This is a big news day for University of Oregon athletics!
George Schroeder,sports columnist for the Register-Guard newspaper,
has a column on Oregon Athletic director Pat Kilkenny that is quite favorable to Kilkenny. Click on the title for a link. A few quotes:
Dave Frohnmayer is retiring in 13 months, which means the debate about athletics vs. academics can reignite. Like him or not, there’s no doubt the president has been a friend to Oregon athletics — which might be why some don’t like him.
And why inside the Casanova Center, longtime employees are concerned.
Frohnmayer’s exit in June 2009 coincides with Pat Kilkenny’s planned departure from the athletic director’s office. Kilkenny says that’s all it is, a coincidence, and that he didn’t know anything about Frohnmayer’s retirement plans until a few weeks ago.
Kilkenny also says nothing has changed, and he’d still like to clean out his desk early next summer, presumably to catch a flight home to sunny San Diego.
Those plans need to change.
Critics said Kilkenny’s arrival showed the school had sold its soul.
I disagree. This is a philosophical argument that’s not going to be settled soon, or probably ever. But Kilkenny’s hiring wasn’t evidence of the sale.
Like a lot of other schools, Oregon sold out long ago.
Kilkenny came in, and he admitted he didn’t know a whole lot about what he was doing, but he’s gotten a lot done.
In his first year, he cut wrestling and added baseball and something called competitive cheer. He lured a big-time baseball coach. Helped secure a $100 million gift from Phil and Penny Knight, which led to the long-stalled arena project finally getting off the ground.
Noting the “uncertainty” of the changeover at the very top, Bellotti suggested Kilkenny should stay on for at least one year longer, to work with the new president.
Kilkenny said he’ll talk with Frohnmayer and come up with something.
“My hope, frankly,” Frohnmayer told The Register-Guard in February, “is that he’ll stay on indefinitely.”
Maybe by 2010, Bellotti will be ready.