All in a Knight's work

John Canzano of The Oregonian penned a piece recently about Phil Knight, the co-founder and chairman of Nike, and his love for and influence on the University of Oregon’s athletics, particularly football.

John uses the phrase “love him or loathe him” and offers the following,

“The whole “Uncle Phil” slap is tired. It’s true, mind you. We all know it. He’s  every bit family to UO, but I’m not sure those who use it aren’t forgetting that the head of the world’s most powerful sneaker company has helped the Oregon’s overall visibility, enrollment, facilities, reputation, and esteem. And I’m not sure how that can be turned into an insult.”

There may be those who question the influence of one person on a significant part of an academic institution, even it is the athletic part of that institution. Others may wonder or even accuse Knight of being part of the problem in the over-commercialization of college sports. (I don’t by the way). Canzano uses another key term, “transparent,” in describing what he expects from the university to counter any question of undue influence. I think that is the answer – being transparent – to balance the passion someone has for their school and any issue of overstepping one’s place.

You can read John’s piece here.