Over The Dam - 6.4.09

The new name for this post has kind of stuck.... let's take a look at what's going Over the Dam today:

--Oregon State men's soccer coach Dana Taylor resigned yesterday to accept a similar position at Cal State- Stanislaus, a DII program. "I want to thank (athletic director) Bob De Carolis and the entire Oregon State athletic department and community for an incredible opportunity and 10 great years," Taylor said. That's sad news for the soccer team, which went 79-98-14 overall under Taylor. 

--Women's crew coach Emily Ford was named Pac-10 conference coach of the year yesterday. She directed the Beavers to fourth place in the Pac-10 and the Varsity 8 boat finished third at the Pac-10 championships and 15th at the NCAA championships. 

--On the subject of rowing, the men's team will begin competition today at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships at Lake Notoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. According to the article on the Gazette-Times' site, the competition is considered that National Championships of rowing, as the NCAA does not sponsor a men's championship regatta. 

--Oregon State Athletic Director Bob De Carolis has released his latest A.D. Report, which paints a grim picture on donations to the BASF so far this year. The report can be found here, and here's a brief excerpt:

Like universities and athletic departments across the country, Oregon State is definitely feeling the pain of the country's ongoing economic downturn. The magnitude of the issue and its effect on our athletics program came into sharp focus recently when we tallied the results from our annual BASF (Beaver Athletic Scholarship Fund) fund-raising effort. To date, we've received just more than $10 million in pledges for the coming year--down about $1 million or 9 percent compared with last year. Although last month's AD Report indicated we had an initial gain in donors, numbers at that time were preliminary. In reality, we lost about 1,000 donors, but gained about 400 new contributors for a net loss of approximately 600.

While we've been digesting the fund-raising news, our football season ticket sales situation has come into view as well. So far, we have about a 12 percent non-renewal rate and are down approximately 1,200 season tickets. We've launched our "I AM ORANGE" advertising campaign to spur sales and are optimistic that these numbers will improve. But we won't know the full story regarding season tickets until late summer.

With that said, you can make your contribution to the BASF here. And if you're looking for more information, you can read Brooks Hatch's take as well as Paul Buker's

--A couple more things... this isn't really related to Oregon State at all, but the NBA has released results from a study regarding bias of their officials. Rachel Bauchman analyzes the results on OregonLive.... (emphasis mine)

An academic study of NBA officiating found little to no evidence that referees favor teams from large media markets in the playoffs, a favorite conspiracy theory of skeptical fans.

But the same study found that NBA referees tend to favor home teams, teams trailing in a game and teams trailing in a playoff series. The study, conducted by three economics researchers, fuels the perennial debate about the influence of NBA officials on games. It suggests that forces ranging from league executives to simple human psychology can influence calls in a measurable way -- though not always enough to affect a game's outcome.

The researchers looked at six seasons of turnover statistics. They used ones where referees wield relatively little influence, such as a bad pass or steal, as a "control" group, and compared them with ones where referees wield greater influence, such as traveling and offensive fouls.

Do you think these small biases are a big deal? Do you think they carry over into college athletics?

--And finally, I've failed to touch yet on the annual Benny Awards, which went down at Oregon State on Tuesday. Male athlete of the year with to Jacquizz Rodgers, coach of the year was a time (lame, but deserved) between Mike Riley and Craig Robinson, and football brought home the team of the year for the 2008 season. Also, football's Taylor Kavanaugh, a pal of the blog, was a recepient of a Glenn Klein Community Service Award.

Well done, Beaver student-athletes. Check out the full run-down of award winners.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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