Tuesday, March 16, 2010

U of O Press Conference on Ernie Kent @ 3:30 PDT (UPDATED Ernie Fired!)

The University of Oregon is having a press conference this afternoon at 3:30 PDT on the status of Men's Basketball Coach Ernie Kent. We should get the official word at that time. I think the only issue is whether he was offered and or has accepted a new position in the Athletic Department. There has been speculation that he would stay on as part of the Oregon Sports Network(OSN) TV broadcasts team for Oregon Basketball Games. My opinion is that would be very awkward for everyone.The Press Conference will appropriately be at Mac Court.


Oregon AD Mike Bellotti confirmed that he had will not renew basketball coach Ernie Kent's contract and Oregon was starting the search today for a new basketball coach.

Ernie Kent then spoke in an emotional speech about his love for the University of Oregon and all it has meant to him as a player, student and coach. Ernie at times had tears in his eyes and showed he was a fighter to the end. There were still 6 games to be played in regular season play when he was told his contract would not be renewed and that he had the option of quiting then of finishing out the season. Ernie said he was not the kind of man who would quite and stayed through the Pac 10 Tournament and never gave up.

I have been a strong advocate for the last year and one half that Ernie should be replaced but I respect the way Ernie fought to the end.

Hear Hear, Ernie Kent !

Press Release by AD Mike Bellotti:

EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon has terminated the contract of long-time men’s basketball head coach Ernie Kent, according to an announcement Tuesday by the school’s Director of Athletics Mike Bellotti.

“The accomplishments Ernie Kent has brought to the basketball program at the University of Oregon speak for themselves,” said Bellotti. “No one can deny that this program stands in better shape today than when he took it over, and that’s a direct reflection on the passion he has displayed for this community, his alma mater and the players that he has brought into this program.

“This was not an easy decision for me, but unfortunately, when I looked at the past five to six years, I did not see the improvement and consistency that I had hoped for, and that we will need to move forward as we open our new arena and seek to reenergize and expand our season ticket base,” said Bellotti.

“I would like to thank Ernie for his professionalism during a difficult time in his career, and certainly acknowledge his contribution to the growth of the basketball program,” said Bellotti. “I believe the University of Oregon is well-positioned to build on the foundation that Ernie has helped put into place.”

Kent had two years remaining on his contract that went into effect on July 1, 2007, and was amended on July 1, 2008. That pact called for him to be paid an annual guaranteed base salary from the University of $150,000. With additional compensation from deferred income, ticket sales and the Oregon Sports Network the contract was valued at $1.06 million. According to a 2008 contract addendum, the University would owe Kent a sum of $1.15 million in lieu of his annual salary and incentives should his employment be terminated without cause.

Oregon will immediately begin a national search to hire a replacement.

Kent accumulated a 235-173 (.576) mark in 13 seasons at the Ducks’ helm. Combined with his six-year total of 90-80 at the Moraga, Calif., school, Kent owns a 325-253 career coaching ledger in 19 seasons at the NCAA Division I level.

Statement from UO President Richard Lariviere regarding Coach Ernie KentMarch 16, 2010

"Today, it was announced that Ernie Kent will no longer be the head coach of the University of Oregon men’s basketball team. Coach Kent has contributed to the university as a student-athlete, coach, leader and mentor.

Coach Kent played an important role as a teacher of student-athletes for the past 13 years. He led his team to success in the Pac-10. In the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate for academic achievement by student-athletes his record was exemplary. On the court, Coach Kent was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and reached the Elite Eight twice in five NCAA tournament competitions.

My colleagues and I admire the work of this good man for his ability to shape the lives of young people. It is an enviable record. The University of Oregon appreciates his accomplishments and wishes Coach Kent the best in the future.”