OSU looks to cut back sports budget, but UO is A-OK

OSU looks to cut back sports budget, but UO is A-OK

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon State looks at scaling back or cutting as many as 13 team sports, tbut he University of Oregon doesn't face the same problem thanks  to one of about 20 self-sustaining athletics programs in the country.

In a letter to donors, OSU's athletic director says 13 of the school's sports teams could be scaled back or cut. He says the claim is not a scare tatic to raise money, and that all sports -- including baseball -- that are not required by the NCAA to maintain the school's division one standing or membership in the pac-10 are on the table.

That's everything besides football, men's and women's basketball and volleyball.

"I can't imagine a university this big with such an established baseball team ever getting rid of it," OSU student Sean Conley said.

OSU expects to make decisions by June.

Ducks fans, meanwhile, can take it easy: unlike rival OSU up the road, all UO sports are staying put.    

The UO atletic department is one of only about 20 Division 1 NCAA programs in the country that are competely self-sufficent and receive no money from the state.

Other self-sufficent athletic departments include Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee and Louisiana State University.

"I think that it's been a point of emphasis for the department for a long time and certainly with the campus administration to be self-sufficient," said Joe Giansante, UO senior associated athletic director.

And what role does alumnus and Nike founder Phil Knight play in that?

"Well, his gifts are incredible to the university but they don't necessarily have an impact on the daily operating procedure," Giansante said.

Autzen Stadium is the cornerstone of the program.

"All that infrastructure that was built years and years ago, now, in turn, is helping us meet this crisis pretty much head-on and not have to maybe make some of the cuts others have to make," Giansante said.

That's the goal behind the new basketball arena, he said: to pave the way for more revenue down the line.