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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 1, 2010 3:19 PM. The previous post in this blog was How Portland, Maine is different from Portland, Oregon. The next post in this blog is What matters on the streets. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tipping point at UC Nike

''It's time for the athletic department to do a little soul searching on how they can serve the university,'' said Nathan Tublitz, a biology professor and the president of the university senate. ''The athletic department is out of control here.''

Comments (9)

Rather than reading the New York Times, you should be watching the Ducks' spring game on ESPN2. Much more interesting.

After reading the linked New York Times article, what I find surprising is that the offense with the least penalty in regard to playing on the Oregon football team, is the charge of "physical harrasment in separate cases involving women." The 2 players mentioned got suspended for one game, although the article did say, and "possibly more." Not much punishment in my book. On the other hand, I guess what a player wouldn't want to do is swear about the coach on Facebook, because that got a player dismissed, if the article got the facts right.
I think something is wrong here.

The problem at UO is the same problem all organizations have who make bargains with corporations. Phil Knight gets a playground of narcissism in which to further both his ego and his corporation's bottom line.

But public universities long ago became corporations with a focus on "grow or die" and cash flow. Tenured faculty go away, adjunct and non-tenured become the norm, universities pursue vocational "profit centers" and grad school money schemes that would make Goldman Sachs proud. College athletics can be a wonderful profit center. Problem is, those profits aren't done with the intention of shoring up academics--it's instead a monster that only grows larger and demands larger meals.

So I don't feel sorry at all for UO. Every university in Oregon *wishes to be like UO*. Ask PSU.

Pot calling kettle black! Most of these tenured Professors stopped being productive teachers long ago. And many are simply coasting along until they start collecting a fat retire,ment check.
This is nothing more than the latest spat between the academic and athletic departments at the University - with the academic folks in a snit because their pie isn't larger.

"with the academic folks in a snit because their pie isn't larger."

I'm of the opinion that the entire pie should be for academics, not a transnational corporation's marketing interests or lining the pockets of someone else. If that means ditching the sports "pie" entirely, so be it. The university might begin to return to being a--gasp--university.

It's a little bit like the Portland Development Commission up here, isn't it? The UO athletic department and especially the football program has it's own little thing going on that has its own agenda and its own separate set of stakeholders apart from the greater university. You get $2.3M cocktail napkin contracts that are completely ridiculous and there's the president of the college making a fool of himself defending the whole racket.

I find the whole thing extremely embarrassing for the UO. It's morons like this that tore down Animal House.

UC Nike?

Despite the legal wrangling, the contract appears to be standard for a school of Oregon's size and with an athletic department of considerable stature. It equals the University of Nebraska's deal with Adidas and surpasses Indiana University's eight-year, $21 million contract with Adidas.

with an athletic department of considerable stature

In its own mind, perhaps. Unsurpassed in thuggery, west of the Mississippi...

And look at what important lessons kids learn from team sports:

A provocative new study says that while athletes continue to be role models, and involvement in organized sports can shape a child's character, the influences might not always be positive.

In fact, the study by an American ethics centre says children involved in sports are more likely to cheat in school, are learning from their coaches how to best cut corners and are more open to forms of bullying as a way to motivate people.

The findings, by the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute, fly in the face of the most widely held view of athletics: that it builds strong character, honesty and team-building skills. Those who make their living from such activities say those beliefs still hold true.

"Participation in sports will encourage positive behaviours," says Jean Côté, acting director of the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University.

But in an era of star athletes glorified over team effort, performance-enhancing drugs being used in sports such as professional baseball and bike racing (and even auto racing in the form of fuel additives) and bench-clearing brawls, the Josephson Institute thought the matter was worth further investigation.

The two-year survey of 5,275 high school athletes from across the U.S. yielded some surprising results – at least for anyone who loves sports.

Two-thirds of the athletes admitted to cheating on an exam at least once in the previous year, compared with 60 per cent in the rest of the student population.

Football players were the worst, at 72 per cent.

"For most kids, sport promotes rather than discourages cheating," the report says.

While the students surveyed overwhelmingly saw their coaches as a positive influence on their lives, they also said it was all right for the coach to teach them how to cheat and get away with it.

For instance, 43 per cent of boys thought it was okay for their coaches to teach ways to hold and push that were hard for referees to detect. Again, football was worst, at 51 per cent. Interestingly, the rates were much lower for girls, of whom only 22 per cent thought it was all right for coaches to teach illegal holds.

The study did not examine what the connection between sports and cheating might be.

Was it simply that the kids were learning to cheat from coaches bent on winning? Or were parents pushing their children to succeed at any cost? Or was it just a matter of child athletes being so busy honing their on-field skills that they felt a need to cheat to stay ahead – both academically and athletically.

Answering those questions might tell us who to blame – and the answer is probably a mix of positive answers to all three questions – but the fact remains that the sports teams we hope will help our kids become better people might not being doing the job we want.

In fact, if the study is to be believed, it might be having the opposite effect.

"There is reason to worry that the sports fields ... are becoming the training grounds for the next generation of corporate and political villains and thieves," the report says.

Côté says sports themselves aren't to blame if there are problems with athletes. Instead, he puts the blame on parents and coaches.

"Sport is not bad or good. It's the people around sport who make it bad or good – especially the adults," he says.

Côté has focused much of his research on the influence coaches and parents have on child athletes.

In one study, he found that bantam-age hockey coaches were more likely to encourage aggressive behaviour in their charges and to challenge a referee's calls when they are losing a game.

This happens, he says, even though the coaches tell the kids away from the ice to refrain from being too aggressive and to respect the referee.

"They tell the kids one thing, and act differently," he says.

Such pressures increase with the skill level of the children involved, he says. As the children reach more elite levels of sports, the pressure on them to succeed will likewise increase.

In the United States, high school sport is often an elite arena where kids compete to win university scholarships. Côté says the Josephson study should be seen in that context.

"The crowds are huge at high school games. It's part of the culture."

Côté says parents need to do more than just drop their children off at games and hope that they are learning desired lessons about fair play and teamwork. They also need to be conscious of how their own expectations might be influencing behaviour.

Character building can't be contracted out to a sports league. It's still a parent's job, and how we approach our children's sporting activities is a big part of that.


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to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
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Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
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G3, Cabernet 2013
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Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
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Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
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Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
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Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
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Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
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Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
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Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
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Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
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Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
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William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
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In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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