Phil Knight and Nike at Oregon

11/15/2012. Some history by Sam Stites in the Emerald:

The meeting consisted of executive athletic director for Nike liaison Jim Bartko, Coach Bellotti, UO donor and businessman Randy Pape, donor and eventual athletic director Pat Kilkenny and Nike chairman and UO alumnus Phil Knight. With open minds and open checkbooks, the five of them agreed that, with enough support, athletics at the UO could reach unseen heights. 

“We went to the Rose Bowl in the ’94-’95 season and I think he saw that athletics could be a great window to make the University of Oregon great,” says Jim Bartko, executive athletic director for Nike liaison. “That’s when he said we should look at the logos, uniforms and investment into facilities to make the University of Oregon a national product academically and athletically.” 

Bartko says it was in that meeting following the Cotton Bowl that Pape, Knight and Kilkenny stepped up to say they were interested in funding whatever it took to get to the next level of play. 

“We all agreed that facilities were what was needed to make it to that next level, so the next day after the meeting we got to work on the Moshofsky Center,” Bartko says.

And a few years later UO was spending millions to buy out Bellotti, our students were subsidizing the AD’s salaries and athletes tutoring to the tune of about $5 million a year, and the academic side was paying athletics $467K a year for Mac court.

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