Mike Glazier

Mike Glazier, who grew up in Kankakee, was recently named "The most influential person in Oregon sports" by a columnist for the Oregonian newspaper for steering the University of Oregon through an investigation by the NCAA with minimal infractions and penalties.

Former Kankakeean Mike Glazier might have been content with his reputation as a memorable Kankakee Eastridge High School graduate.

He was known as a pretty fair basketball player and a quarterback good enough to make the team at Indiana University. He was also good with being known as coach Bill Glazier's son.

But he has a new image to deal with these days, one he doesn't feel he deserves.

John Canzano, a columnist for the Oregonian, has labeled the 60-year-old Glazier: "The most influential person in Oregon sports."

"It's kind of ridiculous, all of this attention," Glazier said. "How can a guy be that influential when he lives in Kansas?"

Canzano admitted Glazier had "not attended a single organized sporting event in this state," but he explained Glazier, as an attorney at the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King, played a major role as the legal point man when the University of Oregon football program was under an NCAA investigation.

Canzano noted that the Ducks "faced serious penalties, [but] avoided a bowl ban ... and a loss of millions of dollars in revenue for itself and the PAC-12 Conference." He added, "The wrist slap Oregon received ends up making Glazier's fee look like the best money the Ducks ever spent."

'The Cleaner'

Glazier was on his way to the airport for another college trip when he made time for an interview with The Daily Journal this week. And he wasn't too eager to talk about his reputation as "The Cleaner" as Canzano labeled him. But he was willing to talk about how he found himself in this specialized field.

He graduated from Eastridge in 1971, after leading the Raiders to a 6-2-1 record as a senior and a 7-3 mark as a junior. He spent two seasons at Indiana before testing the waters in the National Football League. That tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs was a major factor in his decision to enroll at the John Marshall Law School.

"At first law school was just a way to postpone getting a job," he said. "I wasn't really intrigued with the whole legal process. I know I never dreamed of drawing up wills or being a trial lawyer."

But he didn't have to think about those duties, his connection with Hoosiers' coach Lee Corso led to an interview with the legal department in the NCAA offices.

"Coach said getting out of football and going to law school was the best decision I ever made," Glazier laughed. "And I told him getting out of coaching and into broadcasting was the best decision he ever made."

As Glazier describes his career, the move to get into a practice that would defend university programs was something of a fluke. He and his wife were ready to start a family, so they were losing her income. Glazier needed to find a better paying gig.

"I had a buddy and we discussed this over a weekend. Then, we just jumped in. I never imagined I'd back into all of this [attention]."

Significant life change

Some 30 years later, Glazier has seen some significant changes in his life. He travels less these days, but he's still on the road six to 10 days a month. He has never gotten away from his athletic roots, but he noted that his two sons and daughter didn't have his youthful passion for sports.

"I coached them in youth sports some, but they got more into acting and theater," he said. "These days, I guess I would just as soon see a Broadway show than check out a Knicks game if I was in New York.

"I still enjoy golf, but I really don't get out to many games."

He would definitely take his clubs when he visits his dad, Bill, in south Florida.

"Dad still plays golf a couple times a week. He has some new parts, knees and such, but he gets out the course."

Glazier noted that he doesn't get back to Kankakee very often these days, but he easily recalls some of the memories he made here.

"I think I was a pretty average athlete, but we had some good players there," he said, referring to his running mate at guard, Jeff Scott, who made a career in baseball, and Estus Hood, who replaced him as the Eastridge quarterback and went on to play for the Green Bay Packers.

He has been inducted into the Kankakee High School Hall of Fame, based on his playing days, not the legal career. And Glazier's good with that.

"I've found a comfortable niche here, but I'm much closer to retirement than just making a name for myself," he said.

But that "most influential" label, how long will that stick?

Glazier told Canzano: "I appreciate you thinking I'm influential ... [but] Paul Allen [millionaire businessman, philanthropist and owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers] at No. 4?!? He'll be back."

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