Thursday, October 2, 2014
My lasting legacy
University of Oregon is known for its premier athletic facilities. Autzen Stadium updated with superior and luxurious amenities for athletes and fans especially donors. The new Matthew Knight Arena which has been built since we started hanging around there, one of the most beautiful basketball arenas in the entire country. Over a hundred million dollars. Or something. Historic Hayward Field an updated venue just for Track and Field. Eugene is Track Town.
But they have old facilities too. Venerable MarArthur Court, the old basketball facility near the center of campus. I see it's no longer listed on the UO athletic site. I thought maybe volleyball still played there. A cantilevered wooden building which has immense character but does look like it would go up if somebody tossed a match. And possibly held together by the cockroachs.
And restrooms. With flushies. Maybe not renovated since 1921 but it's clean with running water.
The first picture is one of the doors to Mac Court with a sign. The sign with the softball says "Restrooms Enter". The second picture shows the view if you turn around. Howe Field, home of University of Oregon softball. Built originally as a baseball field in 1936. I contend that it's the oldest field in D1 softball. Great location and atmosphere with an excellent playing surface. And now with lights. Terrible seating. You can't even see the field from a bunch of the seats because of the dugout roofs. I always thought that I should tumble down the bleachers and sue UO. Take one for the team.
The UO softball team was almost always nationally ranked when Susanna played there and they played post-season. This past year, they were ranked #1 for much of the season and finished #3.
They had port-a-potties. Are you blanking kidding me? Here's a university known for it's top-rated even luxurious over the top athletic facilities. Millions spent. You have a nationally ranked softball team. UO hosts SEC, Big 10, and of course Pac 12 teams here and you are having the fans using sani-cans!!!! At the University of Oregon???? With the Mac Court bathrooms (remember old and flush) just feet away???
Can you tell I'm outraged? I start asking around and I get this line that they can't control access if they open up Mac Court. Give me a break, you put on jillions of high visibility athletic events, surely you can figure this out.; I knew my parents were coming soon to Eugene to see Susanna play and they have health problems. Spring weather has arrived and temps can hit 80. I talk to Coach A and this is what she tells me "Well, Mrs. Barnes, the larger port-a-potties can accommodate wheelchairs." Um, not good enough, not even close. I put her on notice that I was going up the ladder on this one. Susanna is mortified.
I hung out there for over 5 years and she still called me Mrs. Barnes.
So I start out, soon I'm at the Associate AD and I'm going higher. I write a really good memo with the Bernie Black open "I would like to persuade you." I'm shaming them into opening the Mac Court bathrooms. You are letting the fans from the leading conferences in the land use port-a-potties?
And I end with
Is this a Title IX issue?
I follow up with phone calls. A one woman crusade to open the MacCourt bathrooms during softball games.
I win, for once I won. They open the Mac Court bathrooms. The first game they had a security guard, a hired guy. I told him that he could thank me for his little job. In the bathrooms I told everybody ... Ok they were a little appalled because they were kinda old. I would point out that they were clean and they flushed. I asked them to thank the event staff for opening the bathrooms.
That was 2004. Ten years later, my legacy endures.
Taken during our trip last week