The Oregon Ducks football team return to the practice field has been met with much excitement from fans and much more criticism from everyone else.
OK, so there has been some criticism from fans as well, but more from outside fan bases.
The root of the criticism surrounds quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.
For those of you who don’t know, Masoli plead guilty to charges of burglary close to a month ago. As a result, he has been suspended for the 2010 season. Masoli is still on scholarship, however, and is being allowed to use a redshirt for the season.
As spring practice opened this week, he took the field with the team.
Some people say suspended means he should not be anywhere near the field.
If he is being allowed to redshirt and practice, maybe he isn’t as much suspended from the team so much as suspended from playing on game days this fall.
On day one of spring practice, head coach Chip Kelly stated that Masoli knows his place on the team, including tasks that may involve holding bags or running routes for the quarterbacks to have someone to throw to.
Many critics look to last season, when Kelly suspended running back LeGarrette Blount for the season only to change that status late in the year, as a reason to doubt his judgement .
Speculation has begun on not so much if, but when, will Kelly do the same for Masoli.
Masoli was recruited from the junior college ranks. He has a past where he made some mistakes while in high school. The folks as San Francisco City College brought him in and gave him a second chance. He appeared to have things going the right direction and his past behind him.
A couple seasons at Oregon and things were looking even more up. Then things went wrong. He made another bad choice. He got in trouble. He lied to police. He lied to his coach. He lied to his team and to the fans.
As a Duck fan, my take may not matter to some, since most will accuse me of simply being a homer. I’m going to give it anyway.
Just to remind people, first off, I am not in charge of the program. My friends, other Duck fans, don’t run the program. The decisions being made will sit fine with some, but not all.
I have heard some say they don’t know if they can support the team anymore. If every fan quit on a team for the mistakes of the few, no team would have any fans left.
Being a fan is much like marriage. Be a fan for better or for worse. A true fan is a fan in a 10-win season just as much in a two-win season. I will stand behind the decisions made, because no amount of bitching and moaning by me will change them.
I hope Kelly keeps his word and does not let Masoli play this coming season. Right now. I am OK with the way things are and the way things have been handled.
I may be upset if Kelly changes his mind again or if Masoli messes up again, but I won’t turn my back on the team.