Sports Blotter: Dead Duck

Oregon's Masoli finally stalls out; plus, a World Cup ambush, and Florida strikes back
By MATT TAIBBI  |  June 24, 2010

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The saga of the University of Oregon football team grows sadder and sadder.

The Ducks have had an arrest season for the ages, with charges involving two of its top running backs, several linemen, two kickers, and, most notably, its star quarterback, Jeremiah "Holy Moly" Masoli.

Masoli, who ended last year in the Rose Bowl amid whispers that he could be a 2010 Heisman candidate, was arrested during the offseason for breaking into another student's dorm room and stealing some laptops and a guitar. He pleaded guilty in that case and had been suspended for the 2010 season.

Well, he's been busted again — this time for trying to drive with a suspended license — and kicked off the team. Masoli was pulled over for exiting a driveway without stopping; once in custody, cops found a small amount of marijuana in his glove box.

Holy Moly is an early, if unusual, contender for the Justin Miller Award, given to the player who most damages his draft status with an untimely arrest. The guy might have been a top-round pick if he could have just avoided arrest for a couple of years, and now, even with one of the most famous faces in Oregon, he's trying to drive a car with a suspended license — with weed in the glove box, no less?

This is the kind of behavior that tends to frighten NFL scouts. Poor sucker — he didn't hurt anyone, but this warrants at least 10 points for stupidity.

Another reason to hate soccer
So apparently they have a law banning unauthorized "ambush marketing" at the World Cup in South Africa. That means dropping the long arm of the law on anyone who tries to advertise a product not listed among the official sponsors of the event. They've been rigidly enforcing the ban so far, and now they've taken it all up a notch.

Two hot young Dutch girls in miniskirts were arrested and thrown in jail in Johannesburg after the Netherlands-Denmark game last week. Their crime? Apparently they were involved in some kind of promotion for the Bavaria brewery, a small-time beer distributor that was trying to encroach upon the turf of massive corporate official sponsors like Anheuser-Busch. In total, 36 women were taken in for questioning in connection with the advertising scheme.

There's something mildly ominous about the use of police to protect advertising rights, while there are apparently no serious law-enforcement bodies worrying over things like the amount of leverage in the economy or the safety standards on underwater oil drills. It's just appropriate that this happens at a World Cup which, if it remains on its current path, will set a new record for scoring futility and sporting boredom.

Panama jacked
While Oregon and Oregon State continue to stake their claim as up-and-coming sports-crime powers, some of the milieu's legendary programs continue to make their mark.

Edmund Imeokparia, a defensive back for Florida State, was arrested last week by police in Tallahassee after authorities in nearby Panama City tracked him down on charges he allegedly stole a $450 Motorola cell phone from a Planet Cellular store. Eight points for the phone boost.

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