Masoli benched


Joined Mar 2, 2010
[h2]Sitting Ducks: Masoli benched for 2010 season, James out for opener[/h2]
By Matt Hinton

In the span of a few hours today, both of Oregon's best players resigned themselves to their fate as convicts. In the morning, running back LaMichael James -- the Pac-10's Freshman of the Year in 2009 and leading returning rusher this fall -- was sentenced to 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor physical harassment in an altercation with his ex-girlfriend last month. In the same courtroom a few hours later, All-Pac-10 quarterback and likely Heisman candidate Jeremiah Masoli was sentenced to one year's probation and 140 hours community service in exchange for a guilty plea to second-degree burglary at a frat house in late January. Masoli and former Duck receiver Garrett Embry, a little-used reserve who was booted from the team before either of the pair was charged in the burglary, will both owe $5,000 in restitution within 10 days.

James' 10-day sentence was immediately suspended due to overcrowding, so he and Masoli both eluded jail time thanks to their guilty pleas. But only James will even have a chance to elude defenders on the field this fall, after obviously perturbed coach Chip Kelly responded by suspending his star quarterback for the entire 2010 season, and his star running back for at least part of it:
UO coach Chip Kelly just announced that senior quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has been suspended for the entire 2010 season in wake of Masoli’s guilty plea today on a second-degree burglary charge.
Running back LaMichael James has been suspended for one game, at a minimum, Kelly said in a brief press conference at the Casanova Center.

James plead guilty to one count of misdemeanor physical harassment earlier today. He will miss the Ducks’ 2010 opener against New Mexico on Sept. 4, and Kelly said the running back’s return will be contingent upon his "adherence to a set of standards."

On the other hand, Kelly, in an emotional statement, repeated several times that Masoli will not play in 2010. "He is not eligible to play in 2010," Kelly said of the quarterback.

Two obvious factors in the disparity of Kelly's response: a) The misdemeanor harassment charge against James wasn't as serious as the burglary rap against Masoli, usually a felony charge that he was able to plead down to a misdemeanor; and b) According to affidavits released today, Masoli told Kelly he wasn't at the frat house on the night of the burglary, which his guilty plea obviously revealed as a lie. Masoli also has a three-month stint in a juvenile detention facility on his record for his role in a series of robberies as a teenager, marking him as a repeat offender and a liar in the eyes of his coach. Not exactly "face of the program" material, though the endless string of legal trouble that's defined the Ducks' first offseason as a burgeoning national power all but guarantees they'll be known as well as a team run amok as for anything that happens on the field.http://

Masoli didn't redshirt after transferring from San Francisco Community College as a sophomore in 2008, and thus can afford to burn this season and return in 2011 as a fifth-year senior. He could also attempt to transfer in a bid to play this fall or (if forced to sit out a year under standard transfer rules) at least escape some of the baggage bound to follow him as long as he remains at Oregon.

That's also assuming this season-long suspension -- unlike the season-long suspension Kelly initially dished out to last year's star, running back LeGarrette Blount -- actually sticks. Kelly put Blount on ice for the entire '09 season (as a senior, effectively ending Blount's career) after he waylaid a Boise State player on national television immediately following the Ducks' opening-night humiliation in Idaho, but lifted the suspension for the final month of the season; Blount was back in uniform in mid-November and eventually scored touchdowns as a backup against both Oregon State and Ohio State to close the season. Kelly later reasoned that he had to take the entire season away for Blount to prove that he was really committed to reform without the carrot of football dangling in front of him, and only lifted the suspension when he was satisfied the proper penance had been paid. There won't be any way of knowing until the final gun in December whether Masoli and teammate Kiko Alonso (a reserve linebacker who Kelly previously suspended for the upcoming season after a particularly ill-timed DUI arrest) are facing actual suspensions, or the conditional variety that allowed Blount to return.

Either way, it's another bitter pill for Kelly, an emotional guy who all but offered to take up LaMichael James' legal defense in a heated radio exchange with Portland columnist, radio host and persistent critic John Canzano last month, at which point Masoli had been publicly implicated but not yet charged in the burglary. As the consistent second chances indicate, Kelly wants to believe in his players so badly that he told Canzano to "put me on the air again, and then you apologize" when "the final truth comes out," echoing a more polite request he'd made for a return appearance on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that same afternoon. He went to bat for his players then, which only makes their open admissions of guilt in court all the more wounding. There won't be any apologies forthcoming after a pair of guilty pleas and a season-long suspension of one of the most high-profile players in the country.

Kelly's fast-break spread attack has rolled on since his arrival as offensive coordinator in 2007 regardless of the personnel -- Masoli's predecessor at quaterback, Dennis Dixon, was also a Heisman candidate, and James was the fourth different Duck running back to top 1,000 yards rushing in three years. Masoli's replacement, redshirt sophomore-to-be Darron Thomas, is another athletic sort who played a little as a true freshman in 2008 and fits right into the usual read-option mold out of the shotgun. Under any circumstances, though, today feels like a significant step backward in Oregon's steady ascendency: Minus Masoli, and with James facing significant time in the doghouse, the Ducks are no longer a national championship contender this fall, and can probably cede the rare title of "Pac-10 favorite," too. As much praise as Kelly (rightfully) earned last year for steering his team out of the depths of the Boise State debacle in his first game as a head coach, he can't spend his entire career figuring out how to clambor out of these holes.
Joined Jul 30, 2004
I feel bad for Coach Kelly.

It's clear he cares for his players and goes to bat for them. He puts his reputation on the line to defend them.
Unfortunately, some of these players abused that, nobody more than Jeremiah Masoli. Kelly got screwed in all of this.
The players who aren't getting in trouble deserve better from their peers and teammates too.

Masoli is being given a golden ticket for a chance to still get an education at a good university. Kelly should have kicked him off the team, but he still cares about his players and wants them to become contributing citizens of society. I hope he (Jeremiah) realizes how incredibly gracious it was for Kelly to only suspend him for a season.
Joined Dec 21, 2003
these college kids pulling these petty crimes is ******ed. dudes dont think these days.
Joined Aug 12, 2004
this kid is flat out stupid.....thats all i can really say...i mean you have a good team coming next year and you go pull this? i dont feel sorry at all for him....
Joined Mar 3, 2010
Originally Posted by wildout4

these college kids pulling these petty crimes is ******ed. dudes dont think these days.
Honestly it boggles my mind sometimes how people do this, your put into a position to succeed and you go and pull this.....
Joined Jan 30, 2008
How is this kid supposed to hold his head up around Eugene? And then he can return in 2011? Sounds like a lose/lose for the kid and the program.
Joined Apr 30, 2007
Let's put this in perspective like this:

Masoli is asked to leave a frat party.

Steals laptops and a guitar as some form of revenge.

Lies about it to the police and his coach.

Dashes any shot at a Heisman and probably relegates himself to the CFL for life.

Smart dude. All this over being asked to leave a party and having his ego hurt; when keeping it real goes wrong.
Joined Oct 6, 2009
Originally Posted by trunks206

What a fool. Money says that bum Kelly reinstates him before the season is out.
I don't think that happens this time around. With him facing criminal charges this could be a PR nightmare for the university. Kelly has to put his foot down and keep it there until everything regarding the matter is settled.
Joined Apr 30, 2007
Originally Posted by trunks206

Money says that bum Kelly reinstates him before the season is out.
Don't throw money away like that. There's no way he gets reinstated. If you had said, "Money says Masoli leaves and prays another school gives him a chance," your wallet would have thanked you.
Joined Mar 25, 2004
^ Replying to both.

Points taken but just look what happened last year. Lets be real the Ducks have/had a stacked team coming back and if/when things start going south without their star QB or if they have a legit chance at the tittle game Kelly will come through and let him play. It will read just like it did for Blount " had to take the entire season away for Masoli to prove that he was really committed to reform without the carrot of football dangling in front of him, and only lifted the suspension when  was satisfied the proper penance had been paid" type nonsense. He did it once will little fanfare so its not that difficult to do again.

I'm sure Duck fans dont really care, they just want wins, and at the end of the day that's what Kelly is there to do.
Joined Apr 30, 2007
Originally Posted by trunks206

I'm sure Duck fans dont really care, they just want wins, and at the end of the day that what Kelly is there to do.
If Masoli stays, he's going to have a hard time just walking around campus without people yelling at him and making references to the robbery. Character still matters at a school like UO, and the fact that he lied to Kelly is what makes this different. I am sorry, but there's just no way he's coming back. I'd put some serious money on that.

I am assuming you are saying all this because Blount was brought back. Blount was punished far more severely by coaching staff than he would have suffered under the NCAA itself, and he stayed in school and met guidelines set by him and Kelly. There's no way Masoli can do that. I don't think it's in him. I mean, we're talking about a repeat offender here.
Joined Mar 25, 2004
 I'm sorry nobody in Oregon outside of  the campus in Corvallis is going to yell at him while he is just walking around due to his stupid mistakes. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree because I feel that "character" doesn't matter in Eugene and to Kelley as was shown by the reinstatement of Blount after a legitimate shot of national success opened up. I'm a husky, but I feel my opinion on the situation is free of bias. Regardless of the campus it was on if the sequence of events took place somewhere else I would still feel the same way.

Damn all this Pac-10 football talk makes we want football season to get here.....Go Huskies!
Joined Apr 30, 2007
There's no reasoning with a Husky. Dude, this isn't UW circa 2000. Different school, different times. He won't be back. Just spend a minute going through comments on a Ducks blog like the one on SBNation and you'll know what I am talking about. See you after next season when you'll be singing a different tune. Thomas and Costa will have to step it up big time, because the Masoli era is over in Eugene.
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