Before the Huskies took on the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on Saturday in Eugene, Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward appeared on the University of Washington football pregame radio show.
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.“
Mahler: “Talk more about what you were just mentioning, about academics, is that backed up by some stats that just came out? Or numbers? Tell me about that.”
Woodward: “Sure, 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.”
Hugh Millen: “It there one thing here (Oregon) where you say, ‘they really did it well, let’s do it at Washington’?”
Woodward: “Not necessarily Hugh, it’s different. We’re a much bigger venue. 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.”
The embarrassment Saturday wasn’t the Univ. of Oregon, but Woodward himself with the lack of class he exhibited in insulting his hosts. Any legitimate points Woodward may have had about the so-called misguided priorities in Eugene were buried by his arrogant, patronizing and defensive tone.
Woodward’s remarks remind me of the McCourts when they first bought the Dodgers. Frank and Jamie went out of their way to ignore the methods of the O’Malleys - who were most responsible for the prestigious organization that the McCourts couldn’t wait to get their hands on.
But instead of learning, or even properly appreciating the O’Malleys for what they achieved, the McCourts were dead set on distancing themselves from everything the franchise had ever done successfully.
Just as Woodward put it Saturday, the McCourts decided from jump that they would do things “better and different” than those who came before them. (The divorce has had very little to do with the true downfall of the organization.)
Yes, Washington is in a much different spot than the Dodgers. And Woodward did get one thing right as part of his radio remarks - U-Dub is a great school.
A great school, I might add, that deserved better than Woodward’s indefensible display Saturday.
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