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The Phil Knight Effect: Part 1

March 1, 2011

By Dan Corcoran

EUGENE, Ore. — He is generous, a maverick, and at times he’s controversial.  But no matter what you think of him, Phil Knight has made a huge impact at the University of Oregon over the past few decades.

Knight has helped reshape both the school’s physical appearance and its image by donating hundreds of millions of dollars over that time.

This week we delve into the “Phil Knight effect.”

Knight is the mastermind behind the largest sports company in the world: Nike.

He is also a graduate of the University of Oregon.  And for years, he’s given back to his alma mater.

Have all those donations bought him influence?  If so, is that even a bad thing?

The answers to those questions vary depending on who you ask.

We did reach out to Mr. Knight and Nike, but our invitation for an interview was declined.

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