Updated with coaches’ gift to Uncle Phil: Rob Mullens lays off janitors, groundskeepers to pay greedy Duck coaches

4/30/2020 update: A few hours after this post, the Duck’s strategic communicators responded:

In light of the ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, all University of Oregon head coaches have voluntarily agreed to take a 10 percent salary reduction for the 2020-21 academic year … Additionally, all UO head coaches have also agreed to forego all academic, Pac-12 and postseason performance incentives for the 2020-21 academic year.

“We appreciate the leadership role taken on by our head coaches as we deal with this unprecedented crisis,” said Mullens. “This speaks to the selfless nature of our Oregon coaching staff and their desire to help us navigate the current challenges and those on the horizon.

“Our goal is to accelerate from this situation well-positioned to continue to achieve our goals of broad-based excellence and of providing an exceptional student-athlete experience, and we are thankful to our head coaches for their collective and consistent actions in supporting our mission.”

It’s a strange plan. For example, Assistant Football Coach Moorehead keeps all his $900K plus bonuses, while $160K Head VB/Beach VB Coach Ullmer gives up $16K and his bonuses.

Where will these savings go? Presumably not to rehire staff or reduce the subsidies from the academic budget. Instead they will reduce the amount that Mullens takes from the sinking fund that Phil Knight set up for the Knight Arena bonds and other athletic expenses, when he was lobbying the legislature to issue $230M in debt financing. Last I looked that fund was down to $60M or so.

So, assuming Knight keeps filling it up, these pay and bonus cuts should be thought of as a gift to Uncle Phil from his grateful head coaches. For that matter the money Mullens saved by laying off the staff is also ultimately a benefit to Knight, who is the Duck’s “residual claimant”, to use the Coasian term.

4/29/2020: Rob Mullens lays off janitors, groundskeepers to pay greedy Duck coaches

Earlier this year Duck AD Rob Mullens gave Coach Dana Altman a $25K bonus, to top off his multi-million contract. This month he laid off 75 classified staff, saving maybe $70K each in pay and benefit costs.

Where’s the rest of the money going? Here are the Duck’s big earners – note that these numbers leave out millions in bonuses, car stipends, country club memberships, and other perqs:

Altman Dana D Head Men’s Basketball Coach Athletics  $2,900,000 100%
Cristobal Mario Head Football Coach Athletics  $2,700,000 100%
Moorhead Joseph M Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $900,000 100%
Avalos Andrew Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $815,000 100%
Mullens Robert A Dir Intercollegiate Athletics Athletics  $798,133 100%
Graves Kelly L Head Women’s Basketball Coach Athletics  $700,000 100%
Salavea Joseph Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $650,000 100%
Heyward Keith Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $600,000 100%
Stubblefield Anthony G Assist Men’s Basketball Coach Athletics  $500,000 100%
Williams Donte A Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $450,000 100%
Mastro James E Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $375,000 100%
Johnson Robert A Head Coach M&W Track Field Athletics  $350,000 100%
Mirabal Alejandro J Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $350,000 100%
Williams Robert Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $350,000 100%
Wilson William K Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $350,000 100%
Bouknight Jovon M Assistant Football Coach Athletics  $335,000 100%
Lombardi Melissa K Head Softball Coach Athletics  $335,000 100%
Wasikowski Mark P Head Baseball Coach Athletics  $325,000 100%
Feld Aaron W Strength & Conditioning Coord Athletics  $310,000 100%
McKenna Kevin R Assist Men’s Basketball Coach Athletics  $300,000 100%
Mennenga Michael M Asst Men’s Basketball Coach Athletics  $300,000 100%
Roedl Eric L Deputy Athletic Director Athletics  $280,836 100%
Davis Lorraine G Special Assistant to AD Athletics  $239,350 10%
Martin Casey M Head Men’s Golf Coach Athletics  $235,000 100%
Campbell Mark J Assoc Head Women’s BB Coach Athletics  $216,000 100%
Peterson Lisa L Deputy Athletic Director/SWA Athletics  $208,719 100%
Davidson Craig J Director of Athletic Medicine Athletics  $200,004 100%
Cohn Henry J Sr Assoc AD for Development Athletics  $200,000 100%
Duncan Michael P Sr Assc AD Operations & Events Athletics  $184,870 100%
Radcliffe James C Head Strength Coach Athletics  $184,800 100%
Berry Jodie R Asst Women’s Basketball Coach Athletics  $179,152 100%
Stanton James T Senior Assoc Athletic Dir Communications Athletics  $172,001 100%
Hawkins Jeffrey N Ar Assc AD/HDC Admin & Ops Athletics  $164,671 100%
Ulmer Matthew D Head VB/Beach VB Coach Athletics  $160,000 100%
Yamanaka Herbert S Associate AD Athletics  $151,213 100%

Here are the jobs of the people Mullens laid off, with their date of hire:

Trades/Maintenance Worker 2 11/24/14
Refrigeration Mechanic 3/10/14
Food Service Worker 2 10/31/16
Laborer 2 8/5/91
Office Specialist 2 1/28/08
Office Specialist 2 7/9/18
Custodian 3/18/08
Accounting Technician 10/2/09
Custodian 10/15/15
Administrative Program Assist 1/20/04
Trades/Maintenance Worker 2 8/20/90
Electrical/Control System Tech 9/18/17
Laborer 2 8/14/17
Athletic Equipment Coordinator 7/3/17
Laborer 1 10/14/88
Grounds Maintenance Worker 2 3/16/98
Maintenance Electrician 8/20/07
Trades/Maintenance Worker 2 6/26/17
Food Service Worker 2 7/15/13
Cook 1 1/9/20
Info Technology Consultant 7/3/17
Electrical/Control System Tech 11/15/10
Food Service Worker 3 6/11/05
Laborer 2 1/12/11
Electrical/Control System Tech 11/18/06
Cook 2 6/9/15
Accountant 1 6/1/15
Videographer 1 2/19/19
Grounds Maintenance Worker 2 10/31/06
Food Service Worker 1 8/29/16
Laborer 2 11/17/09
Custodial Services Coordinator 1/8/13
Administrative Program Assist 1/7/19
Trades/Maintenance Worker 2 6/24/19
Program Technician 1 7/23/18
Laborer 2 5/10/17
Custodian 7/23/15
Office Specialist 2 12/17/07
Info Technology Consultant 1/22/14
Custodian 11/1/18
Administrative Program Assist 9/13/94
Cook 2 2/27/20
Laborer 2 1/14/11
Hvac Control Technician 2/18/20
Office Specialist 2 6/16/16
Custodian 10/15/10
Custodial Services Coordinator 7/9/13
Laborer 1 4/29/15
Office Specialist 2 8/22/94
Athletic Equipment Coordinator 1/2/10
Videographer 1 4/15/19
Trades/Maintenance Worker 2 11/4/19
Equipment Systems Specialist 1/15/97
Custodian 10/6/06
Athletic Equipment Coordinator 10/9/17
Custodian 8/14/13
Custodian 9/24/12
Custodian 6/22/17
Videographer 1 8/26/19
Oper Systems-Network Analyst 9/20/12
Custodian 4/1/13
Food Service Coordinator 9/1/10
Trades/Maintenance Worker 1 12/14/09
Office Specialist 2 6/11/12
Custodian 3/10/16
Grounds Maintenance Worker 2 8/16/10
Office Specialist 1 9/22/08
Office Specialist 2 6/2/15
Custodian 1/20/04
Warehouse Coordinator 8/20/15
Laborer 2 2/10/10
Cook 1 7/1/13
Administrative Program Assist 6/22/15
Trades/Maintenance Worker 2 1/10/11
Custodial Services Coordinator 1/5/04

Pres Schill promised AD Rob Mullens $2.5M in retention pay

From what I can tell,  Mullens is the only AD employee (except of course Lorraine Davis and the other Jock Box staff) paid out of UO’s E&G (or Education and General) budget bucket. Which means the academic side is on the hook for the $2.5M in retention bonuses Pres Schill promised Mullens last June:

Full contract amendment here: But wait, there’s more on the pork and perverse incentives in Mullens’s contract here.

Will he give up 10% of this June’s $200K retention and other bonuses? I don’t know, let’s ask him:

From: Bill Harbaugh <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: University of Oregon Office of Public Records 2020-PRR-350
Date: April 13, 2020 at 5:03:34 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]>
Cc: Rob Mullens <[email protected]>

Thanks Ms Thornton, will he also take a 10% cut on his June 30 2020 $200,000 retention and other bonuses?

I’m ccing Mr. Mullens as he presumably can give a quick answer with making me use the public records process.


Bill Harbaugh


On Apr 13, 2020, at 2:37 PM, [email protected] wrote:


Dear Mr. Harbaugh,

Attached are records responsive to your 4/6/2020 request.

Please note that all senior leadership—vice presidents, school and college deans, and the athletic director—have taken a minimum six-month 10 percent pay reduction.

The office considers these documents to be fully responsive to your request and will now close this matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.

Oregonian reports on Pres Schill and AD Mullens’s sacrifices

Reporter James Crepea here, with a simple recitation of the facts and numbers:

EUGENE — Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens and UO president Michael Schill are among a group of the university’s top administrators taking voluntary pay cuts for at least the next six months — and possibly through the 2020-21 school year — and the school has instituted a hiring freeze due to the coronavirus.

Schill announced the measures, including a 12 percent reduction in his pay and 10 percent reduction for Mullens and 10 UO vice presidents, during a virtual town hall meeting for faculty members, staff and graduate employees on Thursday.

“Simply put, we are all going to have to make sacrifices,” Schill said.

… Mullens, who in under contract through June 2025, earns $717,500 salary plus deferred compensation, performance and retention bonuses. He is due a $200,000 retention bonus at the end of June.

Schill, who received a $100,000 bonus in December, is earning $720,000 in salary in the second of a five-year contract through June 2023 and is due $738,000 next year. He can earn annual bonuses up to $200,000 and also receives a $50,000 annual retirement contribution, vehicle stipend and is due a $200,000 retention bonus if he remains president until Sept. 30, 2021.

You can support the Oregonian’s reporting with a $10 a month digital subscription, here.

Or you can read the free Around the O’s version of events, by a former journalist now held in captivity by VP Kyle Henley in the bowels of Johnson Hall, here. A cry for help from Virtual Town – our common future:

As it turns out Mullens’s salary was actually $780K last year, plus a $100K retention bonus, plus some other bonuses and perks like a car and country club dues:

Here’s his 2015 contract, for some reason his new one is not posted at https://publicrecords.uoregon.edu/documents

[pdf-embedder url=”https://uomatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Mullens-2015.pdf” title=”Mullens 2015″]

Duck Women’s Basketball censors Soromundi Lesbian Chorus

There’s nothing like people singing “O’er the land of the Free and the home of the Brave” to bring out the fascism in big-time sports. The latest from the RG letters a few days ago:

On Dec. 21, University of Oregon women Duck fans were treated to a great game. Unfortunately, before the game, many fans were shocked and disappointed when the UO introduced the Soromundi Lesbian Chorus of Eugene as the Soromundi Singers. The lack of recognition for this fine chorus, that sang a remarkable rendition of our national anthem, was wrong.

The UO did a disservice to the chorus, lesbians and LGBTQIA friendly fans who support and deserve recognition and inclusion. At the very least an apology is owed.

On another note, missing from singing of the national anthem was the Kansas State team itself. This, too, was an unusual occurrence. I don’t know what the relationship between these two events is, however, it does make me wonder.

Debbie Hrycyk, Eugene

Presumably Duck AD Rob Mullens will now give their coach another raise, as he did for Dana Altman after this:

12/10/2014: Coach Dana Altman thinks National Anthem is the wrong time to protest racism

Our fool of a basketball coach thinks he owns those players. They shouldn’t protest when he’s trying to collect his $2M paycheck, off their free labor.

Fortunately we’ve still got people who can hear someone sing “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and actually understand what it means.

Want to ask the players what they think? No. Duck AD Rob Mullens and his PR flack Craig Pintens have a rule about players talking to reporters without permission, and “Benjamin and Bell have not been made available to comment.”

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ESPN reporter apologizes for saying Duck AD Rob Mullens is dishonest

Here. I don’t know or really care much about the details of this particular claim or under what sort of pressure this reporter’s apology was made, but I will say, and  I think I can prove to the satisfaction of 12 reasonable persons, that Rob Mullens was dishonest to me and to the UO Senate’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee while I served on it. And yes I checked to make sure I still have the recordings.

Donors narc out Duck AD Rob Mullens to the Washington Post

WaPo columnist Sally Jenkins, here:

Appearances matter — to some people. But apparently not to those paunchy administrators who cheat captive young people to the tune of seven figures, known as collegiate athletic directors. If you think this assessment is too harsh, check out the Ritz-Carlton oceanside resort where the College Football Playoff selection committee stayed last week, at the expense of the kids who actually play the game.

The 13-member committee won’t be issuing any rankings until November, yet somehow they required a multiday conference at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, a California beachfront hotel where the cheapest rooms start at $681 a night. …

What Mullens and his colleagues could not have known was that they were being watched with mounting disgust by a couple of major collegiate donors vacationing at the same hotel. These two folks, a married couple who estimate they have sponsored 100 or so scholarships at their Big Ten alma mater, wrote me a description of what they saw because they were so “appalled” by it and believe the scene “captures what’s wrong with collegiate athletics.”

… I wrote to some of them to ask what was accomplished at the meeting that could not have been handed in a conference call or email chain? And how do they justify such expense, given that committee won’t issue its first playoff rankings until after Week 10 of the season? And how do they square a stay at the Ritz with the arguments made by some of these same administrators, such as Castiglione, whose annual compensation is over $1 million a year, that there simply isn’t enough money to pay athletes?

The first one I tried was Mullens, because he is chair of the committee. Mullens’s base salary at Oregon is $717,500, and then there are his performance and retention bonuses, which will pay him another $100,000 and $200,000 in 2019-2020.

He did not respond to an email.

Duck AD Rob Mullens looking to leave too

5/2/2019 update:

The Oregonian’s James Crepea has the scoop here:

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens is a candidate for the recently vacated position at Texas A&M, according to a source with knowledge of the search. …

Which is sort of odd, because when he got his last raise he said he wanted to stay in Eugene and raise his family here.

7/7/2017: Rob Mullens’ secret $10M 8-year porkalicious contract & perverse incentives

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Rob Mullens played short-term Taggart hiring into a fat long raise for himself

Update: In the Oregonian, here:

… The narrative will be that Taggart went 7-5 in his first season and he and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, baited Oregon into a bidding war with Florida State that resulted in a six-year, $30 million windfall. But the reality is, the Ducks didn’t do enough in structuring the original contract to protect themselves. That inept contract, and not a wonderful game of poker by Camp Taggart, is what allowed the Ducks to get leveraged. …

Of course the other interpretation of events is that Rob Mullens’s incentives are imperfectly correlated with Duck football success, and that his main concern was to impress his bosses with a plausible quick hire and then lock in his own lucrative contract before the next scandal became public. Which he did very skillfully.

12/5/2017: Another Rob Mullens hiring call goes south

No, I’m not talking about the decision to hire Dana Altman, or give Altman a raise and contract extension, or his various scandals. And I’m not talking about hiring Mike(?) Helfrich, or his raise and contract extension, or the decision to then turn around and fire Helfrich under the new contract terms costing UO $13.7M or so for buyouts which we’re still paying out.

I’m talking about the decision to hire Willie Taggart, who is now on his way to Florida State, and taking his recruits with him. No word yet on whether or not Taggart will leave his strength and conditioning coach for UO to deal with:

How much can Willie Taggart roll Rob Mullens for with a few Florida rumors?

The Emerald has the story here about how Taggart is “committed” to Oregon despite the Florida job. I’m no economist, but what’s “committed” mean in dollars?

Duck AD Rob Mullens is famously easy to roll – just ask Mark Helfrich, Dana Altman, or Eric Roedl. I’ll give my last University of Nike coffee cup to whoever provides the best estimate of how much a desperate Mullens will throw on the table this time.

Duck AD Rob Mullens gives faculty hints on how to get a retention raise

If you’re a UO professor, the only path to a significant pay increase is to get an outside offer in writing and then use it to convince your dean to give you a 10% raise to stay at UO. For most of us, this requires that we lie to colleagues at other schools about how mobile we are. You have to say things like: “My department is dysfunctional. I love your work and would like to co-author with you. My colleagues aren’t bad, for deadwood. My SO just loves Missouri weather.UO’s central administration is a disaster. My kids really want to move to a new school”, etc.

But if you’re a Duck, the retention game is a little easier. Austin Meek reports on what AD Rob Mullens had to do to get a  ~100% raise, in the RG here:

Mullens said he began contract discussions with university president Michael Schill last summer, with the two agreeing on terms before the 2016 football season. Oregon’s subsequent 4-8 finish and the decision to change coaches didn’t play into the contract negotiation, he said.

“I’d had, what, five presidents in six years? Or five in five years if you count interims?” Mullens said. “For us, this is where we want to be. We knew that. That was the biggest piece.

“Football really didn’t factor into it. If you would have asked me last summer in June or July if I saw a 4-8 season coming, I didn’t see that coming.”

When he signed his previous contract extension in 2015, Mullens was working for interim president Scott Coltrane. He said his goal in the latest negotiation was to sign a contract that would keep him in Eugene until his youngest son graduates from high school.

“We wanted some stability in an unstable business,” Mullens said. “That was important to us.”

So he traded some pay for job security? Just kidding, he got both. If this bargaining strategy has worked for any faculty, please let me know in the comments. Of course more money for Mullens means less money for others, and Meek’s article also reports on the departure or demotion of a variety of Duck staff:

Craig Pintens, whom Mullens sent to sell football tickets in Siberia:

[New Strategic Communicator Jimmy] Stanton assumed the role of department spokesman from Craig Pintens, who will focus on his roles overseeing marketing and ticketing operations.

“Those are his areas of expertise,” Mullens said. “He’s proven that. I felt we were doing him a disservice by spreading him too thin and asking him to take on these heavy lifts.

Tom Hart, who famously warned Duck players to avoid Egyptian motorcycle gang prostitutes, and never to call him on his office phone, is also out:

Hart served as the coach’s personal body guard, enforced the program’s security guidelines and monitored off-field issues. Oregon’s campus security force now provides an armed guard to patrol the field during practice.

“Willie said he’d rather use those resources in a different way to support our student athletes,” Mullens said.

I wonder who will monitor their facebook accounts now? And then there’s this:

Oregon also eliminated the position of academic coordinator for football held by Tim Bruegman. Bruegman, who’d been with the department since 2005, was in charge of “providing players with educational resources and support to help student-athletes meet eligibility standards” and “collaborat(ing) with instructors to ensure members of the football team succeed athletically and academically,” according to his Oregon bio.

Instead of using a liaison, Mullens said Taggart and his coaches will communicate directly with staff at the Jaqua Academic Center.

“He said, ‘I’ll work directly with the Jaqua staff. I’ll be hands-on,’” Mullens said.

Sure. Maybe Taggart will just teach all their classes too. Probably with a little help from Lorraine Davis, whose well-paid job as athletic fixer seems to be secure.

Athletic Director to pay University $5M for academic scholarships

That would be Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst at the University of Nebraska:

Nebraska Athletics will provide $5 million in scholarships to nonathletes, potentially providing additional aid to hundreds of students each year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

… “We’ve worked very hard and very strategically over the course of the last few years to build upon our great history and tradition and to strengthen our foundation for success — particularly as it relates to our collaborations across the academic spectrum,” Eichorst said. “It’s been an important initiative for me from day one to ground and base everything we do in athletics in academics.”

Here at UO the cash flows in the opposite direction, thanks to Duck Athletic Director Rob Mullens and his ilk.

$600K a year and Rob Mullens can’t even give UO a clean volleyball program?

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Perhaps he’s spending his time on Duck sports that pay him a bonus for “competing at the highest level of excellence.” Reporter Kenny Jacoby has the latest Duck athletic scandal in the Emerald, here:

Read the story for the really disturbing quotes, and a link to the courageous letter from UO’s former student-athletes. Here’s a snippet:

… [Former volleyball players] Crittenden and Kevorken said both talked to an athletic department official about their concerns in 2015 but Moore and Metro continued to coach.

… Crittenden said the purpose of her letter is not to “bash coaches,” but to tell the story she had previously kept quiet and encourage others to do the same. She said it’s time for athletic departments to stop being negligent when athletes come forward to them.

“I want other athletes who may be suffering in silence to know that their feelings are valid, their words are valid, and their stories matter,” she wrote.

Haylee Roberts, Canace Finley, Chloe Buckendahl and Maddie Magee were the other four players whose names and signatures appeared at the bottom of the letter to Schill and Mullens.

“We can rest easier knowing that the former coaches are no longer in a position to negatively impact young athletes and we no longer feel ashamed to identify ourselves as former Oregon Ducks,” they wrote.

This story came out just 30 minutes after the year’s second meeting of the President’s Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Committee. Athletics Director Rob Mullens and President Mike Schill sat across from each other. Faculty Athletics Representative Tim Gleason was missing. IAAC Chair Andy Karduna was there along with 2 of the IAAC’s 8 faculty members. There was an hour long, rambling discussion of what to do about athletes who had to miss classes to travel to away games to earn money for the athletic department. Someone was supposed to have brought data on how many classes athletes miss, but they didn’t. No one asked anything about this, or any of the other recent Duck athletic scandals.

Meanwhile, Mullens’ volleyball coaches are still receiving public funds:

According to public records obtained by the Emerald, Moore and Metro will be paid according to their respective salaries through their resignation dates: May 15, 2017, and January 31, 2018, respectively.

AD Mullens buys out Duck basketball coach Don Altman for 12 Gottfredsons

11/29/2016 update: The RG’s Ryan Thornburn has the shocking details here.

Or at least I think it was the basketball coach – he’s about to drop out of the rankings too. But maybe his buyout is next year.

Meanwhile, Mullens, Altman, Helfrich and the other well-paid Athletic Department employees haven’t been giving much to the University’s Charitable Fund Drive for state and community charities:


11/28/2016 update: Matt Helfrich wins excellent $9.4M buyout with lousy 34-44 Civil War loss

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Harbaugh brings in $174M in Nike money for university

Sports Illustrated has the details on the ~$11M a year deal here.

Meanwhile the Ducks get only $600K a year from Nike, plus free shoes and clothes for UO administrators, of course. Frances Dyke renewed this contract in 2009, and it expires November 30, 2017. This deal is so bad.

Unfortunately the Nike contract renegotiation will likely be in the hands of the Duck’s feckless – but well paid – Associate AD for Finance Eric Roedl:

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Roedl talks tough to UO students when it’s time to squeeze them for more football ticket money. But, according to the legal briefs filed over his botched attempt to buy insurance from Lloyds of London for Duck football coach bonuses, it’s not clear Roedl knows how to read a contract, much less write one:

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OK, the truth is that Cousin Jim brought in the $174M for Michigan, not me.  But my muckraking here at UO did play a small part in setting up the AD’s $100M reserve fund for the $235M arena bonds – along with work by John Chalmers (Finance) and Dennis Howard (Marketing) and the Senate Budget Committee. And my well-researched complaint to the state auditors did force VPFA Jamie Moffitt to make a modest $455K a year increase in the AD’s overhead rate. Frohnmayer and Bellotti had set up a sweetheart deal for the jocks, the auditors decided it violated state rules after the DOJ made Jamie Moffitt and Rob Mullens give up the secret MOU they’d had been hiding from the Senate IAC.