You Stay Classy, Scott Woodward: UW AD Calls Oregon 'An Embarrassment'

The Apple Cup is still a number of weeks away, but it's never too early to make fun of Washington, right?

Today's little slice of heaven comes from none other than UW Athletics Director Scott Woodward, who once again used his "special" way with words to make an ass out of himself. This time, it was on the Washington pregame show, broadcast on KJR before kickoff against No. 1 Oregon on Saturday:

Mahler to Woodward: "What do you make of this place? When you come down here, you see the new baseball field, you see the brand new turf, you see the atmosphere. And don't know if motivation is the word but obviously this is kind of where Washington wants to be, ranked #1 in the country and have all eyes on them."

Woodward: "Sure, it's not really where we want to be Softy (Mahler's nickname), because it's an embarrassment what their academic institution is, and what's happened to them as far as their state funding has gone. In my mind it's a wonderful athletic facility but they've watched it at the expense of the university go really down. 

"The athletic facility is impressive. The fans at Oregon should get down on their hands and knees at night to Phil Knight and pray to him because this is an incredible facility he's built."

There are so many things to love about this, but here are my top three:

  1. It's audio. There will be no twisting of what was said, no "I was taken out of context." Nope, he said it. The whole context is there for everyone to hear.
  2. The entire country gets introduced to what all of us in Western Washington live around on a daily basis. Remember, this is the guy who said WSU President Elson Floyd and then-AD Jim Sterk lacked "leadership and courage" when they refused to support UW's bid to get money from the legislature to renovate Husky Stadium, and then subsequently blamed the failed Apple Cup at Qwest Field negotiations on WSU.
  3. The Oregon/Washington rivalry didn't need any help, but it just got 100 gallons of jet fuel dumped on it anyway. Fun!

We get called bitter Cougars all the time when we write things like "[Woodward] is colossally arrogant with a bit of prickishness mixed in for good measure" and say that Woodward spews "arrogant Husky rhetoric that suggests that they're the ones doing us a favor by letting us hang around their neighborhood," but here's the national take on his latest from Brooks at Sports By Brooks:

The embarrassment Saturday wasn't the Univ. of Oregon, but Woodward himself with the lack of class he exhibited in insulting his hosts. Any legitimate points Woodward may have had about the so-called misguided priorities in Eugene were buried by his arrogant, patronizing and defensive tone.

Arrogant, patronizing and defensive? Funny, we Cougs have been saying that for a while now ... LIKE THE LAST 100 YEARS.

Of course, Woodward felt compelled to "apologize" this morning ... if that's what you can call this:

"I apologize if my comments were found as critical or insulting to fans and alumni of the University of Oregon, and I hope to offer some clarity about my true feelings on the situation.  I have a great respect for the University of Oregon both as an institution and an athletic program.  As a life-long advocate for public funding in higher education, I have seen firsthand the effects of public funding on many institutions, including the University of Washington. My remarks were intended as a commentary on the powerful impact that a state can have on an institution's academic standing.  The University of Oregonis a great example of the struggles which can accompany a university when statefunding decreases, but UO is certainly not the only institution suffering."     

So, let me get this straight: You apologize "IF" it was "found as critical and insulting" that you called their institution -- direct quote here -- "an embarrassment?"

Hey Scott: Here's an idea! How about this instead! "I was out of line with my choice of words on Saturday regarding the University of Oregon, which is really no business of mine. They've built a fine athletic department, highlighted by a fantastic football team, and Washington wishes them nothing but good fortune going forward."

Then again, he'd probably actually have to believe it ... which he most certainly does not. As I've said before, I hope Washington loses every game in every sport for the rest of eternity. Maybe now the rest of the world can understand why.

You can listen to the whole interview from Saturday after the jump.

EDIT, 2:15 p.m.: Brian dug this up. Woodward elaborated on his comments to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times sometime Saturday night -- remember, this comes before this morning's apology if you're trying to keep Woodward's comments straight:

"It's embarrassing at the level that the state supports this once-great academic university, because it's gone way down in academic standing because of the enormous lack of support over the decades," Woodward said.

"What they have done here athletically is nothing short of a miracle. It is fabulous what they have invested and how they have done it. But it is a shame that the whole enterprise isn't benefiting (from the athletic success), and that's one thing that is very much a sense of pride at the University of Washington - that our whole enterprise is excellent in all we do. But that's no excuse for us not getting it right in football."

Hmmmmm ... yup, doesn't really change anything.


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