Former Oregon athletics director Pat Kilkenny is not particularly happy with the current state of the Oregon Ducks program, but he is more upset with what he calls “irresponsible journalism” about the Oregon football program. Kilkenny took specific aim at ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell, who recently reported via Twitter Nike CEO Phil Knight is willing to pay $10 million for a new head coach in Eugene.
“Things get said in the media that are out and out fabrications,” Kilkenny said when referring to reporting about the Oregon program. “That just creates real problems and makes Mark Helfrich’s job that’s already difficult, more difficult. It’s not fair to Phil and Penny Knight.”
Kilkenny did not hold back any punches about Rovell, but Kilkenny was more on the air to defend the entire program.
“It’s not just winning games. It’s about making sure your leadership is someone that’s a great role model. That’s something we have in spades.”
It is no secret that things have not gone well, and that has led to the idea that head coach Mark Helfrich is under fire. With Knight clearly devoted to the Oregon program, it makes sense he would be willing to pay big bucks to help the program win. Kilkenny admitted and explained Knight’s role in supporting the entire athletics department, including the head football coach.
“I am sure he’s tossing and turning at night,” Kilkenny said. “The optics and the expectations are so darn high.”
Hat sticker to Duck Territory for the transcribed quotes.