After the above comments on the Dave Mahler and Hugh Millen show on Seattle’s KJR, University of Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward issued the following apology, as reproduced in today’s Oregonian :
œI 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 m ytrue 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.
I can’t imagine how telling Oregon fans they should “get down on their knees and thank Phil Knight” could in any way be construed as insulting or diminishes Oregon’s recent success. Woodward was simply pointing out the importance of expressing gratitude towards an enthusiastic booster (the likes of which he’ll probably never encounter).