What the heck is happening in Eugene? About a month ago I wrote about the recent reports involving Jeremiah Masoli, among others. Now, there's new news.
LaMichael James is the latest thug reportedly arrested for beating up his girlfriend on five misdemeanor charges.
He joins Rob Beard and Matt Simms as the three Ducks arrested this offseason, adding to the big hoopla that involved Jeremiah Masoli and Garrett Embry and whether they were really involved in a theft or not.
Masoli and Embry are still not listed as suspects; however, rumors and hints abound.
For all this, Chip Kelly is suddenly in the hot seat. First Blount, then the rumors of Masoli and Embry (who was kicked off the team)...and now star LaMichael James? Is Chip to blame?
And then there's the story of Rob Beard. He was beaten up close to the point of death and was in the hospital, where he had re-constructive surgery.
Now guess what? Beard, who originally appeared the victim, is now looking like the bad guy. He also beat up a woman whom he was with. Matt Simms (just kicked off the team), who was part of the group who assaulted Beard, was also arrested.
All of this follows LeGarrette Blount's infamous punch at the Boise State game during his little temper tantrum. Now other players are following suit. Is this Ducks Gone Wild or something else entirely?
At least Chip isn't quite as fast to judge as he was with Blount.
"There can't be a rush to judgement...if he's convicted, then we'll make a decision," Chip said about James during a press conference.
If you follow the Ducks at all, you know coach Chip Kelly is big on discipline...though it's not showing during the offseason.
He also said he's let players go because they haven't followed the rules, but he needs all the information first before making that decision. Smart man.
It seems Kelly has grown as a coach since September, which is one good thing we can take away from this situation. It's great to see Kelly handle the situation so calmly, even though several of his players may now be criminals.
Back to LaMichael James...
The consequences, should he be convicted, could be up to a year in prison. James may even lose his scholarship.
Chip finished his interview by saying, "Do I go to bed every night thinking 105 players are going to do the right thing? No, I worry every single time the phone rings."
Basically, he recognizes people make mistakes (LeGarrette Blount) but also is willing to take action (Garrett Embry, Matt Simms). I don't think anyone should be blaming Chip for the players' actions...I really don't. If Masoli is ever arrested or anything like that, I have full confidence he'll handle it appropriately.
Same with LaMichael James. If he's convicted, I know Kelly will handle it appropriately.
I just can't wait for this whole Ducks Gone Wild thing to blow over so that the team can get back to the Quack Attack we know and love.
Update (2/20/10, 5:00pm):
Well, not even a full 24 hours after Chip Kelly's news conference and Oregon has another thug in town.
Back-up inside linebacker Kiko Alonso was cited for DUI. It may just be my opinon, but I seriously think he's getting kicked off the team. Chip made a point during his interview...apparently Alonso didn't get it.
A comment on the report pretty much summarizes things:
"Now who spiked the kool-aid with stupidity? This is getting to be ridiculous."
Jamere Holland was just kicked off the football team. After transferring from USC with bad grades, he promised to improve...then he was declared "academically ineligible" for the Rose Bowl.
He was kicked off the for essentially being a racist. Apparently, according to Holland's Facebook page, he has...issues with white people (NOT for those easily offended).
LaMichael James could lose his scholarship.
According to this, he may very well be kicked out of Oregon.
Right now he isn't allowed within two miles of the Oregon campus, and is currently living with the AD's nutritionist and life skills director James Harris. LaMichael was permitted to receive tutoring and athletic training, though he's not allowed on the campus.
If this isn't resolved soon, his grades will quickly turn to F's, and eventually this will cause him losing his scholarship.
Kiki Alonzo joins the rapidly growing list of players suspended or kicked off the Ducks team.
Apparently Alonzo was involved with the racist remarks made by Holland and is fortunate to have not been complete kicked off the team. He will however, be suspended for the 2010-11 season.
When will it end!!??