Championship banners are a long honored tradition in college basketball. They show the history and legacy of the school’s athletic achievement while helping viewers at home know exactly which arena they’re watching.
North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Indiana all display their banners with pride, but Matthew Knight Arena has no such recognition. No flags bearing the legacy of the University of Oregon’s four conference championships, nor representing the University’s only national championship in basketball.
Many students and fans have asked whether or not the athletic department plans to recognize its legacy of athletic achievement, but Craig Pintens, athletic director for marketing and public relations, says they have decided not to use the old banners in the new building.”
“The banners from Mac Court would not have worked at Matthew Knight Arena because they would upset the sprinkler system in the building,” Pintens said. “We will not be displaying the same banners if ever implemented.”
Despite not flying any banners, Matthew Knight Arena actually holds great recognition for its former athletes and alumni that helped build its legacy.
With several displays honoring past players throughout the concourse, the heritage of the old McArthur court is able to continue with new life in Matthew Knight Arena. The entirety of the hardwood court is even a tribute to the 1939 national championship team whose starting five were dubbed by former Oregonian sports editor L. H. Gregory as the “Tall Firs.” The floor’s slogan, “Deep in the Woods,” is a direct reference to the team.
The athletic department — with the help of investors — has provided a conduit for its legacy to be displayed each and every time the team takes the court at Matthew Knight Arena. It can be distinguished within the first few seconds of a national television broadcast that the game is at the new arena.
With the men’s basketball team showing promise toward national prestige, the question of how to implement future recognition starts to come into the picture, but the athletic department isn’t counting its chickens before they’ve hatched.
“If a team that plays in Matthew Knight Arena won an NCAA title, we would find an appropriate way to recognize their accomplishments,” Pintens said.