2020 Pac-12 Championships coming to Eugene

2020 Pac-12 Championships coming to Eugene

Save the date for the Hayward Field grand opening! From the Oregon Athletic Department. 

EUGENE, Ore. – Hayward Field and the University of Oregon track and field program will host the 2020 Pac-12 Championships as announced Tuesday by the league office.
 
The conference championships will mark the first event hosted at Hayward Field since reconstruction started in summer of 2018. The 2020 Pac-12 Championships will be held May 15-16 in Eugene. The Combined Events meet will be hosted by Oregon State the previous weekend (May 8-9) in Corvallis.
 
"Hosting the Pac-12 Championships will be a fantastic way to re-introduce the world to Hayward Field," head coach Robert Johnson said. "It's an exciting announcement for our program and very fitting that the first event in our new yet still legendary facility will feature some of the top student-athletes in the NCAA.
 
"Hayward Field has a long-running tradition of hosting world-class meets and attracting big crowds, and with the level of the sport in the Pac-12 Conference, this meet should be no different."
 
The Hayward Field renovation will result in what is being billed as the world's finest track and field facility. The 2020 Pac-12 Championships will mark the 10thtime the conference meet has been held at Hayward Field. The meet was previously hosted in Eugene in 1967, 1973, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2017.
 
The 2020 Pac-12 Championships is the latest meet awarded to Hayward Field for next year. Last August, Eugene was selected by the USATF Board of Directors as the site of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Minor, almost mockable: NCAA serves penalties for Oregon Ducks' violations

Minor, almost mockable: NCAA serves penalties for Oregon Ducks' violations

On Wednesday, the NCAA announced Oregon committed violations in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s track and field and football.

The violations and the penalties are very minor…. Almost mockable, considering the level of corruption that exists around the nation in NCAA college sports.

The stiffest penalty? NCAA put Oregon Athletics on two years probation from Dec. 5, 2018, to Dec. 4, 2020. A team already on probation for violations can get substantially worse penalties for similar infractions. Probation can have a negative impact on recruiting and could make the federal NCAA basketball corruption case, that Oregon was mentioned in, more interesting. 

To summarize, Oregon committed violations by having basketball staff show up at practices and voluntary workouts when they weren’t allowed, a professor who allowed a track and field athlete to submit coursework after the course had ended (which he said he would do for any student, regardless of athlete status), and a football electronic presentation that included each prospect’s name, statistics and a high school highlight video displayed in the football equipment area.

Relatively tame infractions that were mostly self-reported. What’s next? The Oregon Golf team penalized for having too many golf tees per bag? I kid, but if you are a worried Duck fan… Don’t be. 

Here are the violations and penalties:

Women’s basketball

The NCAA ruled that coach Kelly Graves failed to monitor his program and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance by allowing an assistant strength and conditioning coach to participate in on-court activities.

Graves will serve a two-game suspension this season and must reduce the number of countable coaches by one at regular practice for 10 hours during the 2018-19 season (self-imposed by the university). Also, the school must pay a $5,000 fine plus one percent of the women’s basketball budgets.

Men’s Basketball

The NCAA ruled that the director of basketball operations participated in and observed voluntary workouts, which is a violation. 

As a penalty, that individual received a two-year show-cause order from the NCAA. The men’s basketball program must reduce the number of countable coaches by one at regular practice for 5 hours during the 2018-19 season (self-imposed by the university). Also, the school must pay a fine of one percent of the program’s budget.

Track and Field

The NCAA found an adjunct instructor changed a course grade for a women’s track and field student-athlete, which allowed her to maintain her eligibility and earn her degree.

The professor stated this was due to the system not allowing him to give the athlete an incomplete, with the grade coming following the submission of said coursework.

Oregon's senior vice provost for academic affairs said the athlete did not violate the school's misconduct policy, and the professor said he would have made the same accommodation for any student regardless of athlete status. 

Oregon must vacate all records compiled while the athlete was ineligible.

Oregon Football

Lastly, the NCAA ruled the football program gained a recruiting advantage when it impermissibly displayed personalized statistics of visiting recruits during unofficial and official visits on a new electronic reader board in the football facility.

Oregon athletics self reported the violations above. All in all, not much to worry about, Duck fans… Except maybe those golf tees (kidding!).

Eugene to host 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Eugene to host 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Press Release from USATF Communications

INDIANAPOLIS - Eugene, Oregon, has been selected by the USATF Board of Directors as the site of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field.

Showcasing more than 1,000 Olympic-hopeful athletes competing for the right to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field are slated for June 19-28, 2020, at Hayward Field. With eight days of competition over a 10-day span, the Trials will be contested in a new, state-of-the-art Hayward Field, slated for completion in the spring of 2020. Just over one year later, Hayward will again take center stage when the country welcomes the world to the state of Oregon for the 2021 IAAF World Championships.

"No domestic event is more important to athletes and fans than the Olympic Trials," USATF Chairman of the Board Steve Miller said. "The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials is even more critical because it will lead off an unprecedented opportunity to elevate track & field in this country. Having continuity in location as we move from the Olympic Trials into 2021 will enhance and amplify everything around the sport in the United States, from marketing and promotions to operational efficiencies."

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field is the world's largest and best track meet outside of the Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships and is a collaboration between the U.S. Olympic Committee and USATF. Led by CEO Michael Reilly, TrackTown USA will serve as the local organizing committee for the Olympic Trials.

"The USOC is pleased with the selection of Eugene as the host of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials," USOC Chief of Sport Performance Alan Ashley said. "From a performance perspective, the USOC's top considerations are that the Olympic Trials provide the best competitive experience to athletes and serve as a platform to select the best Olympic Team possible. Eugene is a well-established host, and we look forward to the 2020 Olympic Team that will be selected there."

"We could not be more excited to host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials," TrackTown USA CEO Reilly said. "We are confident that the Eugene-Springfield community, our public and private partners, and the fans who travel from across the country will ensure an extraordinary atmosphere for this event. A new, state-of-the-art Hayward Field on the beautiful University of Oregon campus will be a perfect setting for the athletes striving to become a part of the World's #1 Track & Field team."

Eugene and the University of Oregon's Hayward Field have been the previous site of six U.S. Olympic Team Trials, the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, sixteen NCAA Outdoor Championships and the annual Nike Prefontaine Classic.

The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field is part of an Olympic qualifying journey that also includes the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon, which will be held February 29, 2020 in Atlanta. The site of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - 50 km Race Walk, will be announced in coming weeks.

Oregon receives Notice of Allegations from the NCAA

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Oregon receives Notice of Allegations from the NCAA

The Ducks are in hot water. The NCAA has alleged that the Oregon football, track and field, and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams committed rules infractions, some dating as far back as 2013.

The notice, which was received by the University on Monday, includes the following allegations:

  • In March 2016 an adjunct professor in the anthropology department “knowingly arranged for fraudulent academic credit or false transcripts” for a member of the women’s track and field team. Specifically, the professor changed the student’s grade from an F to a B-minus to ensure the student remained academically eligible to participate in athletics.

 

  • Multiple allegations state that during varying periods from 2013 to 2017 both the men’s and women’s basketball programs “exceeded the numerical limitation of four basketball coaches” by allowing members of the staff to participate in on-court basketball activities.

 

  • That coach Dana Altman was fully responsible for the previously stated violations by the men’s basketball program, and that Altman “did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance and monitored his staff within the program due to his personal knowledge of and/or involvement in the violations”

 

  • That coach Kelly Graves was fully responsible for the previously stated violations by the women’s basketball program, and that Graves “did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance and monitored his staff within the program due to his personal knowledge of and/or involvement in the violations” 

 

  • From August to November 2016 the football program “arranged personalized recruiting aids for 36 football prospective student-athletes during unofficial and official paid visits. Specifically, the football program created an electronic presentation that included each prospective student-athlete's name, physical attributes and high school highlight video and displayed it on a video board located in the football performance center."  

 

(READ THE FULL NOTICE OF ALLEGATIONS HERE)

The NCAA violation structure has four levels, with Level I being a “severe breach of conduct” and Level IV being “incidental issues.” All of the allegations levied against Oregon are considered Level II violations.

A Level II violation is considered a “significant breach of conduct.” According to the NCAA, Level II is described as “violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.”

The University, which self reported all the infractions, has acknowledged the infractions took place, but doesn’t agree with the level of infraction to which the NCAA enforcement staff assigned.

“Coach Altman and coach Graves are committed to compliance with NCAA bylaws, they have the highest ethical standards on and off the court, and each acknowledges the infractions that took place within their programs,” said UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens. “In both cases, our monitoring program identified the issues and they were reported to the NCAA. We have addressed the matters with the responsible employees and enhanced compliance training within the department. These cases do not merit the level of charges against the coaches sought by the NCAA.”