An Open Letter from the Director of Athletics

Nov. 2, 2000

Corvallis, Ore. -

Open letter to OSU Beaver Fans:

Over the past few weeks I have received numerous letters, calls and e-mails about the possibility of removing the tarps on the home side of the stadium, specifically for the Civil War game.

While it would be nice to accommodate that request and add approximately 1,200 fans to our event, there is a more important issue to be considered regarding such action.

The tarps were instituted during the fall of the 1999 season to accommodate requests for additional sideline seating. The Press box side grandstand had been sold out and there was an acute need for additional donor seating. This new seating would help us reach our three main goals mandated to me by President Risser when I was hired, to balance the budget, reduce the deficit, and to make our programs more competitive.

In various discussions with our patrons it was agreed that premium sideline seating on the home team side was desirable if the following would happen. That the patrons could be accommodated with unobstructed sight lines and that standing the entire game would not be a standard similar to our faithful Beaver students. Therefore it was determined the best way to accomplish that task was to tarp the rows and separate the donor seats from the student section.

We had entered into an agreement to provide those patrons with clear sight lines, to retreat from that pact for this game would compromise the integrity and trust with our donors.

We are certainly thankful for the support the team has received from all its Beaver fans, the students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the program. We could probably fill the Rose Bowl with all the Oregonians that are interested in this game. However, we can not do that. And so going forward we will live by our word and leave the tarps in place for this year's Civil War game.

Our staff has worked diligently over the last two years in examining different scenarios that might be more beneficial than the current arrangement. However, no such plan has emerged at this time but they will continue to exhaust all possibilities.

In closing, let me again thank all Beaver Believers for their support of the program, let us be thankful for the position we are in currently, and let us cheer loud and hard for the remainder of the season.

Go Beavers!

Mitch BarnhartDirector of Athletics

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