Wed Mar 10 09:27pm EST
Don't look now, but stuff just got real in Eugene: Oregon's starting quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli, and former wide receiver Garrett Embry were formally charged earlier today with a January burglary at UO's Sigma Epsilon house. Both players will appear before the Lane County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon.
Interestingly enough, teammate LaMichael James will be in the same courtroom that morning to change his plea on domestic-violence charges from "not guilty" to "no contest," part of a deal that is said to include "a batterer's intervention program" but also a return to his regular responsibilities with the Oregon football team. At this point, though, it's anyone's guess whether Masoli will have a shot at the same opportunity.
The charges against Masoli are just the latest in a hugely embarrassing string of offseason misdeeds attributed to UO players, ranging from disorderly conduct and DUI to robbery and assault; head coach Chip Kelly has already taken quite a bit of heat for LeGarrette Blount after the running back punched a Boise State player at the end of the Ducks' 2009 opener, then for not disciplining James in any notable way following his assault charges. Depending on how long Masoli's trial drags on, Kelly may or may not want endure the certain media furor over having an alleged felon on the field, even if he's only taking practice reps.
Neither the district attorney's office nor the Oregon athletic department had any further comment on the charges; we'll follow the arraignment on Friday and see what happens.- - -
Matt Hinton is on vacation this week. Inform Doug Gillett what a poor substitute he is at dougie_doodle-at-yahoo.