Washington AD Backtracks After Calling Oregon 'an Embarrassment'
Woodward issued a statement Monday apologizing, and said he hoped to offer "clarity on my true feelings on the situation."
"I have a great respect for the University of Oregon both as an institution and an athletic program," Woodward said in his statement. "As a lifelong advocate for public funding in higher education, I have seen first-hand 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."
The comments that got Woodward in trouble occurred during a radio interview before Saturday's Washington-Oregon game.
Woodward was asked about the quality of Oregon's athletic facilities. Woodward agreed that the facilities were great, but indicated that he thought they came at the expense of the school's academic profile.
"It's an embarrassment what their academic institution is, and what's happened to them as far as their state funding has gone," Woodward said during the interview. "In my mind, it's a wonderful athletic facility but they've watched it at the expense of the university go really down. The athletic facility is impressive. The fans at Oregon should get down on their hands and knees at night to Phil Knight and pray to him because this is an incredible facility."