University of Washington athletic director Scott Woodward has issued an apology today for comments he made over the weekend concerning the University of Oregon.
Woodward first said on his regular segment on the UW football pre-game show
Saturday from Eugene that “it’s an embarrassment what their academic institution is, and what’s happened to them as far as their state funding has gone. In my mind it’s a wonderful athletic facility but they’ve watched it at the expense of the university go really down. The athletic facility is impressive. The fans at Oregon should get down on their hands and knees at night to Phil Knight and pray to him because this is an incredible facility he’s built.”
He also said that: “Any of the rankings you look at, you watch how far they’ve (Oregon) dropped because of their state funding. And it’s a message for us too. Our state needs to get its act together because we can’t continue to progress without investment in our institution. But we’re doing extremely well and we’re very proud of that fact. We’re a part of the whole University of Washington. That’s who we are.”
And he also said that: “We’re a much bigger venue (than Oregon). They’ve done a lot of things here nicely and everything they’ve done is first class so you take that lesson from them. But we’ll do it the Washington way. We’ll do it better and differently.”
You can listen to it all here.
He elaborated on those comments in a note I wrote for the Times on Sunday that can be found here.
And here’s the text of Woodward’s apology today:
“I apologize if my comments were found as critical or insulting to fans and alumni of the University of Oregon, and I hope to offer some clarity about my true feelings on the situation. I have a great respect for the University of Oregon both as an institution and an athletic program. As a life-long advocate for public funding in higher education, I have seen firsthand the effects of public funding on many institutions, including the University of Washington. My remarks were intended as a commentary on the powerful impact that a state can have on an institution’s academic standing. The University of Oregon is a great example of the struggles which can accompany a university when state funding decreases, but UO is certainly not the only institution suffering.”