Oregon head coach Dana Altman on small crowd at NIT home loss: 'If it's me, then get rid of me'

Altman has been at Oregon since 2010 and the Ducks have made the NCAA tournament seven times in his tenure

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 09: Head coach Dana Altman of the Oregon Ducks looks on in the first half of a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament against the Washington State Cougars at T-Mobile Arena on March 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Ducks defeated the Cougars 75-70. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Dana Altman has been at Oregon since 2010. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Oregon head coach Dana Altman was left disappointed with the crowd size at the Ducks’ season-ending NIT loss to Wisconsin on Tuesday night.

The Ducks lost 61-58 to the Badgers in the quarterfinals of the NIT to finish the season 21-15. After the game, Altman lamented that just 3,300 people were in attendance to watch the team and then said that if he was the cause of the lack of fan support then Oregon should make a coaching change.

“We should have more people here tonight,” Altman said. “These guys have played hard, OK; 3,300 people, it’s not good enough. And 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.”

After another question from a reporter in attendance, Altman continued his comments about the attendance. Tuesday night’s game was the least-attended of the season in Eugene.

“That’s what I’m saying. If it’s me, then make the change. Make the change. Somebody will hire me somewhere. I’ll go coach junior college ball again. I love junior college ball. Those guys were dogs, they wanted to be in the gym all the time, alright? I love coaching. But 3,300 people? For Wisconsin? I was disappointed.”

The 2022-23 season was the second consecutive the Ducks had missed the NCAA tournament. A season ago, Oregon finished with a 20-15 record and played one fewer game in the NIT.

Altman, 64, has been at Oregon since he was hired from Creighton to replace Ernie Kent in 2010. Oregon has made the NCAA tournament seven times in his tenure but has been higher than a No. 7 seed just twice. The Ducks lost in the Elite Eight as a No. 1 seed in 2016 and lost in the Final Four as a No. 3 seed the following season.

Oregon has made the tournament twice since that Final Four appearance and was a No. 12 seed and a No. 7 seed in each of those appearances, though each trip to the tournament resulted in a Sweet 16 appearance.

“[Being] 21-15 or whatever we are, not good enough,” Altman said before talking about the crowd size. “So we’re going to get better. I gotta do a better job, we’re going to get after players. If they’re going to stay here they’re going to work their ass off and if they don’t then we’ve got to find somebody who will. We’ve got too good of a situation here. We’ve got facilities, lot of support staff … we give these guys every advantage and they’ve got to take advantage of it.”