Well, as John Canzano reported this morning, Jim Bartko has just been rehired by the Ducks to be senior associate athletic director. You may remember that Bartko held a similar position for a long time at UO before being lured away a little over a year ago by Cal. Now, Bartko's back. What does all this mean?
First of all, it means that the athletic department is putting a full court press on the arena project. Bartko's job has always been to buddy up to Phil Knight. Its no coincidence that Phil is the biggest possible contributor to this project, and they have hired Bartko. Their relationship is great. This also makes Bartko the prohibitive favorite to be the new AD after Kilkenny steps down. But this will really spur the arena project--expect the Ducks to be playing in a shiny new arena by the 2010-11 season. While I will mourn the loss of Mac Court, we all know that this will be great for the program.
On a side note, the fact that Bartko left Cal so quickly is also good news for Oregon. Makes you wonder: how successful are efforts to revamp Cal's football facilities? And, as it looks like they are not going well, how long does Jeff Tedford stick around? We could do without him in the Bay Area.
These guys are going to get this arena built, at any cost, ASAP. They are hell bent on it.