investigative reporter Jeff Manning from the Oregonian to produce a fascinating story on how UO’s former Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny developed the Courtside and Skybox apartments next to Matt Court, while he was on the UO payroll. He started working on the deal summer of 2009, and didn’t tell Lariviere until construction was well underway, summer of 2010. ODE link here, Oregonian here:

Cody and Kilkenny’s 2009 gamble now seems ahead of its time. Both Courtside and the larger, adjacent Skybox complex are 100 percent occupied, marketing themselves as “anchors of the up-and-coming Arena District.” Rents range from $625 to $1,250 per bedroom per month, making them some of the more expensive student housing units in the city. As 50 percent owner, Kilkenny figures that he could eventually earn $7 million to $10 million.

There’s nothing wrong or illegal about a public employee making a profitable investment, even a hugely profitable one. Ron Bersin, executive director of the Oregon Ethics Commission, said state law allows public employees to participate in private ventures. What would constitute a violation is if Kilkenny made decisions in his public role from which he benefited. Kilkenny was no longer athletic director when the buildings were erected. But he remained employed until March 2011 as special assistant to the athletic director.

Kilkenny stepped down as AD in July 2009, when Frohnmayer left. But then the string of new AD’s – Mike Belotti, Lorraine Davis, and Rob Mullens, all kept him on the payroll at 0.50 FTE. This let him get UO health insurance. Guy with a private jet gets the state to pay for his health insurance? Too bad UO won’t give that same deal to the 0.49 FTE NTTF’s getting paid $25,000. (By very rough count, about 100 NTTF’s are at exactly 49%, so no benefits.)

Meanwhile the athletic department is still stuck with a $10 million ten year balloon loan on the baseball park Kilkenny built for us. And we’re still stuck subsidizing athletics’s overhead, thanks to the secret deal Kilkenny cut with Frohnmayer.

We should note that the Courtside scandal was first brought to light by Camilla Mortensen in the Eugene Weekly last year, here. UO finally took Kilkenny off the payroll 2 months later. At the time we wrote a little bit about how Kilkenny came to be hired by Frohnmayer as AD, here. Apparently this is the first in a series of investigative stories that the Oregonian and Emerald will cooperate on. Great idea. Obviously there is plenty of material to work with.

Who pays Glazier, and Duck Beach Sand Volleyball developments

8/21/2013 update: After telling the faculty on the IAC we had to keep her presentation about Sand Volleyball secret, AAD Lisa Peterson has now blabbed all about it to Andrew Greif in the Oregonian. Interesting double standard.

8/12/2013 IAC meeting update: The meeting took place as scheduled and lasted for about 40 min.

I said I’d talked to a few reporters about the rumors, and asked if the meeting was secret. AAD Lisa Peterson said it was her understanding that her presentation would be confidential. I asked why Beach Volleyball plans should be a secret. Ms Peterson said that she was not prepared to proceed unless the meeting was confidential.
The committee discussed this, and the consensus was that it was best to agree to confidentiality and maybe learn something and perhaps even have a chance to be consulted. So I agreed to keep the details of the meeting confidential, and I told Ms Peterson that I would explain this to reporters.

When I started taking notes on my laptop, she asked if I was blogging about the meeting. I reiterated that I had promised to keep the details of the meeting secret. She said she was just checking up on me to make sure. 

In terms of the substance of the meeting, I assume it’s public knowledge that any decision to add NCAA Sand Volleyball and be playing by spring needs to be submitted to the NCAA by Oct 1, that the USC Sand Volleyball facility cost $5 million, and that Nike sells beach volleyball gear.

Sorry, wish I could say more – but it’s a secret! 

8/10/2013 update: Word is that Rob Mullens is sending AAD Lisa Peterson to “consult” with the IAC about the possibility that UO might add a beach volleyball team. Monday at 3:30, second floor of the Jock Box. This is a sham, Rob Mullens made this decision long ago. The location is presumably to make it easier to keep out reporters and students wondering where their money is going, since they aren’t allowed up the stairs. Last time they held the IAC meeting in the student union and then the IAC, led by Andy Karduna, voted to kick out the student reporters – big mistake.

Here’s a pdf from the volleyball association on the current status of the sport. While Kilkenny’s competitive cheerleading dream seems to have failed to make it with the NCAA as a sport, “Sand Volleyball” has. That means it helps UO’s Rob Mullens boost his ranking in the NCAA Director’s Cup competition, for which he gets a fat bonus:

One of many bonuses in his ~$650K a year contract. Plus car, of course.

Meanwhile I finally got the BANNER reports on who paid Glazier. These take 5 minutes to run, but Hubin’s public records office managed to stall releasing them for months. Full dump here. The upshot? Jamie Moffitt had been charging half the cost to the academic side:

but Berdahl started making the jocks start paying the full cost in Feb 2012:

Gottfredson still hasn’t made a substantive response to the May 2013 Senate resolution on ending the millions in Jock Box and Matt Court subsidies, but he did cut back on the secret overhead subsidy Frohnmayer had given out. From what I can tell he didn’t backslide on the Glazier costs either, though it’s a bit hard to figure out – I’ve put the question to AAD Eric Roedl for clarification.

7/23/2013: Unverified rumor down at the UO faculty club beach cabana is that UO is going to add this, the latest NCAA women’s sport. They call it “Sand Volleyball”, video here. I’m on the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, which Rob Mullens is supposed to consult before adding new sports. This is the first I’ve heard. Maybe it’ll be the tit-for-tat for an end to the jock box and Mac Court bond subsidies? Or Kilkenny just got bored with watching baseball and competitive cheerleading?

Meanwhile, if you’re curious about how much of the bill for Mike Glazier’s fees on the Kelly/Lyles investigation UO’s academic side had to pay, it took15 days just to get an estimate from UO Public Records, and it ain’t cheap:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “(Existing) documentation revealing all sources of the funds used to compensate the law firm retained by the University of Oregon in connection with the recently completed NCAA investigation of the school’s football program; andWith reference to the preceding request, existing documentation which identifies all persons who participated in the decision that University of Oregon would incur such expense (involve counsel in the first instance and be “represented” within the investigation)” on 07/08/2013, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request.  By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $523.98. 

Kitzhaber tells Knight, Frohnmayer to bug off from University of Nike board

8/16/2013 update: The good governor’s nominations are due Monday. Jonathan Cooper has the story for the AP, in the RG.

The official version is that they decided to withdraw their names from Gottfredson’s bizarre 50 person list of nominees. We are supposed to believe that President Gottfredson neglected to get their permission before nominating them? It’s possible, since last I heard he’d put Jim Bean in charge of dealing with the board. Or maybe this petition from students had an effect.

I suppose this means Pat Kilkenny is still on the list, but his recent land dealings near UO probably disqualify him too:

PORTLAND — Nike co-founder Phil Knight has asked Gov. John Kitzhaber not to consider him for a spot on a new governing board for the University of Oregon. Knight was one of nearly 50 people recommended by UO President Michael Gottfredson for the 11- to 15-member board. 

Knight’s assistant says in a letter dated Aug. 9 that Knight was honored to be included but would like to have his name withdrawn from consideration. The letter says Knight will continue to support the university and looks forward to working with the new board. 

Two other prominent officials also withdrew their names: Dave Frohnmeyer (sic), a former attorney general and UO president, and Ann Aiken, a federal district judge based in Eugene.

7/31/2013 update: Diane Dietz has an excellent story in the RG, comparing the approaches of OUS President Ed Ray and UO President Mike Gottfredson on the role of independent boards. Read it all. No quotes from Gottfredson of course, I don’t think he’s done an interview before or since this one with Dash Paulson for the ODE on Jan 28.

Gottfredson’s handling of this has been a disaster. First the “asked and answered” meeting with the faculty, his evasive written comments on the implications for the Senate and Constitution, the appointment of Bean to write the by-laws, putting Geller and Rudnick in charge of negotiating shared governance and refusing to let them even mention the Senate in the CBA, and now this bizarre list of trustee recommendations to Kitzhaber.

7/30/2013: According to Betsy Hammond of the Oregonian, this is the list UO sent to Kitzhaber for potential UO Board Trustees. His selections will be public Aug 19. Obviously this is the kitchen sink list produced to avoid offending anyone, not Gottfredson’s real recommendations, or forecasts of what Kitzhaber might be willing to accept politically:

UO deserves better from president

6/20/2013: Louise Bishop, English and HC and co-chair of the FAC this past year, defends Gottfredson in an op-ed in the RG here, in reaction Gordon Sayre.

6/13/2013: An Op-Ed in the RG by prof of English and former senate president Gordon Sayre:

… We may never know why Lariviere was fired, but it seems obvious where Gottfredson’s priorities lie: He wants a UO board stacked with wealthy donors such as Nike co-founder Phil Knight or his allies. The unstated promise is that these boosters will give millions to the UO that they were unwilling to give before they could be appointed to the board. 

Yet for nearly a decade Knight himself has given money only for UO athletics, not for our academic mission. In light of that history, what should the UO, and Eugene, really expect from an independent UO board? President Gottfredson needs to deal openly with UO faculty, staff and students and clarify his plans and priorities for budgets, tuition, salaries and academic excellence.

If you want to get a glimpse of how Phil Knight, the biggest supporter of an independent UO board, might treat ours, watch this video of this talk at Joe Paterno’s memorial, “Who are the Real Trustees?”:

This Oregonian story reports that Knight has appointed Duck athletics booster Pat Kilkenny as trustee of several Nike stock trusts. Not exactly a good sign for the academic side for anyone who has followed Kilkenny’s successful efforts to use academic money to subsidize sports.

If you want an honest discussion of the pros and cons of independent boards, read this letter from OSU’s president, Ed Ray, or watch this video:

Knight Law School’s "Football and Conflict" trivia classes

2/15/2013 Note: This post has a record number of comments, which have raised many issues in addition to those in the post. I want to apologize for the personal pain this post has caused for the instructors in the CNC program. As I’ve written in the comments, I think it would be a good thing for UO to have a course or two on sports and conflict. I’ve thought about teaching a course in sports economics myself. The law school now has a professor teaching sports law. These are all reasonable things for a university to teach. But 10 courses on this narrow subject are far too many. Upper division courses should have prerequisites, and tenure track faculty with research interests in the subject should be teaching at least some of them. This goes double for courses with graduate level credit. I think the CNC program has been mismanaged by the Law School, and that ultimately means by the Dean, Michael Moffitt.

2/10/2013: Back in 2008 ODE reporter Allie Grasgreen wrote about Pat Kilkenny’s $1 million gift to support UO’s academic side:

University President Dave Frohnmayer announced the Kilkennys’ gift at a press conference Thursday. Frohnmayer called the donation “an extraordinary gift from an extraordinary couple.” …

The $1 million donation will establish two academic programs. The first is “Competition Not Conflict,” which will feature classes within the Knight Law Center that focus on conflict resolution in sports. 

“We had years where this was just to us a good idea,” said School of Law associate professor Michael Moffitt, “and it is now with the Kilkennys’ gift that this can be more than just a good idea.”

After a few trial years, Kilkenny’s good idea came up for faculty review last month. The UO Senate Committee on Courses rejected every single course – unanimously:

Why did the faculty reject these courses? Consider CRES 410: “Football and Conflict”, conveniently taught in Room 101 of the Jaqua Center for Student-Athletes – or, as the NY Times calls it, “UO’s Jock Box”. The law school has been giving out 4 upper division undergraduate credits for this course, despite the fact it has no prerequisites. They’ll even give you graduate credits for it. They took tuition money from 89 students for this last fall. And what did those students learn? A UO Matters operative retrieved the final exam from the Jock Box dumpster:

Try your luck on the full 45 football trivia questions here. Kilkenny’s program also includes:

and this spring you can take

Sign up soon, because I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a long, long time before the Law school lets these courses get taught again.

In totally unrelated news, Kilkenny’s “Lucky Duck” foundation has now given a total of $570,000 to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation. The timeline?

Year         Gift         Notes
2005 $0
2006  $240K  Kilkenny gives UO $2M to buy out longtime AD Bill Moos
2007 $100K Frohnmayer appoints Kilkenny as AD
                                Frohnmayer lets Kilkenny piss away UO money on baseball
2008 $100K Frohnmayer gets Matt Court Arena bonds through legislature
2009 $50K Frohnmayer retires and Kilkenny leaves as AD
                                Kilkenny invests in new apartment buildings next to Matt Court
2010 $80K Bellotti scandal
2011  ?
2012       ?
2013       ?

IRS 990 here. For 2006:

And Dean Moffitt still seems in denial about what’s really going with this program: In the NYT a day after I posted this:

At the University of Oregon, Michael Moffitt, the law school’s dean, has started clinics on nonprofit groups, environmental policy and probate mediation. He has also set up law courses for students in other parts of the university, which brings revenue to the law school. 

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students. 

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.” 

And what kind of life could top that? But go to the list of classes the law school is offering to undergraduates, here. About 250 students are enrolled in the kinds of solid courses Moffitt tells the NYT about. But 300 are in Kilkenny’s sports conflict courses. Probably a good idea not telling the Times that little detail. (Thanks to Anon for tip in the comments.) 2/11/2013.

Smoke and mirrors

is not the same thing as transparency. New Greg Bolt story on athletic department budgeting, in the RG today, here. Story on Matt Court costs and wildly exaggerated revenue here. In defense of Jamie Moffitt, she did finally post a good chunk of financial info, here, but only after a lot of pressure from the Senate IAC and just before leaving the AD to become UO CFO.

But the administration is still in denial about the Jock Box costs, the secret Frohnmayer / Kilkenny deal to freeze athletics department overhead rates and use student money to pay for the skybox tickets for administrators, etc. For some reason that MOU is still not on the AD’s financial website. (Actually, it now is, under “debt service on purchase of land …”) I eventually got it with a public records request, as explained in this Steve Duin story in the Oregonian. I posted the memo here.) And given how much digging it took to discover these sorts of subsidies, any reasonable person would wonder what else is still being hidden. Maybe the new AAD for finance, Eric Roedl, will open the books, admit they are in the hole, and start himself off with a nice clean slate?

For the historically minded, here’s the key page from the 2004 report by Terry Moore and Econorthwest on Arena feasibility. Frohnmayer hid this from UO and the Senate Budget Committee arena task force for 4 years, because the numbers were too realistic, and therefore made it impossible for UO to sell tax-exempt bonds to finance the thing. My recollection is that it was the SBC and documents like this that forced Knight to establish the legacy fund to get OUS approval for the arena. (Bad memory. See the comments for the real tax arbitrage story. SBC report here, thanks). And without that we’d be $15 million in the hole, each year.

It took three months and two petitions to the DOJ to make Frohnmayer release this and give it to the SBC. He had UO spend thousands of dollars at the DOJ, trying to stall the release, as this Oregonian story explains.

In the end, it was a remarkably accurate forecast. So you can be damn sure UO will find a more pliable economic consultant and will try very hard to keep the Senate out of the loop, when they start trying to sell us on the Autzen expansion plans!


Secret Frohnmayer deal on athletics subsidies

11/5/2011: Details in this Steve Duin column in the Oregonian, coming out in print Sunday:

The memo sets out the hoops the university jumps through to maintain the illusion (that athletics is self-supporting). The administration, for example, generously “allows” athletics to bank revenue from above-ground, off-street parking in designated lots during sporting events.

Yet the administration is required to pay athletics each year “for exclusive use of the presidential suite and 80 Club Level seats at Autzen Stadium for each home football event.” In the last three fiscal years, that cost the administration $375,000 annually.

The 3 percent assessment cap is buried at the bottom of the memo, and flies in the face of UO’s 2008 restructuring of assessment rates. As Laura Hubbard, associate VP for Budget & Finance, noted at the time, those changes were necessary to meet Oregon University System “guiding principles” in allowing indirect costs that are “reasonable, properly allocable, auditable and applied consistently across campus.”

The new rate schedule required auxiliaries — which include university housing and the health center (and athletics) — to pay overhead rates that escalate from 3 percent in 2009 to 7 percent in 2013. Less than a year later, however, Kilkenny and Frohnmayer signed off on a deal to cut athletics a break through 2012.

The secret agreement between then President Frohnmayer and Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny, signed two weeks before Frohnmayer retired, is here and is full of unusual things, amounting to several million dollars in subsidies for athletics. It was so secret even UO’s VP for Finance never saw it – or so she claims. And what did Kilkenny give Frohnmayer? About $500,000 for the Fanconi Foundation. It’s a very sad story on many dimensions.

Pat Kilkenny is an investor in Courtside and Center Court

1/6/2011: Pat Kilkenny was hired as UO Athletic Director by former UO Pesident Dave Frohnmayer to push Phil Knight’s basketball arena project through, after Kilkenny made a well-timed $240,000 donation to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation.

Kilkenny then got the OUS Chancellor and board to sell $237 million in state guaranteed bonds to build the arena, by lying to them, the faculty, and then to the state legislature about the revenue projections. Frohnmayer helped out by hiding a UO Foundation paid consultant’s report from the legislative fiscal analyst.

Now it turns out Kilkenny is part owner, with his brother, of 2 large apartment complexes built right next to the new arena. And UO has a special contract with the buildings to house students. And Kilkenny is still on the UO payroll – just enough to be eligible for our benefits package. Last year President Lariviere told us:

“This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past. That will not be repeated under my administration.

It is being repeated. Time to put our new General Counsel, Randy Geller, on the case. Unless he’s the one who wrote the contract, of course. Camilla Mortensen of the Eugene Weekly rakes through the muck:

Will Pat Kilkenny profit from developments next to the Matthew Knight Arena he pushed through when he was UO athletic director? Mega-donor Phil Knight has lauded Kilkenny for making the arena possible, and we heard from multiple reliable sources that Kilkenny is one of the unnamed partners in the costly Courtside apartments next door. Portland attorney Russell Kilkenny, agent for 1410 Orchard Street LLC, which bought the Courtside property in February 2010, confirmed via email, “Pat Kilkenny has an ownership interest related to 1410 Orchard Street, LLC.” …

According to the UO website, Pat Kilkenny is still a part of the university as the “Special Assistant to the Athletic Director,” and, according to the UO unclassified personnel list of March 1 to May 31 2010, his 12-month appointment is a 50 percent full-time equivalent (FTE), enough to be eligible for the state benefits package. His salary is $25,883.

As an employee of the UO, which is a public body, Kilkenny can be considered a public official. According to Oregon state law,  “A public official may not attempt to further or further the personal gain of the public official through the use of confidential information gained in the course of or by reason of holding position as a public official.”

One question still unresolved is why Pat Kilkenny chose to not publicly disclose his financial interest in this housing project from the beginning. — Camilla Mortensen

How did kilkenny get to be Athletic Director? The year before Frohnmayer put him on the UO payroll and gave him control of hundreds of millions in public bond money Kilkenny donated $240,000 to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation.

Everybody has a price – sad is not the only word that comes to mind here. Here are the clips from Kilkenny’s “Lucky Duck Foundation” IRS reports:




2009: The filing deadline has passed, but they are ignoring requests for the forms.