Oregon coach Dana Altman blew off months worth of steam Tuesday after the Ducks' season-ending loss to Wisconsin in the NIT, calling out fan support of the program and questioning the backing the program has received from the administration. Oregon's 61-58 home loss to the Badgers in the NIT quarterfinals was sparsely attended, with a reported 3,300 in attendance, which set him off on a rant.
"That goes into the evaluation," Altman said when asked if there were enough people. "What are we not giving our players? What are we not doing as a staff? If that means more people, then I'll go to (Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens) and beg. ... You see the commitment Wisconsin makes; they have their cheerleaders, their band. We make a commitment; don't get me wrong here. But you can see how important it is. It was important to them. It was important to me.
"What the heck, we should've had more people here tonight," he continued. "These guys play hard, OK? 3,300 people, it's not good enough. If it's me, then get rid of me. If you need somebody else to be a promoter, do something. But 3,300 people is embarrassing. It really is. I'm not in a very good mood, you can tell that. If it's me, then make the change. Make the change. Somebody will hire me somewhere. I'll go coach junior college ball. But 3,300 people? For Wisconsin? I was disappointed."
Altman over and over again said he was disappointed in the attendance and several times seemed to be toeing the line somewhere between questioning whether he was the right man for the job or if Oregon should cut ties with him and free him to go elsewhere.
"I'm not a promoter. I'm not out in the public, I don't have Twitter," he said. "My job is to coach. I'm so bad at promoting, doing those things, but we have won 20 games for a long time. We have been in the postseason 13 years in a row. Our guys work hard. Just a little disappointed."
There have been rumblings behind the scenes for a while now that Dana Altman might be just about done with Oregon. Going public with comments like this only seem to stoke those flames. https://t.co/vErlrnhYQd— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 22, 2023
Altman on the whole has been wildly successful in Eugene, Oregon, where he has led the Ducks to four conference regular season titles, three Pac-12 Tournament titles, five Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights and one Final Four, with a record amassed since 2010 of 321-140.
"We didn't win enough games, so I understand fans' disappointment," Altman said. "But again: I want guys that want to be here. Staff that wants to be here. I want to be here. But I want fans to be here, too. We've got to do a better job. Our program's got to do better."