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The Moos legacy.

Byline: The Register-Guard

University of Oregon Athletic Director Bill Moos made the job that he'll soon leave one of the most desirable - and difficult - in the nation.

The next Oregon AD will inherit a department that, unlike many of its Division I counterparts across the country, is not only in good financial condition but is entirely self-supporting. Its annual $40 million budget is more than twice what it was when Moos arrived in 1995 from the University of Montana.

The next Oregon AD will inherit a department that is studded with showcase athletic facilities. They include a football stadium that was expanded by 12,000 seats in 2002, a lavishly remodeled Casanova Center, a refurbished Hayward Field that will host the 2008 Olympic Trials, and an impressive array of new and upgraded practice and playing facilities.

The next Oregon AD will inherit a large stable of successful, competitive athletic teams. They include a perennially profitable and winning football program, and a track-and-field program that is swiftly reclaiming its storied place among the nation's elite.

The next Oregon AD will inherit the support of a dedicated and enthusiastic alumni donor base. Its foremost and most generous member is Phil Knight, the former UO runner and Nike founder who bankrolled the bulk of the Autzen Stadium expansion project.

It's an extraordinary collection of assets that comes with an equally extraordinary set of challenges.

Along with a big-ticket budget and an understanding that the athletics department must continue to be self-supporting, the next Oregon AD will inherit an intense and unrelenting pressure to field winning teams that keep stadium seats filled and donors blissful.

Two decades ago, an athletic director could afford to be philosophical when the school's football or basketball program suffered back-to-back losing seasons. Those days are gone.

Along with an impressive array of new and upgraded athletic facilities, the next Oregon AD will inherit a venerable but brittle and undersized McArthur Court. Moos tried mightily to raise the money needed to replace the basketball arena but was unable to nail down a cornerstone donation from the temperamental Knight, who has made little attempt in recent years to conceal his displeasure with Moos's performance as athletic director.

Along with a winning tradition and fantastic facilities, the next athletic director inherits a department that is increasingly under scrutiny by its own faculty and other institutions for its athletics expenditures - from high-tech locker rooms to cutting edge uniforms to billboards in Manhattan.

Along with a commitment to winning, the next athletic director will inherit a department that recently completed a two-year probation for a major NCAA football recruiting violation. Ratcheting expectations and pressures to win will pose a serious and ongoing threat to Oregon's traditional commitment to its academic mission, the well-being of its athletes and the integrity of its athletic programs.

Bill Moos leaves behind a remarkable legacy at Oregon. It's a legacy that ensures that his successor will inherit one of the most desirable - and difficult - AD jobs in the nation.
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Title Annotation:Editorials; Oregon's next AD will face major challenges
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 28, 2006
Previous Article:The sound of silence.
Next Article:It takes funds to get over 'raised bar'.

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