During the winter term of Peter Jacobsen's senior year at the University of Oregon in 1976, he was one of eight U.S. players invited to visit Japan as part of a golf exchange program. Curtis Strange, Jay Haas and Andy Bean were among the others.
To participate, Jacobsen had to leave before finals week at Oregon, so he sought out each of his professors, asking for permission to take his exams early. In each case, permission was denied, and he wound up with a full complement of incompletes for the term.
That spring Jacobsen, now 49, turned pro and wound up two terms short of graduation. In the nearly three decades since, he has distinguished himself on the PGA Tour and served as a loyal ambassador to Oregon, helping with fund-raisers, donating money and regularly attending football games.
Next to Phil Knight and perhaps Joey Harrington, there's no bigger name in Duck athletics.
Yet Jacobsen is not a member of the UO alumni. He does not have a diploma. Oregon should rectify the situation with an honorary degree. Few have contributed more to the school or represented it more ably.
• Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design has been hired to renovate Salishan on the Oregon Coast.
Biggest challenge: drainage.
'We feel Salishan is a magical jewel that has fallen into a little bit of disrepair,' Jacobsen says. 'The last time it was redesigned, they did moundings on the side of the fairway, which dams the water on the course during the rainy season. We will work on drainage, rebuilding all the greens and bunkers, and we might reconfigure some of the holes.'
• Jack Nicklaus is in for the Jeld-Wen Tradition, the Champions Tour major event Aug. 28-31 at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha. Tournament officials also are trying to lure Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino.
• Women's cross country and track and field will be added at Oregon State, beginning in the 2004-05 season, to bring the Beavers into compliance with NCAA Title IX regulations.
Schools must have at least eight women's sports, six men's sports and 16 total. OSU will have 10 women's sports and six men's sports. Men's track and field will not be added at this time, Athletic Director Bob De Carolis says, 'because that would mean cutting something else.'
That's a shame, because most of the money in the $170,000 collected by the Committee to Re-establish OSU Track & Field was donated for a men's program, says Berny Wagner, the former OSU coach who's now a volunteer assistant at Western Oregon University and a member of the National Track Coaches Hall of Fame.
'If it has to start this way, it's a start,' Wagner says. 'We have been trying to go along with what the university wants to do, and we understand the Title IX requirements. If there's a women's track and cross country team, if there's a track and a coaching staff, it doesn't cost much to add the men sometime down the line.'
OSU is hoping for some financial backing from Nike. Charlie Denson, president of Nike Brand, is a Corvallis native.
De Carolis envisions a world-class cross-country course as the first order of business. Construction of a track would come later, he says.
'We will emphasize middle- and long-distance runners in the beginning,' De Carolis says. 'That gives us our cross country team and a start to the track team. Then we will add another type of event Ñ perhaps the javelin, where our high school girls are strong nationally Ñ and go from there. We will probably have a nonscholarship program for the first two years, to get our feet under us a bit.'
De Carolis will post an opening for head coach, but he has an able candidate under his nose Ñ Mike Johnson, a Corvallis resident who recently accepted the Western Oregon job. Johnson is a former head coach at the University of Portland and Boise State and an assistant at Washington.
'Mike is an excellent coach and an excellent organizer,' Wagner says. 'He has more on his side than just coaching, but I have seen him coach, and he is first-rate.'
• Can Junior beat Pops? Two-time state champion Brett Joelson of Westview High will face his father, former state champ Brian Joelson out of Aloha High, in the featured exhibition Monday during the 30th anniversary celebration at Mountain Park Racquet Club. The event is free and open to the public. Money here says it's Brett in three sets.
• The Blazers' Brian Wheeler and Portland State's Tom Hewitt will serve as counselors and help director Roy Englebrecht run the 19th annual Sportscasters Camp of America, July 11-15 in Long Beach, Calif. Aspiring broadcasters age 13 and up receive instruction and get play-by-play practice in a variety of sporting events, including basketball games at the Southern California Pro Summer League.
Those who sign up (www.sportscastercamp.com or 1-800-345-8730) and mention that they read about the camp in the Tribune will receive a free Blazer golf shirt in addition to other camp gifts.
• The Blazers are beginning a push to find a naming-rights sponsor for the Rose Garden, which is nearing its eighth birthday.
'We need to raise revenues, and one of the big opportunities is the arena,' Blazer President Steve Patterson told the SportsBusiness Journal.
Too bad, but it's a fact of life these days in big-time sports.