Wow, it sure has been a nasty couple of weeks for the University of Oregon and football coach Chip Kelly. It's gotten so bad out there that team fan blogs are running headlines like NO DUCKS ARRESTED IN LAST 24 HOURS! Just a week ago, we reported that the team's leading rusher, LaMichael James, got picked up for grabbing his girlfriend by the neck and shoving her to the ground.
And even that arrest was in the wake of Oregon's star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (along with teammate Garrett Embry) getting caught stealing laptops, and twin scandals involving both of the team's kickers and a massive campus brawl. Defensive end Matt Simms was also involved in that fight, and also incurred charges.
Now, beginning just 72 hours after the James bust, there were two more incidents. First, inside linebacker Kiko Alonso got busted for a DUI; he was seen driving erratically in downtown Eugene and cuffed in a 7-11 parking lot early last Sunday morning.
As that story started lighting up local news reports, Alonso's teammate, wideout Jamere Holland, got into the mix. Holland somehow convinced himself that the DUI got Alonso kicked off the team (it didn't, although he is suspended for the 2010 season), and decided to lash out about this fictional dismissal on his Facebook page (feel free to sic at will):
"How the fuck you kick Kinko off the team,,, on some weak shit niggas always faded he slipped up but Ive been slippn up and I'm still here that shit weak . . . that shit is weak, weak ass fuck, quote me."
Obliged! Anyway, while Alonso was not kicked off the team, Kelly and the Oregon brain trust took one look at that online rant and gave Holland the boot for "violation of team rules," which is an interesting way of describing the idiotic exercise of First Amendment rights.
It gets better. After Holland was released, he doubled down and went back on his Facebook page to do more damage. "I wish I could block whites as friends and only have blacks LOL, cause apparently I'm misunderstood," he wrote sagely.
This Oregon offseason is beginning to rival some of the more notorious team crime streaks in recent history, including the Florida State Criminoles of the '90s, the Ohio State run during coach Jim Tressel's early years that included the Maurice Clarett business, and the Cincinnati Bengals' troubles of a few years ago. It stops short, of course, of the ultimate standard — the famous Portland "Jail Blazers" team with Ruben Patterson and Zach Randolph that featured arrests of almost everyone on the roster. But when your star quarterback and your star running back get popped in the same offseason, and even your kickers are throwing punches, you've got something pretty serious going.
Give Alonso the standard 25 points for his DUI, but let's keep an eye on the situation in Eugene. One more arrest would probably push the story to national-scandal status, i.e., top-of-Pardon-the-Interruption's-first-segment territory. Stay tuned.
Do not pee
Here's a fun one. Villanova basketball player Corey Stokes got a citation for public urination last week. Apparently he was between two cars and surrounded by teammates — reports didn't indicate if they were facing out or in — when police showed up.