Woke up this morning to find UO students on Facebook joining a group called "UO Students for Equal Access: NO to the John Jacqua Center." The Center's already built and open (and students of all kinds have access to the coffee shop and the auditorium for classes, but not the rest of the building).

The Daily Emerald has been all over the Center; Jill Kimball (a former student of mine) wrote "Athletes learning in grandeur" on Tuesday and Jenn Hughes wrote today's "Parking spaces temporarily reserved for student-athletes". The latter begins,

Trying to find a parking space at the University just got easier.

For student-athletes.

Beginning this term, spots in two parking lots are temporarily reserved for student-athletes who use the recently instated, state-of-the-art John E. Jaqua Academic Center.

You have to read the article to find out about the "corporate entity, Phit"* created to build the center and make agreements about removing parking from other students to give it to student-athletes using the center.

Apparently, this does not please some UO students. Here's a screen shot of the Facebook group:

Can't read it?

The Jaqua Center opened recently on campus. This 40,000 sq ft building is restricted to a select few members of the student population. The actions taken by the university have shown very clear preference for some without regard to everybody else paying tuition! Please join and invite other concerned students. We are not second class students at this university!

Underneath the photo (of one of the Jacqua Center bathrooms), it says, "Nike does NOT run this school!"

You have to be part of the Oregon network on FB in order to see and join the group, listed under Student Groups — General. During the time it took me to post this blog, the group gained 5 members, FWIW.

*PHIT? As in PHIl knighT? *headhands*

UO football coach Chip Kelly announced today that he may allow a player who punched an opponent and threw an embarrassing violent fit on national TV to play for the UO after all.

Sports columnists are all abuzz about with speculation on exactly why Kelly suddenly changed his mind about kicking LeGarrette Blount off the team. But in the past, such dramatic flips in UO decisions haven't been made by the football coach, the athletic director or the UO president, they've been made by Phil Knight.

ESPN has reported how UO officials "genuflect at his Nikes" and "coddle and fawn over their rich uncle at every turn." The story noted how pressure from the UO megadonor forced the UO out of an anti-sweatshop group and forced out a track coach.

There's no direct evidence Knight made the decision. He may make decisions at the UO, but he doesn't do press conferences about them. But does anyone believe Blount could be reinstated if Knight objected?

The UO just cancelled the championship hopes of its ultimate frisbee team over nudity at an OSU match.

But the UO hasn't taken any action to cancel Nike's huge presence on campus due to this act of naked corporate commercialism:

Maybe if frisbee boosters could donate a few hundred million dollars, the UO wouldn't be so prudish.

Or maybe the frisbee solution is official uniforms with swoosh-shaped gourds:

Clever Nike designers could probably come up with something less scratchy and more swooshy, call it the Schwing 6.0.

UO big wigs have been taking a lot of hits in the media recently for kowtowing to the almighty swoosh.

On April 16 the Oregonian reported that the UO had evaded state anti-corruption laws to hand the contract for the basketball arena—the most expensive public building in state history—to a Nike subsidiary and Nike related contractor and architect without a competitive or public bidding process.

On April 20, Oregonian columnist Steve Duin wrote that under President Dave Frohnmayer, "This public university has, on any and all questions about the arena, suddenly adopted a code of secrecy worthy of the KGB."

On April 23, Willamette Week awarded Frohnmayer its "Rogue of the Week" award for "hiding the ball" when it comes to Nike, the arena and the state's public records law.

Who's making all these decisions at the UO? Frohnmayer is helped by three "retired" UO vice-presidents who recently got a big pay increase by converting their full time jobs to half time, according to numbers in an Oregonian story last month.

The paper reported that John Moseley, Lorraine Davis and Dan Williams all recently retired but were hired back as half time contractors. According to numbers in the story, Williams earned $162,800 before he retired. After retirement he earned PERS at about 83 percent of salary or, by our estimate, about $135,000. Frohnmayer then hired him back to work at the UO half time for $100,000 a year, according to the Oregonian. So in retirement working half time Williams earns a total of about $235,000 a year, a 44 percent raise over what he earned working full time.

For Moseley the raise works out to 35 percent or a total of $285,000 in post "retirement" salary, by EW's calculations. Davis got an estimated 33 percent raise for going half time, a total of $222,000 a year in post retirement pay.

These three Frohnmayer cronies working half as much for almost half more pay are now among the highest paid public officials in the state. By comparison, the Governor's salary is $93,600.

Wow, no wonder the UO has a hard time getting funding from the Legislature. Of course Frohnmayer or his princely paid assistants won't pay the price for the public esteem swooshing out of the institution. It will be some kid busing tables for tuition.

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