March 11th, 2010 – By Bryan Cross
The off-the-field issues for the University of Oregon football team keeps mounting, with their star quarterback the latest in the string of problems.
Junior Jeremiah Masoli was a cornerstone in the Ducks PAC-10 championship and Rose Bowl berth this past season. Now, the quarterback is making headlines for the wrong reasons, as he has been charged with burglary relating to a theft back in January, that took place at one of the school’s fraternity houses.
The office of the Lane County district attorney stated that Masoli, and former football team member Garret Embry were both charged in the case, facing second degree burglary.
Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly remarked through a statement that he was “carefully considering the latest news.”
“Any time an athlete is involved with the law, we’re concerned, but we’ll let the legal process run its course,” Oregon director of athletics Mike Bellotti said to the local newspaper, The Oregonian. “We recognize that there are issues, and we’ll just move forward. Sometimes we have some information, from a player’s point of view, and you just have to wait until the truth comes out.”
The incident stems from January 25th, in which a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on campus alleged that Masoli and Embry took two computers, along with a guitar from the house.
Embry, a wide receiver, had already been kicked off of the team last month for violating undisclosed rules. The occurrence did not relate to the theft, and was separate issue.
Masoli joined the football team after a two-year stint in junior college. He spearheaded the Ducks’ campaign to knock off the USC Trojans from atop the Pac-10 conference.
For the first time in the history of the in-state rivalry, the winner Oregon-Oregon State game would win the conference, and a berth in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks bested the Beavers in the “Civil War” and dethroned the Trojans, claiming their first conference title since 2001.
Oregon went on to face Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, in which they lost 26-17.
On the year, Masoli shined as the Ducks’ offensive leader, throwing for 2,147 yard and 15 touchdowns. He was a duel-threat and often got by defenses with his legs. He totaled 668 yard rushing for the season and scored 13 touchdowns.
Oregon has been dealing with several incidents regarding football players. It began with LaGarrette Blount during the opening game of the season against Boise State, in which the running back punched a Bronco after the game which the Ducks lost. Blunt was suspended indefinitely, but made a comeback at the end of the season.
Freshman running back LaMichael James stepped into Blount’s place, and shined for the Ducks, tabbing freshman of the year honors. That quickly went by the wayside, as James was arrested last month for assault.
Following James arrest, wide receiver Jamere Holland was dismissed from the team following slanderous facebook posts.
Prior to these occurrences, Oregon was among the favorites to compete for the 2010-11 BCS National Championship. Currently, the College Football Future Odds show the Ducks with 12/1 odds to claim the national championship according to Bodog Sportsbook.bcs national championship odds, bcs national title, bodog sportsbook, boise state broncos, burglary, civil war, college football future odds, garret embry, jamere holland, jeremiah masoli, lagarette blount, lamichael james, lane county oregon, mike bellotti, ncaa football futures, ohio state buckeyes, oregon ducks, oregon state beavers, pac 10, rose bowl, second degree burglarly, sigma alpha epsilon, university of oregon, usc trojans