Yes, it is that time of year. The absolute worst time of the college sports calendar. There is literally nothing happening. The top story at Duck Sports news right now is about Kevin Coster's band. Just let that sink in a little bit.
About the only decent thing to come out lately is Jay's post over at the Duck Sports News blog on the whole Oregonian/Phil Knight series. If you haven't seen his post, check it out. Jay says pretty much everything that I am thinking about this nonsense. Also, for another good rebuff at this affront to journalism, check out Dave's piece a while ago, which is still applicable today.
One thing that I would like to add all this is that Canzano and the Oregonian argue essentially that the University should not accept money that has any stipulations on it, as this is giving control to Phil Knight.
But this is absolutely preposterous. It is very tough to argue that Knight does not have a lot of influence at the University of Oregon. He has a very large amount of influence. But to equate this with harm to the university is not even logical. We must look at every situation and figure out the good and the bad that came from that. Unfortunately, this was nowhere to be seen in the coverage. It was sensationalist nonsense and poor journalism.
Furthermore, looking at this objectively, isn't this how the world works? Any time that someone puts money into anything, be it business, politics, whatever, they gain some level of access/control over that entity. Look at shareholders in a company: The more money that someone has invested in a company, the more control they have. The same is true in this situation. Phil Knight has the ability to give money, and put stipulations on that money. With the amount of money he has given to the University, in both athletics and academics, he has effectively become a significant shareholder in the University.
This fact alone is not problematic. Anytime money is involved, there is a chance for corruption, etc. However, I don't believe this is happening. There is no evidence of this going on, and the University has been nothing but transparent over the entire relationship, which I think we can all appreciate. Money and its influence are a part of life. But I believe the University is doing its best to be honest and open about what's going on. It's not like we're an SEC school. We've had no donor involved NCAA violations, and to my knowledge, have never come close to flirting with that line.
I believe that all parts of the University are better off due to Phil Knight. If all of Knight's donations were taken away, every part of the University of Oregon would be worse off, and any sane person would agree with this.
I am really getting tired of this same old junk coming from the Oregonian. I don't usually get my sports news or opinions from the Oregonian, and this will decrease even more, as this affront to journalism continues.