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Commentary: Oregon's new football facilities are just too much

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  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    Wow - a bit WAY over the top! Sure it's nice, but seriously? Why can't some of that money they spent in the building go towards furthering the education of their students? A building is a building and eventually will be torn down or be destroyed. Education is much more permanent and makes much more of an impact. This facility makes the Ducks look like movie stars, full of glitz, glamour, "look at me", pride, and absolute arrogance. College students in my opinion don't need something this extravagantly luxurious as part of their college experience: 1) they are football players; 2) they are college students. And again, coming back to the academics, what good does a multi-million (or should I say billion) facility do if the sole purpose for those students being there is to gain an education? This facility is a joke when it comes to what they could have done to better the education of the institution's students. Football is fun to watch, but it won't solve the problems of the world.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    The Oregon football team also brings in more money than other departments.

    I'm totally fine with them spending their money how they want.

  • Down under Eugene, OR
    Aug. 1, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    This is pretty common with all PAC 11+u schools. The new Nike contract is throwing money huge amounts of money mostly the football programs in the conference. The universities are strapped for cash in other areas. I am guessing that this would also be true with other conferences that need the charity handouts.
    Thank goodness that BYU can stand on its own reputation and national brand

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 1, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    @vangroovin

    Where to begin....

    "Why can't some of that money they spent in the building go towards furthering the education of their students?"

    Oregon's athletic department is profitable. That means spending $1 in athletics gets the school more than $1 back. That money is spent on - you guessed it - furthering the education of their students.

    "A building is a building and eventually will be torn down or be destroyed. Education is much more permanent and makes much more of an impact."

    Education is not more permanent than a building. The building lasts 50 years maybe. The investment in education also goes away after 50 years when the learner dies.

    "This facility is a joke when it comes to what they could have done to better the education of the institution's students."

    See point #1 above. Also, this isn't "school" money being spent - it's Phil Knight's money. And he can spend it on what he wishes.

    "Football is fun to watch, but it won't solve the problems of the world."

    Neither will a few more Oregonians getting worthless liberal arts degrees.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Maybe some of this money could be filtered into medical research at both the university of Oregon and other university research facilities. That way, they could research life altering injuries like spinal cord, cancer, and brain trama and perhaps provide some real utility and benefit.

  • Ironmomo Ogden, Utah
    Aug. 1, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    Wow, very impressive.

    The University of Utah just finished moving into their brand new football facility last month which cost 32 million dollars; and now Oregon drops a 68 million dollar recruiting Taj Mahal on their front doorstep.

    Keeping up with the Jones (Ducks) is going to be tough for Ute fans.

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    Aa the one poster said, Phil Knight can spend his money however he sees fit. If you want to complain, complain to Mr. Knight, or else complain to those Oregon grads who have gone on to greatness in other fields and choose not to be as generous as Knight does in contributing to their alma mater

  • FatMan86 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    It's a little over the top, but Oregon is far from the only one out there having a spending spree. After this video gets out, I guarentee no less than 10 SEC schools are already out quadrupling their fundraising and breaking ground on their best efforts to keep up with the Ducks. Guess they will have to take a break from figuring out ways to pay players while they build.

    @Brave Sir Robin: "Neither will a few more Oregonians getting worthless liberal arts degrees" -Nice work, this made me laugh out loud!!

  • STLute St. Louis, MO
    Aug. 1, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    Keep in mind Nike sells athletic gear and apparel. Everyone knows Phil Knight invests in Oregon athletics. His investment into his alma mater is also promoting the Nike brand. It's another form of advertising because every time a person see's Oregon apparel/gear, his name (and Nike) is associated with it. Plus, from an academic standpoint, does anyone know 100% that he does or doesn't also contribute to education too? I would bet he does, but I'm not sure.

  • Kduck Seattle, WA
    Aug. 1, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    I would really be surprised if Landon took more than 15 minutes to do research for this article. He basically regurgitated the USA Today article (and others) and is apparently completely unaware that the NCAA investigation was completed over 2 weeks ago and minimal penalties were levied.

    In regards to the money spent. This project was entirely privately funded, the vast majority of it by Phil and Penny Knight. They can spend their money any way they want. BTW, they have also donated millions to the academic side at Oregon. John Jaqua Student-Athlete Academic Center, the Knight Library, and the Knight Law School to name a few.

    Also, the chances of the University of Utah or BYU turning down a gift like this if Phil Knight were an alum = NONE.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    Did anyone expect anything different from Nike U? I think it is actually a good thing that Oregon embraces the glitz and glamour that they can afford. It makes for a fun atmosphere and brings viewers and students together to watch what uni the ducks will adorn this time. If Phil knight wants to give back to his university in such a way, what's wrong with that? I think in the end it's good for the school academically also. Anything in advertising that sets your brand apart is attractive...whether it be for athletes or for students. Why do universities spend so much on their advertising during sporting events? It attracts both students and athletes, and Oregon gets both because of their Nike mojo IMO.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    Ironmomo,

    The $68 million that Oregon spent on their football facility included, I believe, an indoor practice facility and weight training center, facilities that Utah already had in place. So, Utah spent $32 million on the part of the facility equation that was missing. While not as extravagent as Oregon's, Utah's facility will do just fine. And Utah's academic standing is higher than Oregons's and that still counts a lot with recruits. Just ask Stanford.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    Dutchman:
    "Utah's academic standing is higher than Oregons's and that still counts a lot with recruits".

    Uh...no. Oregon is a member of the prestigious AAU fraternity of universities. A membership Utah can only dream of having. Utah, Oregon State, Washington St, & ASU are the only PAC12 schools who are not members of the AAU (the Big 10 are ALL AAU except Nebraska, who was AAU when they initially joined). In terms of graduation rates Utah ranks second to last in the PAC12 in front of only Party U, Arizona St.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    Cougsndawgs,

    I am going on what was reported in the article. If you have a problem with that take it up with Landon.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 1, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    Go Beavers......

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 5:53 p.m.

    I've been through both BYU and utah's football facilities. While both are very nice neither compare to that. I don't know if anything does compare to that.

  • Smart Aleck Vancouver, WA
    Aug. 1, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    What's the big deal? This looks like the high school athletic center I trained in.

    The duck motif is a distinct drawback, however. Nobody get scared by a duck. And the 'feather' accents to the decorations just look silly.

  • Smart Aleck Vancouver, WA
    Aug. 1, 2013 8:06 p.m.

    They should get Willie, Si, Phil and Jace to come in and do some duck huntin'!

  • SSmith Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    Forbes ranks BYU as the 75th best academic university and ranks Utah at #143.

    Forbes also ranks BYU as the 42nd best research university and Utah comes in at #75.

    That's pretty far off from what the PAC12 fans have been telling us.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    SSmith,

    Utah has medical, pharmacy and dental schools and all the research that goes with them. That is what opened the door for Utah into the PAC 12. Not disparaging BYU here at all. BYU is a great university. Forbes is one of many, many rankings. Others present different results. But Landon's article used Forbes and Forbes has Utah ranked much higher than Oregon.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Aug. 2, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    Ain't freedom a wonderful thing? Imagine living in a country where a government dictates how, where, or what to spend your money on? Frankly, I think the Ducks uniforms are some of the most hideously outrageous of any I've seen but that's the beauty of a free society. You can spend your money any way you want without worrying about anyone else's opinion because it's nobody business but yours.

    As far as "Nobody get scared by a duck" That maybe true of any ordinary duck but those Oregonian ducks are a different breed. They are mean and tough with nasty attitudes on the field. They didn't get to sit on top of their conference by just having colorful uniforms.

  • EightOhOne St. George, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    lol @ advocating for "redistribution of wealth" that most of you rant and rail against

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    Dutchman:
    My bad, I realize the article was talking about Forbes, but as you stated that's not the only metric for academics. You stated that recruits care about academics, and I agree, many if them do. But they are probably more aware of AAU status than Forbes ranking in terms of academics, especially when AAU status has been such a talking point during realignment...agree?

    My comments were not meant in any way to disparage the university of Utah. I know it's a great academic institution. But in terms of AAU and graduation rates, Oregon is better. That said, it's interesting to note that Utah has a higher avg SAT entrance score, higher freshman retention rate, and a much larger research endowment than Oregon. Both are quality universities. Cheers.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    CougsnDawgs,

    Agree. AAU status is the ultimate. That is the main reason Arizona led the charge to leave the WAC back in the day and join the PAC 8. It took Arizona about 6 years to achieve AAU status after joining the PAC 8. I don't know how interested ASU, Wash ST, Oregon St are in getting to AAU status. I know Utah is very interested. But as you know there is a nominating process and a school must be voted in by the other members in addition to achieving certain academic ranks. I know Utah is working on it and possibly in the future the U will be nominated for membership by another PAC 12 school since those schools are interested in keeping up with the Big 10. I don't know if you have seen it but the new ambulatory care complex under construction at the U med school is huge. The size of that facility alone would cover about one third of the area of a typical college campus. The new Dental, Law and Education buildings are also under construction. All these things will eventually lead to AAU membership. Cheers.

  • SSmith Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    Dutchman

    I am going on what was reported in the article. If you have a problem with that take it up with Landon.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Aug. 2, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    Dutchman

    "Utah has medical, pharmacy and dental schools and all the research that goes with them. That is what opened the door for Utah into the PAC 12."

    It certainly wasn't Utah's flash-in-the-pan football program that never did anything before 2004 and hasn't done anything since 2008.

    The PAC got just what they wanted, an expanded television footprint and cannon fodder for the big boys of the conference to pad their conference win totals.

  • FromWA Olympia, WA
    Aug. 2, 2013 7:51 p.m.

    Dutchman,
    The U of U does not have a dental school. It has two residency programs (I think), and a few students take the first two years at the U and move on to Creighton. They do not have a dental school. Great med school, sure pharm is good, but had to correct you on one thing I actually know something about. The goal of BYU is not in having these very expensive programs, nor should it be.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 11:35 p.m.

    FromWA,

    You need to get up to speed. Utah certainly has a new Dental school separate from Creighton University. Google it if you don't believe me. And the pharmacy school is not just good, it is ranked one of the highest in the nation. And why did you bring BYU into the discussion? I have not disparaged BYU at all.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    FromWA,

    This comes from the University of Utah School of Denistry web page:

    The University of Utah School of Dentistry will grant its first DDS degree in 2017. The School of Dentistry is part of the University of Utah’s Health Sciences, the Intermountain West’s only academic medical center, and our new School of Dentistry building is slated for completion in late 2014. The health sciences comprise University of Utah Health Care, the School of Medicine, the School of Dentistry and the Colleges of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health. Our classes are currently held in the Health Sciences Education Building, an award-winning facility in the heart of the education corridor of the Health Sciences.

    The U is no longer sending students to Creighton University.

  • agb Layton, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    SS Smith:

    If it doesn't have at least 3 stars next to it on rivals.com or come out of Larry Scott's mouth it isn't a fact.

  • BYUCOLORADO Castle Rock, CO
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    To me the disappointing part is not that the facilities are extravagant. The disappointing part is that athletes are not paid while all that money is getting spent on the facilities. Yes, their education and room and board is being paid for. But these student athletes also go through school largely unable to do any meaningful internships or get much meaningful work experience for graduation. They need to be compensated well for their time there earning the schools so much money.

    Pay the athletes.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Isn't it great that the kids in Utah have the opportunity of attending the University of Utah, a top flight world class university, where they can earn a professional degree in medicine, law, Denistry, nursing, pharmacy, business, engineering, etc etc and the taxpayers of Utah put up only 40 per cent of the cost of grad and under grad education when it used to be 75 per cent. The State of Utah gets a great deal and calls it their flag ship university for a bargain price.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 8:44 p.m.

    @dutchman

    "The State of Utah gets a great deal and calls it their flag ship university for a bargain price."

    The state of utah owns it in whole, whatever accomplishments are made, whatever deals are realized, whatever it does belongs to the state and is because of the state. It is nothing without the state. You need to accept that.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    Duckhunter,

    Accept the fact that the state makes a measley $253 million appropriation that covers 40 percent of the cost to educate grads and undergrads when the state used to cover 75 percent of the education costs. The state owns the university but does not own the entire $3.2 billion budget. Argue that they do in court and you will lose.

  • Barnbug1 SPANISH FORK, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    Isn't there a thread for "Odd Arguments" you guys could jump on?

  • Jenny83 Logan, UT
    Aug. 6, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    Now kids...Lets not be hasty!