University of Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward took time out of his busy schedule this weekend to rip the Oregon Ducks, calling the university "an embarrassment." Woodward acknowledged the success of the Oregon athletic department, but said it came at the cost of academics. He spent much of the interview tripping over himself, trying to praise Oregon in a back-handed way while searching for something to rip the Ducks about.
"It's an embarrassment what they're academic institution is and what has happened to them as far as their state funding has gone. In my mind, it's a wonderful athletic facility, but they watched it at the expense of the university go really down."
And, of course, there can't be an interview about Oregon without Phil Knight being brought up. Woodward, in a subtle rip, said Duck fans should "get down on their hands and knees at night to Phil Knightand pray to him" in a moment that came off as petty jealousy.
While it seems Oregon has established a model for a successful athletic program, Woodward wasn't having any of it, saying he plans to do things "the Washington way" and that the Huskies will do it "better and differently."
Full audio of the interview after the jump
via Sports By Brooks
Update: Woodward released a statement on the matter (via Ken Goe at the Oregonian)
"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 Universityof 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 Oregon is a great example of the struggles which can accompany a university when state funding decreases, but UO is certainly not the only institution suffering."