Pac-12: Richard Lariviere

USC coach Lane Kiffin’s interview on HBO Sports' "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” fell short of expectations.

University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere was fully “invested” as Oregon’s 16th school president this weekend.

The IRS is auditing 30 schools and could look into coaching salaries to find discrepancies.

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott will not attempt to change an NCAA rule that requires 12 teams for a conference to have a title game.

No wrongdoing found with Bellotti's golden parachute

April, 29, 2010
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The $2.3 million golden parachute Oregon gave to former football coach and athletic director Mike Bellotti wasn't illegal but it was handled badly, according to the state's attorney general.

The state Department of Justice found no criminal wrongdoing, but faulted Oregon lawyers for failing to provide Bellotti with a written contract when he took over the athletic director's job after 14 seasons as football coach.

School president Richard Lariviere announced last week that the university's general counsel, Melinda Grier, will not have her contract renewed when it expires next year.

No public funds would be used for Bellotti's buyout. It will be paid for by donors. And the AG office said the amount of the buyout "was not unreasonable."

Here's the story from The Oregonian. And Ken Goe's take.

Oregon taps interim AD

March, 26, 2010
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Lorraine Davis will serve as Oregon's interim athletic director on a month-by-month basis until a permanent replacement for Mike Bellotti is found, the school announced Friday.

Bellotti resigned on March 19 to become a college football analyst for ESPN.

Davis, who joined the Oregon faculty in 1972, is the school's former vice president for academic affairs. She will begin as interim AD on April 20.

As part of the university’s tenure reduction program, Davis has continued to serve in part-time employment since retiring in June 2006. Currently, Davis oversees academic support services for student-athletes, and is deputy administrator of the E.C. Brown Foundation and Trust, a philanthropic health education organization. She also chairs the vice provost for enrollment management search, which is expected to be completed soon.

“For many years, I’ve worked in varying roles to connect academics and athletics on campus and I am willing to take on an even greater responsibility as interim AD,” Davis said in a statement. “I appreciate the president’s confidence in my ability to contribute and lead the department and look forward to working closely with employees during this transitional period.”

The national search for the permanent athletics director will involve members from the university administration, coaches and staff, along with Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott and others. Oregon President Richard W. Lariviere has selected Robin Holmes, vice president for Student Affairs, to chair the committee.

What about Blount?

October, 28, 2009
10/28/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

In some ways lost amid the hype over No. 5 USC's visit to No. 10 Oregon is the status of LeGarrette Blount.

Recall that when Ducks coach Chip Kelly announced that he had reduced Blount's season-long suspension, he said the earliest Blount could return was the Nov. 7 game vs. Stanford.

That's the next game.

Kelly refused to even entertain the subject this week. He's got other things on his mind. But the Eugene Register-Guard talked to athletic director Mike Bellotti and filed this report.

The gist: Bellotti expects to hear something from Kelly by Sunday or Monday, at which point other ears at Oregon will listen, including school president Richard Lariviere. And then a plan will be forwarded to the Pac-10 office and commissioner Larry Scott.

This is interesting from the story:

Bellotti said that he believes Scott will be at the Oregon-USC game Saturday and that “there will probably be some meetings that take place.”

At which point, Blount could return to practice and play against Stanford for the first time since he punched a Boise State player. He will have served a seven-game suspension.

Blount, who rushed for 1,002 yards and 17 touchdowns last year, has been working with the scout team in practices. This week, he's been imitating a fellow 230-pound back with good speed, USC's Allen Bradford.

It will be interesting to see, assuming Blount is reinstated, how he will be worked into the lineup. It's likely he will come off the bench behind redshirt freshman LaMichael James as a power-back counterpunch over the final four regular-season games. James is presently 17th in the nation with an average of 105 yards rushing per game.

It's up to Blount to earn reinstatement

October, 2, 2009
10/02/09
6:03
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


The earliest running back LeGarrette Blount can return from suspension is Nov. 7.

Take out your Oregon football schedule.

That's the week after USC visits Oregon.

That should lower the arched eyebrows and stick a sock in the self-righteous questioning of motives.

"It's not a football decision, it's a human being decision. It's about that individual," Ducks coach Chip Kelly said.

Yes, Kelly reversed his previously and unequivocally stated position that Blount would not return to the team after he punched a Boise State player who was taunting him after the Ducks 19-8 season-opening defeat.

Good. That speaks well of him. After the original hullabaloo passed, Kelly was able to gather more information, consult with some smart folks and observe how Blount carried himself after his worst moment.

Then Kelly changed his mind. Again, that's a positive. One of the problems we have with the public discourse in this country is folks rigidly hold onto positions, no matter what a catalogue of contrary facts say.

Blount will serve at least a seven-game suspension and be available for four games and a bowl. And that's his best-case scenario.

Blount has to satisfy not only Kelly, but also athletic director Mike Bellotti and university Richard Lariviere.

And then the final word will come down from the Pac-10 office. In a brief statement this afternoon, commissioner Larry Scott committed to no course of action, other than to say that he will consider Oregon's appeal on Blount's behalf if and when it crosses his desk.

“The University of Oregon may appeal to the conference for a reduction in the original disciplinary actions taken against LeGarrette Blount,” commissioner Larry Scott said. “The power to reinstate rests with the conference, and if and when the university decides to make such an appeal, the conference will take the matter under advisement and make a decision.”

And now the focus turns to Blount.

He has been given a great opportunity to get his life back in order and to prove to people that one bad night doesn't define the person he will be going forward.

He needs to go to class. He needs to study hard. He needs to hit the weight room with renewed zeal. He needs to set an example during practice.

If he gets to suit up for a game again, he needs to gracefully accept whatever role he will be given.

And if his name ends up getting called this spring during the NFL draft, he needs to never forget his experience.

He owes it to the folks who are standing by him to validated their faith in him.

Statement from Oregon president

September, 4, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


The following is a statement from University of Oregon president Richard Lariviere on the postgame fight last night at Boise State. It doesn't contain anything about a possible penalty for running back LeGarrette Blount.
At the conclusion of last night’s University of Oregon season opening football game against Boise State University, a UO player displayed inappropriate and unsportsmanlike behavior. There is no place on the field of play for that kind of action, and his conduct was reprehensible.

We do not and will not tolerate the actions that were taken by our player. Oregon’s loyal fans expect and deserve better. The University of Oregon Athletics Department is reviewing the situation and will take appropriate action, reflecting the seriousness of the player’s behavior.

We then hope to put this incident behind us and look forward to the rest of the season.

UO players, coaches and fans are known for their passion and enthusiasm for athletic competition. At the University of Oregon, we are committed to demonstrating that passion in positive ways.

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