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Archive for the 'Athletics' Category

Keep your ducks in a row

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Less than a year ago I wrote a post about the failing and questionable academic standards here at U of O concerning student-athletes. I referred to a thesis about possible infractions committed at UNC Chapel Hill regarding student-athletes. This month another report was published that was the result of an investigation into the matter of helping student athletes remain eligible through a number of different ways.  The whole investigation can be found here but I am just going to list some highlights for y’all:

– More than 3000 students were believed to be involved in this scandal through the department of African and Afro-American Studies(AFAM). It should be noted that the report states that “while that number very likely falls short of the true number, it is as close as we can get to a definitive total without engaging in speculation”.

– The main blame of the report lands on former student services manager Deborah Crowder and chair of the curriculum Dr. Julius Nyang’oro. Crowder and Nyang’oro are found to have created classes within the department that required little to no work in order to keep student athletes eligible for competition. They gave high grade to papers without properly looking over them. They accepted papers that were found to be plagiarized as well as papers that were not written by the students at all.

– The report also specifics that through interviews with several coaches and administrators within the athletic department there is strong evidence to suggest that people knew about this “eligibility” scheme and that they knowingly let and encouraged the student athletes to participate in it. For example former football head coach John Bunting claimed that “He knew that they yielded consistently high grades for his players, and was told …that they were a key element… for keeping some players eligible”

– The report found no evidence that the higher ranking administrators for the entire university had any knowledge of the ongoing issues within the AFAM and the subsequent grade dishonesty.

The whole report reeks of the classic “see no evil, hear no evil…” mindset within schools; almost everyone had some idea that students were receiving higher grades than usual in these classes and that they were considered to be easy but no one ever made a formal complaint. This can be attributed to the fact that professors, athletic personnel and others feel an immense pressure to keep student athletes eligible as the sports teams bring universities millions of dollars each year. Because let’s be honest here; money makes the world go round, and colleges are no different.

Just look at how much money our won football team is bringing in to the school. Think about how much money Uncle Phil and the child exploiters over at Nike contribute to the school. If you think that this sort of scandal is an isolated incident then you are wrong. The truth is that all sorts of academic dishonesty and rule violations take places at universities all over the nation in the name of the holy dollar. Do you think it was a coincidence that our good ol’ buddy Chip left for the pros just before NCAA started looking into our football team? Everyone cheats. It’s as simple as that. Now, is the cheating due an institutional problem where the sports teams have become so lucrative in the NCAA system that they push academics aside? Or is a individual problem where some school just can’t follow the rules? Spend 10 minutes reading reports about similar academic scandals concerning student athletes and the answer will become very clear.

The Minds of Children in the Bodies of Adults

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

We’ve all heard stories. We’ve sat in class with them and seen them on campus. We’ve seen the tutors take notes and we are constantly reminded of how special they are every time we see the shiny glass cube that the Jaqua center is. We all know that student athletes aren’t like the rest of us, not just because they perform athletic feats but simply because they just don’t experience college the way we do. They are pampered by the university and the reason is simple; they make U of O a shit ton of money.

Recent light has been cast on the academic struggles of athletes at University of North Carolina. Instructor Mary C. Willingham published a thesis in 2009: http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/Willingham_uncg_0154M_10097.pdf, detailing some of the big problems that are involved in student athlete academics. Earlier this year, CNN corroborated a story with her which showed that “around 7%-18% of basketball, football students in many schools read poorly” aka below academic standards.(http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/01/us/college-scores/index.html,http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/07/us/ncaa-athletes-reading-scores/index.html). Willingham showed that between “8% and 10% of the school’s[UNC] football and basketball players are reading below a third-grade level.” Former UNC professor Madeline G. Levine also published an open letter in support of Willingham’s findings and to describe her own experiences with athletics at the school: http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/31/06/20/1lZoJJ.So.138.pdf. 

Now North Carolina is considered to be a premier institution of learning, way above U of O according to Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/top-colleges/list/,  and if academic dishonesty and fraud is happening there you can bet your sweet ass it is happening at our own fine University of Nike. The CNN study actually included University of Oregon and showed this:

“Football
— 35/245 athletes scored below 400 on the SAT verbal test.
— 52/194 athletes scored a 400 or lower on the SAT writing test.
— 20/87 athletes scored below a 16 on the ACT English test.

Men’s basketball
— 11 scored below a 420 on the SAT verbal test, with 18 scoring higher.
— 10 scored below a 410 on the SAT writing test, with 13 scoring higher.

Women’s basketball
— 11 scored below a 450 on the SAT verbal test, with 45 scoring higher.
— 11 scored below a 45o on the SAT writing test, with 35 scoring higher.

The average SAT verbal score of all students admitted to the University of Oregon in 2012 was 549.
The university said that between 2007 and 2012,there were no more than 90 athletes specially admitted to the University of Oregon, meaning they would not have otherwise been admitted on academics alone.”

Scoring below 450 on either the writing or the verbal SAT’s means that you’re going to be just above or below the worst 33% of all test takers. Which by any definition is not good at all. One can wonder how well these numbers mesh with our University’s own mission “The university is a community of scholars dedicated to the highest standards of academic inquiry, learning, and service”. We must clearly have very different definition of what the word “highest” means because letting in students who score in the bottom third of all SAT test takers is not my definition of “highest standards of academic inquiry”. Granted, the SAT isn’t an all encompassing measurement neither does it always accurately reflect a person’s intelligence or knowledge level but they are important to colleges yet they don’t really seem to matter if you’re a good athlete.

It is important to note that this isn’t an attack on the student athletes themselves. It isn’t the student athletes fault that they get an entire tutoring center dedicated to them while the rest of us congregate in PFC’s basement. It is not their fault that our University has a culture that allows people who aren’t qualified for college to come here. Neither is this an attempt to suggest that all student athletes are dumber or inferior to the rest of the student population. This is just an attempt to show that we are a part of a institution that uses and places people in terrible situations just for the sake of money. This is something we should be upset about but then again it is a lot easier and way more fun to cheer on for our teams and support this culture instead of looking the bleak truth in the eye.

Go Ducks

UO Cheer tryouts: $5 …Ogling cheerleaders: Priceless

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

I know this is old news but, in case you haven’t heard, the UO Cheer squad hosted tryouts and invited the public to come watch for a 5 dollar entrance fee. Busted Coverage has the story (and pictures!).

UO Matters has the story, too. On that post you will find a screenshot of a bid war for a pair of Official Women’s Soccer shorts:
20130504-132158.jpg
Disgusting. And Hilarious. The Busted Coverage gallery is the best though. Locker room pics!

But honestly am just saddened that the ASUO mailing lists didn’t forward any notice of the cheerleading tryouts. I would have forked over 5 dollars any day to get a close up view of the cheerleaders in action. Wait, I take that back. Most of them are too orange for me.

UO Cheer did have an advertisement on their official Twitter feed, though. I wonder what kind of fellows and how many of ‘em were lucky enough to get in there…

All I want for Christmas are Chip Kelly’s balls

Monday, December 24th, 2012

An excellent piece about how Chip Kelly’s balls piss off boosters. Merry Christmas everyone! Also Kwanzaa. And don’t forget Winter Solst– fuck it, pass the ham.

$1.5 million spent on MACademics

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

According to this juicy UO Matters post , McArthur Court was built in 1926 and paid for yearly by students until 1932. However, through some shifty Frohnmayer paperwork, Academics is helping Athletics pay 1/4 of the 30-year cost of the land under the Matthew Knight Arena, $467,538 per year (3 payments so far), “for the right to try and use an old basketball arena [...] for academic purposes.”

UO Matters in a comment below the original post: “The issue is that we are paying exorbitant rates to the athletic department for a piece of land that we are not using for academic purposes…”

Well, “Das Frohn” for you.

Athletics Rushes New Drug Testing Policy

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Well, in the wake of this revealing (though not surprising) ESPN report, detailing the presence of a “pot culture” in Oregon Football, the UO athletic department is adopting new rules regarding the drug testing of student-athletes. Now, testing is to be random according to a number generator. University spokesman Phil Weiler is quoted in this Register Guard article, citing the “safety of student-athletes” as the cause for concern of the testing policy. (more…)

Pickin’ Up the Rose Bowl Tab: UO Athletics’ Excess, Extravagance

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

If you haven’t yet, skim it now. More nods and firm handshakes for Sam Stites and the ODE for its front page exposé: the cost of the Ducks Football, Inc Rose Bowl trip last January.

Well the magic number is $1,599,307 and the magic word is muthafuckinexcessive.

$220,107 was spent on transporting the 212-piece armada of players and staff for nine days. That’s $1038 per immortal football being.

Oh wait. Food and lodging for the fleet was $404,356. That’s an additional $1907 per person.

So in all we’ve got $2945 per footballer.

But more curiously is how much the Athletic Department spent on transporting an “official party” to accompany the armada: $123,851 for the transportation of 56 people. Now that’s $2211 per “official party member.”

Food and lodging was $95,483 for the civilian gaggle, an additional $1705 per person.

2211+1705=$3916 per official accompanying partygoer.

The ODE tells us that “the official party consists of athletic department officials, representatives of the University’s third-party rights holder IMG, and 6 students whose names were redacted from the list.”

It included UO Provost Lorraine Davis and “family” along with OC darlings Ben Eckstein and Katie Taylor.

I'm Lorraine. Yeah, it was all-expenses paid. Thanks bitches. xoxo

 

Ah, it’s all so clear now. Thank you, Sam Stites. Thank you, dearest ODE.

The numbers y’all found gives much elucidation on as to why the Athletic Department can gross $88 billion  but can only afford to..

1. Pay only 3% overhead back to the UO when other departments like University Housing pays %7

2. Run the athlete-only Jacqua Center on intended-for-students general state funding until this lucky break

3. Not set up an academic scholarship that was agreed to be started in 2006

4. Try and weasel the ASUO into giving them a budget raise, then subsequently deny any chance of more student tickets at Autzen

Because now I know that the Athletic Department has more important things on their tab. Like paying for lavish, all-inclusive $3916 So-Cal getaways for our greedy, beloved Athletic Dept bureaucrats, some “third party rights-holders,” and students like Katie muthafuckin’ Taylor.

Read the tab itself here.