Phil Knight

Report: Nike, Phil Knight committing more than $15M in COVID-19 aid

Report: Nike, Phil Knight committing more than $15M in COVID-19 aid

Nike and co-founder Phil Knight are offering us all a little bit of light during a challenging and uncertain time. 

Phil Knight, along with the company he founded, executive chairman Mark Parker and president & CEO John Donahoe are contributing more than $15M in COVID-19 assistance. 

This according to Darren Rovell:

Knight, Parker, and Donahoe alone will contribute a combined $10M of their own money.

The Oregon-based company is also doing its part to help its employees, improve statewide care coordination, increase access for COVID-19 patients and help prepare for expanded diagnostic testing.

"We are coming together to support communities where our employees live and work," said a Nike global corporate communications spokesperson.

According to KGW-TV, $10 million of the money being donated would be dedicated locally to the Oregon Food BankOregon Health & Science University, and a recovery fund created by the Oregon Community Foundation.

Nike already donated more than $1 million to China Youth Development Foundation back in January to help provide supplies and equipment to treat COVID-19 patients.

NBCSNW reported late last week that if Nike was forced to close any of its stores or distribution centers, those who are unable to work from home would receive paid time off and will not be required to take PTO.

Two days after that report, Nike announced they would be closing retail stores.

With stores closing, Nike is staying true to its word and helping those employees affected. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold, Nike is making sure it does everything it can to help.

Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers in action at the Phil Knight Invitational, follow along on social


Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers in action at the Phil Knight Invitational, follow along on social

Tonight is the second interation Phil Knight Invitational at the Moda Center. The first, PK80, was held in November 2017. 

The action will tip off at 6:00pm PST with the No. 13 Memphis Tigers playing the No. 14 Oregon Ducks in a matchup of ranked teams. 

The headliner will be Memphis center James Wiseman who may go first overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, and was recently declared ineligible by the NCAA. Memphis believes their decision is wrong and will be playing him anyways while the matter gets settled in court.

The Ducks return Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate Payton Pritchard at point guard and will field other notable transfers. They will be without freshman center N’Faly Dante who’s ineligible for the first nine games of the season since he cannot enroll at the University of Oregon until December 14th. In addition, starting center Francis Okoro got hit by a car last week in Eugene and his status for today’s contest in unknown.

The second matchup will be between the Oklahoma Sooners and Oregon State Beavers and tipoff following Oregon-Memphis concludes (approx. 8pm).

The Sooners were picked to finish eighth in the Big-12 this season in the preseason media poll but can easily outplay expectations. The Beavers return senior Tres Tinkle who also is a Pac-12 player of the year candidate. In Vegas, the Beavers are slight underdogs but have enough talent to win. 

Dylan Mickanen will be on site reporting on both games. Feel free to follow along on social as well.

Impeccable timing; Hot Ducks one step closer to Pac-12 Tournament crown

Impeccable timing; Hot Ducks one step closer to Pac-12 Tournament crown

LAS VEGAS – Hours before tipoff of Oregon’s Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal, Oregon announced the extension of coach Dana Altman’s contract. Oregon’s contract with Altman, one of six active head coaches in Division I with a current streak of at least 22 consecutive winning seasons, runs through the 2025-26 season.

Good timing for the announcement, it seemed. Turns out, it was great timing.

With Phil and Penny Knight watching court side and big dance hopes on the line, the Ducks advanced to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal game for the sixth time out of eight seasons. Oregon upset third-seeded Utah, 66-54, and is now 5-0 against Utah in the Pac-12 tournament.

The victory is Altman’s 17th Pac-12 Tournament win, tying Arizona’s Sean Miller for the most. The Ducks (21-12, 10-8 Pac-12) are riding a six-game winning streak and advance to play second-seeded Arizona State on Friday at 8:30pm.

"I'm excited, my family is excited, we've enjoyed our nine years at Oregon" Altman said. " We want to build something special.... it's a special place".

Before mounting their comeback, the Ducks fell to a six-point halftime deficit. Oregon could not get organized on offense, lacked ball movement and shot 27.6 percent from the field.

On a hot streak of holding the last six opponents to less than 62 points, the Ducks’ aggressive defensive play continued. Oregon held Utah, the top shooting team in the conference, to 34 percent from the field and outscored them in the paint, 36 to 30.

Despite the physical game, Oregon did not attempt a free throw the entire first half. 

A huge part of Oregon’s lock down defense came from Francis Okoro, who tied the tournament record with six blocked shots in a game. Payton Pritchard and Louis King sparked the Ducks’ comeback on offense, each scoring 20 points.

The Ducks got off to a great second half start. Oregon forced a few turnovers, baffling the Utes with the press and Pritchard grabbed the momentum with back-to-back layups to tie the game. Oregon outscored Utah, 48-30 in the second half.

"Obviously this team is capable of a lot, which we showed in the second half," Pritchard said. "That's how we gotta bring it (against ASU), starting from the tip".

As the Ducks heated up, so did Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, who received a technical foul for slapping a cup off the scorer’s table after a foul call

Utah’s 16 free throw points kept it in the game, but could not overcome going 2-of-23 from beyond the arc.

Next up, Arizona State (22-9, 12-6). Oregon lost to ASU in Tempe in January but then crushed the Sun Devils at home, a month later. ASU is coming off of a 83-72 victory over UCLA.

Altman is five wins away from becoming Oregon’s all-time winningest head basketball coach. He has a chance to take one step closer to that honor, the Pac-12 Tournament crown and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

Oregon football most valuable program in Pac-12 conference

Oregon football most valuable program in Pac-12 conference

The Oregon football program is rising in value, according to Forbes. Want to be the Duck fan at the tailgate with all the Oregon knowledge? Here are the numbers you need to know about No. 20 Oregon

Money, money, money: Forbes released its list of 'Most Valuable College Football Programs', and Oregon ranks 12th. The Ducks make $92 million in revenue and $54 million in profit. Notable Oregon football transaction include; Mark Helfrich's $5 million severance pay in 2016 and UO's Nike deal of $88 million in cash and gear over 11 years.  

Oregon is the highest team from the Pac-12 conference, while Texas A&M takes the top spot. The list is created on the basis of average annual revenue, rounded to the nearest million, and is the first Forbes list since 2015 to rank the nations top college football programs. In 2015, Oregon was ranked 14th. 

9 years of dominance: Oregon’s 39 games with 50-plus points since 2009 are the most by any FBS program in that span. The Ducks are also 79-0 all-time when scoring 50+ points.

San Jose State Family? Four Oregon coaches have also coached at San Jose State; Marcus Arroyo (2006-08), Jim Mastro (1996), Joe Salave’a (2008-09) and Donte Williams (2013-15). Also, Arroyo played quarterback there from 1998-2002.

Blur offense: In the first two games, 10 of Oregon’s 16 touchdown drives have lasted two minutes or less... Don't blink!

The Herbert Advantage: Oregon is averaging 43.4 points per game in quarterback Justin Herbert’s 17 career starts.

Sharing is caring: 12 different Ducks have scored a touchdown through two games, the most in the nation.

Seeing Redd: Sophomore wide receiver Jaylon Redd is tied for the Pac-12 lead with three touchdown receptions. Redd has scored a touchdown in four straight games dating back to Oregon State game in 2017. 
Career-Highs vs. Portland State: Defensive lineman Austin Faoliu set a career-high for the second straight week with seven tackles. Starting running back Tony Brooks-James carried the ball a career-high 21 times for 107 yards and scored two touchdowns. Running back CJ Verdell surpassed 100 rushing yards for the first time in his career with 106 yards on 11 carries with one touchdown.


More Ducks:

Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert doesn't play favorites

The best and worst from Oregon's domination over Portland State

Travis Dye and his ferocious jump cuts could be special this season

"Grandpa" Tony Brooks-James has goals to dominate in his final UO season

Oregon football rises to No. 20 the AP Poll


The big question now: Is Rob Mullens up to the task of finding a new football coach?

The big question now: Is Rob Mullens up to the task of finding a new football coach?

Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens obviously has some courage. Some guts, you'd say on the football field.

He put himself in what I believe is a very difficult position Tuesday night -- as the person at least publicly responsible for finding a replacement for the man he just fired -- football coach Mark Helfrich.

[WATCH: Facebook Live Stream from Rob Mullens' Press Conference]

I have always believed in sports that when you fire your manager, your coach, your general manager, you better have somebody either lined up and ready to take the job or a real good line on who you want to hire. You want to make dead sure you can hire somebody better than the person you just booted out the door. But that, at least according to Mullens, is not the case this time.

To hear him tell it, the whole thing is wide open. Maybe it is.

[PODCAST: UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens addresses the firing]

"I think the University of Oregon is a great football program," Mullens said. "It's going to be an attractive job to a lot of candidates. We're going to look far and wide... Our pool will be broad and diverse... We're going to be extremely thorough and we're going to find the right person."

Mullens said that Parker Executive Search, which specializes in corporate and higher education hiring as well as sports, will assist him with the search. But if I had a guess -- and I will stress I have no inside information -- it would be that he'll also rely on a couple of trusted boosters, too. Former athletic director and big donor Pat Kilkenny made the last two major hires in the athletic department -- basketball coach Dana Altman and baseball coach George Horton. He is well-connected and savvy and I assume Mullens will rely on Kilkenny's smarts and private plane in this search. And I believe Phil Knight's contacts and circle of football friends should be a big asset, too.

But, and it's a big BUT -- I'm not so sure this is the kind of coaching job that's going to have experienced, winning head coaches from all over the country lined up at Mullens' door waiting for an interview. It's a tough part of the country for recruiting, many miles away from the talent loads in southern California and in the deep South. And everybody has all the fancy facilities and uniforms that used to make the Ducks special. And of course there is the evidence of impatience in the athletic department, with Helfrich being let go just two years after an appearance in the national championship game.

But Mullens did this to himself. He cited a "shift in culture" as a reason for Helfrich's departure "It's been a winning edge," he said "And we have to get that edge back."

And Tuesday he pulled the plug on his head coach, putting all the pressure of rebuilding a winning program on his own shoulders.

And now we wait to see if he can handle it.