Monday morning I posted audio of University of Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward calling the University of Oregon an “embarrassment” on a Saturday pregame radio show for the Huskies-Ducks football game in Eugene.
(Woodward: Ordered to make personal apologies by UW school president)
Hours later Woodward issued a half-hearted apology in which he said he was sorry if he insulted anyone with his comments. Apparently I wasn’t the only person who found Woodward’s so-called apology almost as appalling as his original, ill-advised remarks.
Bob Condotta of the SEATTLE TIMES reports, “a day after issuing an apology for comments about academics at the University of Oregon, Washington athletic director Scott Woodward was ordered by UW interim president Phyllis Wise to take it a step further.”
Wise and the University of Washington released a letter to the public in which she ordered him to “personally apologize to the president and athletic director at the University of Oregon for the remarks he made before the Oregon-Washington football game Saturday in Eugene.”
Ken Goe of the PORTLAND OREGONIAN reports, “Washington athletic Scott Woodward issued a statement Monday in which he apologized for and clarified remarks he made in a radio interview prior to the Oregon-Washington football game on Saturday.”
As I reported early Monday, Woodward said, among other uncomplimentary things, the Univ. of Oregon was an “embarrassment” after he was asked by KJR-AM host Dave Mahler about Oregon’s facilities and athletic success.
“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.”
After reading Woodward’s hedged “apology” let me also provide a clarification.
The only thing Woodward had to apologize for was the insulting and patronizing way he described the Univ. of Oregon. The substance of his remarks Saturday - as it relates to an apology - is completely irrelevant.
Here’s key phrase in Woodward’s “apology”:“if my comments were found as critical or insulting.”
To express genuine regret, Woodward’s apology should’ve read: “I apologize for the insulting manner in which I described the Univ. of Oregon Saturday.”
There’s no gray area to how Woodward described the Univ. of Oregon. His method of criticism of Oregon, whether valid in its substance or not, was asinine. Clearly, from his quasi apology, that fact is completely lost on him.
For Washington’s sake, let’s hope he figures that out before he meets with Nike about a re-up.
Now for an interesting question: Why did it take until midday Monday for Woodward to apologize? Read more…
While speaking to hosts Dave “Softy” Mahler and Hugh Millen - and a statewide radio audience via KJR-AM in Seattle - Woodward called Oregon an “embarrassment” after Mahler asked him about the school’s athletic facilities and football success.
Along with the audio of his remarks, I’ve transcribed of some of Woodward’s comments below:
Mahler to Woodward: “What do you make of this place? When you come down here, you see the new baseball field, you see the brand new turf, you see the atmosphere. And don’t know if motivation is the word but obviously this is kind of where Washington wants to be, ranked #1 in the country and have all eyes on them.”
Woodward: “Sure, it’s not really where we want to be Softy (Mahler’s nickname), because 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.” Read more…