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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?

Let’s go over that again: THE UO ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT GENERATED 88 MILLION DOLLARS IN 2011 AND ASKED THE ACFC FOR AN ADDITIONAL $48,000.

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.

P.S.

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.