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Students Start to Stand, Stick It to Oregon Athletics

Last Wednesday, deep in the depths of the labyrinth that is McKenzie Hall, free pizza was served and debate over athletic department transparency was had.

In a comforting demonstration of student and faculty concern, SCORE, the UO’s very own Student Coalition on Reprioritizing Education, held a Discussion Panel on UO Athletic Department Transparency. The discussion was a part of SCORE’s “campaign to secure a yearly financial contribution from the Athletics department back to the university to help students.”

The Oregon Commentator wasn’t there of course, but the Ol’ Dirty Emerald tells us that the discussion panel included a few “special guests:” Nathan Tublitz and Bill Harbaugh — both on the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee of University Senate — and Laurel Hess of the women’s club rugby team and Lena Macomson of the women’s varsity tennis team.

Harbaugh called the UO’s predicament “a nightmare.”

Tublitz declared that “We are an academic institution, not a business.”

Speaking on the UO Athletic Department’s disregard for Club Sports, Hess said: “They don’t want a relationship with us on any level.”

And Macomson vowed to meet with athletic director Rob Mullens to “discuss issues surrounding transparency in order to get the student-athlete opinion heard.”

SCORE coordinator Andrew Rodgers was pleased with the discussion, calling it an “open and intricate dialogue on the issue.”

Look, there’s nothing intricate about it. All I got from that is the University of Oregon Athletic Department is an, unaccountable, conniving pain in the ass–which it isn’t.

It’s a an expensive, unaccountable, conniving pain in the ass.

And speaking of expensive, unaccountable, conniving pains in the ass, the ACFC and ASUO met with Garrett Klassy– Executive Director of the Duck Athletic Fund– to discuss student ticket fees on Tuesday.

Klassy requested a 3% budget increase. The Athletic Department already receives $1.5 million from student fees for tickets, and the %3 increase would have amounted to an additional $48,000.

Did you know that the UO Athletic Department generated $88 million in 2011?


Well, as reported in the ODE by the lovely, the luxurious, Emily Schiola: ACFC decided in a 4-0-0 vote on a zero percent increase. [ACFC Chair and ASUO Senator Ben] Bowman mentioned that since they have to turn in their budget to ASUO Senate by Thursday, Klassy will have to come back before then and explain if athletics is willing to agree with this decision.

“We don’t have more funds to allocate to the student-ticket program,” ASUO President Ben Eckstein said. “$48,000 is a big deal to the ASUO. I don’t think we can accept a deal that doesn’t reconcile this difference.”

Yes, this is a bible reference. And no, I don't want to hear it.

So there you have it, Athletics. Through ACFC and ASUO we’re denying you $48,000. Through SCORE we’re congregating and talkin’ shit.

Baby steps, maybe. But steps nonetheless.

So watch yourself. With that bible reference up there I think I’ve earned us the support of the Christian Deity. And even if He doesn’t exist– we’ve got a whole lotta’ morality.

Good ol’ secular morality. Something that you will never have.


SCORE is holding a Rally next Thursday, March 1 at 7pm at the Matt Knight Arena to bring attention to the issue of Athletics’ lack of financial accountability and transparency. People will be in line for the game which starts at 7:30.

  1. True, student ticketing will not go away at Autzen or MKA or elsewhere. It would just be the exact sort of shit show that I so yearned for in my ASUO days.

    Also true that Eckstein and all his peeps have been, and are, completely in the right when it comes to their stance on additional funding for athletics. When Sens. Ben Bowman and Bri Woodside-Gomez can actually agree on something, it’s probably a good idea.

    As for club sports, it does suck that the AD is so dismissive of them, but there might be NCAA rules, or liability issues, involved. I’d blame the lawyers.

    I promise I’m not a bible-thumper. I just read a lot.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Guy who used to work down the hall,

    I don’t think the AD would just eliminate the student section at Autzen. Can we reflect on the amount of students that seem to come here just to go to those games..

    Despite the PIRG and Eckstein & Co. affair, I think they know better. A UO without football student tickets?

    When we’re strictly talking about the struggle between students and the AD, Eckstein has been quite adamant about it. He’s not okay with how much we pay and how tickets are dealt out. While within the ASUO there may certainly be a lack of “moral authority” in their allocation of funds to other programs and departments (i don’t know why i said “there may be,” there totally is..), I think the AD problem is a no-brainer. I *hope the AD problem is a no-brainer— in the sense that students shouldn’t be funding that department, and also in the sense that it would be in the AD and Admin’s worst interest to cut off student tickets.

    Your bible reference is spot on, although I will admit I’m a little concerned as to why you know the book so well… To save everyone from following a link here it is:

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”

    The ASUO’s disregard for Club Sports was upsetting. But the ODE article that quoted the student from Club Sports…

    …was actually talking about the AD refusing to let them use their facilities. I should have been more clear.

    And you’re right about the ASUO not paying the DAF. We pay directly to the AD. I’ve updated the post!

  3. This could get ugly. The AD doesn’t have to accept what student government is giving them. They can simply refuse to sign the interdepartmental agreement and sell off the student sections of Autzen and MKA for twice what we pay for them, maybe more. I would seriously love to see what happens if the AD simply told the ASUO to fuck off.

    Whoever chooses to run against Eckstein’s yet-to-be-duly-appointed-by-OSA successor should point out that Eckstein and his whole gang are more than willing to trade away student tickets to better fund the PIRG.

    Yes, the AD engages in some shady practices, and the should be called to account on it. But, contrary to this post, I don’t think Eckstein and Co. have the moral authority to be the ones to do it, not after what happened with the EMU referendum and what is going on currently with the PIRG… again. If we’re on the biblical reference train, the ASUO of current bears a striking resemblance to the “Scribes and Pharisees” of Matther 23.25 (

    Even if they did have the moral authority to preach at the powers that be, I honestly think that the AD and Admin are so pissed at them that they wouldn’t care.

    Club Sports aren’t supposed to have a relationship with the AD. They’re CLUBS! Its apples and oranges, and the AD is in the apple business. Sorry, underfunded club teams, you got $20k extra from EMUB last year to fund trips to championship tournaments. You could have more, but we gave it to the PIRG.

    As a note, ASUO doesn’t pay $1.5mil to DAF, they pay it to the AD as a whole. A subset of that goes to the DAF, as it does with every ticket purchase in Autzen (or not)

  4. Rebecca says:

    NGA, i know right..

  5. NGA says:

    So $48,000 is suddenly a big number for the ASUO? In my very best Ben Stein impersonation: OSPIRG?…OSPIRG?…OSPIRG?

  6. Fizzle T. Bizzle says:

    I enjoy viewing the Athletic Department as a 9 foot Philistine giant.

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