UO to build a Golf Course?

9/21/2012 update: President Gottfredson and Provost Mullens’s double secret faculty salary improvement plan will let faculty pick up summer pay caddying for the boosters and JH administrators. Tips go into a startup money pool for new science hires.

Personally, I don’t know what’s wrong with just using Hayward Field, it was good enough for Otter:

But enough joking, here’s the even more absurd truth. 9/19/2012: The UO Intercollegiate Athletics Committee met today for its annual retreat, agenda below. Part of the IAC’s charge from the Senate says:

As part of its function and in order to carry out its governance function, the IAC shall be consulted by:  

1. The athletics department on: …  

3. any decisions that potentially affect the campus environment, including construction, removal, or remodeling of facilities, changes in the timing of facilities use, or changes in permitted uses of facilities;  

We sat through a 5 hour meeting with AD Rob Mullens. Rob did not once mention a golf course. Neither did spokesperson Craig Pintens. And while they were busy keeping the IAC in the dark, Diane Dietz broke this story in the RG:

… A group of alumni led by Mick Humphreys, who was a UO golf standout in the early 1960s, earlier this month won the Lane County planning director’s approval for a proposed golf course on 796 acres of farmland and forests about two miles west of Creswell. Establishing the course would cost an estimated $25 million, including construction costs and the cost of creating an endowment to defray the cost of operations, said Mike Evans, a Springfield land use consultant. The money would be provided entirely by donors, he said. … The University of Oregon Athletic Department is in discussions with the prospective golf course donors, spokesman Craig Pintens said.

Tax deductible contributions, presumably.

IAC Retreat Agenda

Sept 19, 10-3pm
Johnson Hall Conference Room
  1. 10am – Introductions 
    1. introduction and overview of AD administration and structure
    2. introduction and overview of IAC administration and structure
  2. 10:15am – initial discussion points:
    1. overview of charge
    2. charges, responsibilities, membership, reporting
    3. IAC structure and internal communicative protocol 
    4. overview of our general mode of inquiry this year (where we are/where we are going)
    5. ground rules
    6. internal communication
    7. confidentiality, public meetings law  (Jim O’Fallon)
    8. notes, recording
  3. 2012-13 agenda overview and topics of discussion topics
    1. monthly meetings
    2. 10th year review
    3. Task Force Items overview and delegation
    4. further topics: conversations with coaches, messaging efforts, fundraising, NCAA certification report
  4. 11:15am – Charge: Represent the academic standards of the university as embodied in the University of Oregon Mission Statement in all decisions;
    1. mission statement overview 
  5. 12:00 – catered lunch
  6. 12:30pm – Charge: Promote greater understanding, for the university community, of intercollegiate athletics and the relationship between academics and athletics.
    1. 12:30pm – Dominican Republic Video and report (Katie Harbert)
    2. 12:40pm – Life of a student athlete (James Harris)
    3. 12:55pm – Tim Duy on the economic impact of Athletics on the wider community
    4. NCAA Eligibility (Gary Gray)
    5. Website updates (Dev Sinha)
  7. 1:10pm – Charge: Advise the administration, the senate, and the athletics director on any athletics department policy or program, including the athletics department budget;
    1. what is our communicative protocol with these three parties?  how can we be clear and effective?
    2. overview of departmental policy and programs including Title IX concerns (Mullens)
    3. NCAA Academic Rules, non-academic Rules and Legislation (O’Fallon)
    4. overview of departmental budget, a discussion on the involvement of the IAC in capital projects and hiring, financial situation for this year and projections for the next 10 years (Eric Roedl)
  8. 2pm – Charge: Promote and safeguard opportunities for student athletes to excel in academics and protect and ensure the academic integrity of student athletes; and
    1. overview of the current body of student-athletes – distribution of majors, graduation rate etc: Steve Stolp
    2. report on Student Experience Waddell/Harbaugh 
And thanks to bojack for the link.

UO athletics department FAQ updates

I’ve posted some updates to the DUCK FAQ. One tidbit:

Bob Berdahl signed this new contract for AD Rob Mullens, 2 weeks before departing: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/971644/uomatters/IAC/2012%20Mullens%20contract%20and%20update.pdf

The amendment (last page) extends Rob’s contract til 2017. It requires UO to pay him the $450,000 base salary until 2017 if he is fired without cause – i.e. $2,250,000. It removes the previous requirement that he pay UO the amount of his salary if he decides to leave UO while UO has the president that hired him – moot, at this point!

The salary and incentives for NCAA tournaments, the NCAA “Director’s Cup” ranking and (smaller) for APR rates remain the same.

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

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

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

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

Senate calls for drug testing postponement

Two weeks back UO announced it was going to try and change the Oregon Administrative Rules which forbid random drug testing of Ducks. Bob Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and Randy Geller ignored both the intent of Oregon law (which requires public input) and the UO “Policy on Policies” (which requires Senate approval) to rush this through when school was out of session and there wouldn’t be an embarassing public debate.

But now the relevant UO Senate officers are calling for a postponement. Great. I do not understand why they are not also explicitly saying that this policy will require Senate approval. Scared of Randy Geller? Come on, Geller’s too chicken to even show his face. Yup, UO’s $200,000 a year general counsel has foisted responsibility for his latest off on his $45,000 a year executive assistant – there’s courage for you.

Update: Frank Stahl has now emailed Ms Hatch, saying “This postponement will allow time for the University Senate to act upon this Policy as required by the University Policy on Policies and the UO Constitution.” Which is going to make it a little harder for Randy to pass the buck.

To: Amanda Hatch, Rules Coordinator
re: Rulemaking Announcement – OAR 571-004 

Pursuant to OAR 571-001-0020, and as President of the University
Senate and Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC, a
standing senate committee), we are writing to you to request a
postponement of the public hearing that is currently scheduled for
August 23rd, 2012 at 2:00 pm (Walnut Room of the EMU). The purpose of
this public hearing is to receive public input regarding the proposed
amendments to OAR 571-004-0020, 571-004-0025, 571-004-0050 and
571-004-0055, and the proposed adoption of OAR 571-004-0038.
August 23rd does not fall during a time in our academic calendar when
school is in full session. This makes it virtually impossible for our
constituents to attend this important public hearing, and if it goes
forward as planned, our constituencies will feel that they were cut
out of the “public” process, which numerous individuals will assume
was intentional. 

We request a postponement that will set the date for the public
hearing during the second week of the fall quarter (Monday, October
1st through Friday, October 5th) or later. This time frame will enable
our constituents– especially members of the faculty and student
populations–to participate fully in a truly public process that is
synchronized with our standard academic calendar. 

Robert Kyr
Philip H. Knight Professor of Music
President, University of Oregon Senate 

Brian McWhorter
Associate Professor of Music
Chair, Intercollegiate Athletic Committee (IAC)

Because the lesson from Penn State is

that coaches need private hot tubs with waterproof video displays. Diane Dietz of the RG on UO’s newest football palace.

FWIW, AD Rob Mullens never completed the report to OUS on how he’d cover the operating expenses. My suggestion – cut baseball. $76,274,142 in expenses for crap like this, but ask Mullens what the Ducks can afford to give UO back for academic scholarships, and his answer is $0. From the report to the NCAA:

The full report is available on the Ducks financial info page here – created after a few public records requests and petitions to the AG.

Update: The RG is reporting that the Ducks falsely claimed that there were never any private hot tub plans – sorry, it’s right there in the blueprints. That’s transparency for you.

But Duck spokesperson Craig Pintens is now saying that there will be no private hot tub – damn NCAA lawyers.

But now Duck spokesperson Dave Williford reports that the hot-tub and adjoining steam room are still in the plans, but will be open to all the football coaches, in a special shared “wet room”. 7/17/2012.

Rob Mullens and coaches pull new scam on UO and players

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

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

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

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

Rose bowl cost, part II

1/1/12: Last week we wrote about how past athletic victories caused UO donors to give more to athletics, and less to academics. Today Sam Stites of the ODE writes on how much Chip Kelly and Rob Mullens will get from the Rose Bowl win etc: $295,000. Not clear if the assistant coaches also get bonuses. Naturally the players get jack. There is also no deduction for costs, leaving these two with every reason to continue spending more and more of the academic side’s money. Mullens won’t even make Chip Kelly pay for the $150,000 Willie Lyles investigation. I’m no economist, but I believe they call these “perverse incentives”.

NYT on NCAA cartel

1/1/2012: Joe Nocera, the NYT columnist better known for stories on corruption in the financial sector, finds plenty of dirt in college athletics, and lays out a workable plan for cutting the burdens on the academic side, and shifting some of the benefits from overpaid athletic directors and coaches to the athletes:

Recently, Mark Emmert, the president of the N.C.A.A., tried to make the rules a tad less onerous. He got the N.C.A.A. board of directors to approve an optional $2,000 stipend as well as a four-year scholarship instead of the current one-year deal for players.
And how did the cartel react to these modest changes? It rose up in revolt. Enough universities signed an override petition to temporarily ice the new stipend. The same thing happened with the four-year scholarship.

A lawyer in Fort Worth, Christian Dennie, who specializes in sports law, got ahold of an internal N.C.A.A. document outlining some of the objections. One is especially worth repeating: “The new coach may have a completely different style of offense/defense that the student athlete no longer fits into,” wrote Indiana State. Four-year scholarships might mean that the school would be stuck with “someone that is of no ‘athletic’ usefulness to the program.” Thus does at least one school show how it truly views its “student athletes.” (Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated first reported on this document.)

At the N.C.A.A. convention in mid-January, both of these rules will be reviewed. In all likelihood, the N.C.A.A. will roll them back. However benignly it characterizes this action, it will be as clear-cut an example of collusion as anything that goes on at an OPEC meeting.

How can it be that the N.C.A.A. can define amateurism in one moment as allowing a $2,000 stipend and in the next moment as forbidding such a stipend? How can it justify rolling back a change that would truly help student athletes, such as the four-year scholarship, simply because coaches want to continue to have life-or-death power over their charges? How can the labor force that generates so much money for everyone else be kept in shackles by the N.C.A.A.?

Which side of this debate are UO athletics director Rob Mullens and our Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon on? The side that preserves their salaries and perks.

AD Mullens blows $500,000 on 60 second FOX puff-piece

12/24/2011: Rob, please stop maxing out our Visa card on presents like this – you’re bankrupting us.

We’re still trying to get him to show us the contract, but basically athletic director Rob Mullens agreed to accept 60 seconds of air-time during the UO-UCLA broadcast for this FOX produced ad, instead of taking the $500,000 that the time would have brought on the open market. Mullens thinks we should be happy, because the spot promotes UO’s academic side. I must have blinked during that part. Hilariously, the script for the UCLA ad is almost exactly the same: “We are UCLA” instead of “We are Oregon”. UCLA does say “We are professors” instead of “We are instructors”. At least Fox is clear on the difference.

Athletic Director apologizes to Professor

Progress of sorts, but Rob Mullens is still laughing all the way to Jamie Moffitt’s bank, using the academic side’s money to pay the athletic department’s bills.

From: Rob Mullens
Subject: iac2011-12: Apology
Date: December 23, 2011 10:49:50 AM PST


Good morning.

The Athletic Department understands the critical role that teaching and research play in the academic mission of the University.  And we applaud the success of your research as well as the many successes of your colleagues.  The collective accomplishments of students, faculty and staff enhance the University of Oregon and elevate the campus profile.  In fact, Athletics often relies on the expertise of our faculty and students to conduct research to assist our department in data analysis and problem solving.  We are grateful and fortunate to have such high-quality leaders at the University.

To your specific questions, I was not aware of any call from the NYT regarding your research.  Thus, I did not instruct anyone to take a call or on how to “play it”.  As his title indicates, Dave Williford directs Athletics Media Relations and thus journalists contact him given his role.  In his role, Dave is often a spokesperson for Athletics although as he indicated in his quote that he was providing his personal opinion in this instance for which he has appropriately apologized.

Congratulations on the national recognition for your research.


Dave Williford’s statistical critique of UO economists in the NY Times

12/22/2011: Now it’s in Time too:

Oregon parents, beware: the Ducks are 11-2 this season, and playing in the Jan. 2 Rose Bowl against the University of Wisconsin, the sixth-best party school in the nation according to Playboy (in 2010, the Badgers ranked third). For transcripts, this game might be an F-ing disaster. “Our results support the concern that big-time sports are a threat to American higher education,” the researchers  — Jason M. Lindo, Isaac D. Swensen and Glen R. Waddell wrote.

12/21/2011: Getting your research talked about in the NY Times is a good thing for professors. Part of our job is to do research that interests people. Great publicity for UO’s academic side. The NYT matters in a way that a 60 second $500,000 athletic department puff piece never will. Only a few UO research papers get featured each year. Here’s the latest, from three UO economists:

In examining the grade-point averages of the Oregon student body and the performance of the Ducks’ football team, the researchers found a relationship between declining grades and success on the field.

“Our results support the concern that big-time sports are a threat to American higher education,” the paper’s authors — Jason M. Lindo, Isaac D. Swensen and Glen R. Waddell — wrote. They said their work was among the first to take a look at the “nonmonetary costs” of college sports.

Male students were more likely than females to increase their alcohol consumption and celebrating and decrease studying when a team fared well, resulting in lower grade-point averages, according to the study….

Some 24 percent of male students said that the success of Oregon’s football team definitely or probably decreased the amount of time they spent studying for classes, compared with 9 percent for women. Both men and women reported that they were more likely to consume alcohol, skip class or party in the wake of a win compared with a loss.

Relative to females, “we observe a decrease in male academic time investment and an increase in distracting or risky behaviors in response to increased athletic success,” the researchers wrote.

Anyone who has ever been to a university – or just to a football game – knows this is true. But here’s the response from official Duck spokesperson and Executive Assistant Athletics Director Dave Williford, who presumably has spent a fair amount of time tailgating, if not studying, and who therefore really should get it:

David Williford, a University of Oregon spokesman, said about the study: “I would like to try and understand the factors involved to coming to that conclusion. Statistics can prove anything. But that’s my personal opinion and not necessarily the university’s.”

Followed by “Wait, will you please not print that?” Too bad they couldn’t get our NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon to comment too. I’m guessing AD Rob Mullens hid under his desk as soon as he heard what the reporter wanted to ask him about. Williford – the $85K a year spokesperson and the low guy on the totem pole, got stuck taking the call.

We blogged about this earlier, with links to another paper showing links to football upsets and increases in spouse abuse. The OC – back on the job now that the game parties are over – discusses the former. But there’s more:

Rees and Scnepel (2009) on crime, http://jse.sagepub.com/content/10/1/68.short:

Our results suggest that the host community registers sharp increases in assaults, vandalism, arrests for disorderly conduct, and arrests for alcohol-related offenses on game
days. Upsets are associated with the largest increases in the number of expected offenses.

and Card and Dahl (2011) on family violence, which finds

Controlling for the pregame point spread and the size of the local viewing audience, we find that upset losses (defeats when the home team was predicted to win by four or more points) lead to a 10% increase in the rate of at-home violence by men against their wives
and girlfriends. … The rise in violence after an upset loss is concentrated in a narrow time window near the end of the game and is larger for more important games.

Of course on the pecuniary side we’ve got Stinson and Howard (2004) http://business.nmsu.edu/%7Emhyman/M454_Articles/%28Collegiate%29%20Stinson_SMQ_2004.pdf showing another effect of big-time sports programs:

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

And the official NCAA reports on this http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/97483e804e0dabfa9f32ff1ad6fc8b25/empirical_effects_of_collegiate_athletics_update.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=97483e804e0dabfa9f32ff1ad6fc8b25

Hypothesis #8: Increased operating expenditures on sports affect measurable academic quality in the medium term.

• Our statistical analysis of the updated data suggests no relationship – either positive or negative – between changes in operating expenditures on football or basketball among Division I-A schools and incoming SAT scores or the percentage of applicants accepted.
• The academic literature is divided on whether athletic programs affect academic quality. While our results suggest no statistical relationship one way or the other, our data are limited to ten years and such a relationship may exist over longer periods of time. In addition, the relationship between athletics and academic quality may manifest itself in ways other than the effect on SAT scores or other directly measurable indicators.
•  We continue to conclude that the hypothesis that changes in operating expenditures on big-time sports affect measurable academic quality in the medium term is not proven.

Hypothesis #9: Increased operating expenditures on sports affect other measurable indicators, including alumni giving.

• Econometric analysis using our updated database shows little or no robust relationship between changes in operating expenditures on football or basketball among Division I-A schools and alumni giving (either to the sports program or the university itself).
• The academic literature is again inconclusive on this issue. As with the previous hypothesis, our results suggest little or no statistical relationship – but our data are limited to ten years and such a relationship may exist over longer periods of time.
• We continue to conclude that the hypothesis that increased operating expenditures on sports affect other measurable indicators, including alumni giving, is not proven.

On the other side of the argument, of course, there’s Duck spokesperson Dave Williford, and this $500,000 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_csyVJEzMFw&feature=player_embedded

Comments here.

Update: Dave Williford writes a nice apology – though it should come from his boss. But Rob Mullens still won’t meet with the IAC, Jim O’Fallon still won’t explain why the IAC can’t have a voice in who will pay for the NCAA settlement, Randy Geller still won’t stop redacting the Glazier invoices, and Jamie Moffitt still won’t come clean about the Kilkenny baseball loan, etc.

From: “Dave Williford”
Subject: Response from David Williford, Athletics Department, University of Oregon
Date: December 22, 2011 2:56:13 PM PST

I would like to apologize for the insensitivity of my comments to the
New York Times. I wish to assure you that I hold the academic mission of
this University to be of the highest priority and certainly did not
intend to create any perception that resulted in a compromise of the
integrity of that academic mission.

Dave Williford
Asst. AD, Media Services
Athletics Department
University of [email protected]>


Violate the standard assumptions

11/17/2011: Here at UO Matters our sports editors focus on the highly effective strategies that UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens and his “Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration” Jamie Moffitt have been using to squeeze every last dime from UO students and the academic side, to pay for the coach’s salaries and their own free cars.

But the Ducks are more than just a fast moving violation of generally accepted accounting principles. Coach Kelly has also been breaking many of the old assumptions of college football. And to understand that part of the athletics game, you really can’t do better than the analysis at the amazing fishduck.com website:

Who will pay UO’s NCAA fine?

11/11/2011: The NCAA investigation of the Kelly / Lyles deal is winding down. Many people expect a settlement this month. Maybe. One likely outcome is self-punishment: UO agrees to limits on players, gives up a bowl game, and pays a fine. Where would the money come from? Kelly’s contract is here, with this clause:

So, Rob Mullens could fine Kelly for the NCAA violations, etc. A day’s pay would be about $20,000, but there’s no upper limit and Kelly would not seem to have much recourse. Will Mullens do this? Probably not his best career move. I’m guessing the athletic department will announce they will pay, and then Jamie Moffitt will find some way to pass the cost off to the academic side.

Mullens takes another $10,000 from UO

7/25/2011: I’ve written before about the perverse “Directors Cup” incentives in the contract UO wrote for AD Rob Mullens last year. This is an NCAA competition between athletic directors for the most successful overall athletic program.

UO ranked 30th, and now the bill is due. I can see why Mr. Mullens would care about this – great for his career – but it’s irrelevant to UO and to most of the boosters, who care about football, basketball and of course track.

What UO wants – or should want – is an athletic program that does not require annual $1.1 million state lottery fund subsidies, $1.8 million UO general fund subsidies for athletic tutoring and the jock box,  $600K subsidies from UO staff, faculty, and students for the $40,000 per slot arena parking garage, and that doesn’t make the academic side shell out the $300,000 for running Jim O’Fallon’s FAR office.

So, does Mullens’s contract give him incentives for reducing these subsidies? No. Instead it rewards him for the very thing that he already cares about, and that we don’t. And it writes the options so he’s already in the money: Last year UO was 14th in this competition. This year we’re 30th. So, he pays a penalty, right? No, we give him $10,000.

Even worse, because performance in this Director’s Cup depends in part on the number of NCAA teams UO has, this clause gives Mullens a perverse incentive *not* to take the tough steps that will be needed to simultaneously keep Chip Kelly happy and wean the athletic department from the subsidies they are now receiving – drop a few money losing sports. UC-Berkeley just did this and saved $5 million for the academic side. Their AD went berserk. Tough shit.

But wait, that’s not all. At Kentucky, the athletic department’s annual report notes this:

As part of its ongoing commitment to help support the University’s goal of becoming a top-20 research institution, UK Athletics will donate $1.7 million in 2010-11 toward the university’s general fund and in support of UK’s Singletary Scholars program. During the past eight years, the department has given more than $13 million in over- all scholarship support of the University’s academic mission.

Maybe Kentucky fudges the numbers too, but at first glance, at Mullens’s last job the athletic department actually helped the academic side financially. At UO they just take. And UO’s contract with Mullens does nothing to address that problem.