After 14 seasons as the Oregon’s head football coach, Mike Bellotti (above) spent just one year as the university’s athletic director before accepting a position at ESPN. A reported $2.5 million severance package has raised some eyebrows, none higher than those of Oregon grad / season ticket holder Mike Bubalo, who issued the following plea to Belloti via the Oregonian’s “Letters To The Editor”.
The athletic department is $1.5 million in debt. Why are donors picking up the tab for a coach’s payout when their donation could ultimately impact minor sports such as baseball. I appreciate that UO is learning from this situation and that they are making the necessary changes in dealing with employment contracts in the future.
Mike Bellotti did a great job of continuing what Rich Brooks started. I appreciate his service to UO. Does Bellotti appreciate what UO has done for him? I think so. They took care of him financially very well and gave him the opportunity and exposure to get one of the best jobs in sports with ESPN. With the money he made at Oregon, in his 21 years of employment and the lucrative salary he will make with ESPN does he need another $2.3 million? Think of all the positives that $2.3 million would accomplish if it went back in the UO Athletic Fund.
If Mike Bellotti has any class, which he does, he will be remembered as the great former football coach at UO who appreciated what the university did for him by giving his severance/payout package back to the University Athletic Fund.