Monday, March 15, 2010

Ducks Slapped With Four-Game Suspension by Michael5000

It has been a tough time recently for the University of Oregon football program, with key players making decisions that have not exactly helped them overcome the stereotype of the "dumb jock." Last Friday saw, for starters, star running back LaMichael James pleading guilty to "misdemeanor harassment" of his girlfriend. (I'm not sure what exactly constitutes misdemeanor harassment, but I'm pretty sure it's not what you'd call "classy.") Then we also got to see star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli plead guilty to second-degree burglary for having looted some computer equipment from a frat house. Because when you are a big football star with possible NFL potential, I guess swiping somebody else's laptop just seems like a good way to further your prospects. Whatever.

The 'Gonian reported Friday that James will be suspended for the first game of the 2010 season. Masoli will be suspended for the entire 2010 season and, presumably, will have to give the stuff back and say he is very sorry. So that's the official decision. The story was printed, though, under the interesting headline "Oregon fans may levy toughest judgment in aftermath of Jeremiah Masoli, LaMichael James."

Judgement Levied

Well, I don't know about other fans, but I have wasted no time levying my judgment in the case. On Sunday evening, I submitted it in writing to the U of O Athletic Department.

To the Athletic Department,

As I'm sure you're aware, the Oregonian suggested Friday that in the aftermath of Jeremiah Masoli's & LaMichael James' suspensions, "the harshest judgment could come from fans and a university community exasperated by a head-spinning series of transgressions...." Indeed. Today, I am formally announcing my official judgement as a fan and community member: I am penalizing the University of Oregon football program with a Four-Game Suspension of my fan support.

The details are as follows:

->The Suspension will cover the first four games of the 2010 Season, including three pre-season games (vs. New Mexico, Tennessee, and Portland State) and the September 25 Pac-10 opener against Arizona State.

->While the program is under suspension, I will not attend, watch a telecast of, listen to a radio broadcast of, or read media accounts of their four games. I will, furthermore, not care whether the Ducks win or lose.

->I will not wear any of my University of Oregon licenced sportswear, nor my green and yellow tie-dye t-shirt, from August 1 until October 1, the end of the suspension period.

->During the suspension period, I will abstain from discussing Ducks football with friends, acquaintances, and coworkers, explaining if pressed that this is a condition of the suspension of fandom.

->My support for the Ducks for the remainder of the 2010 season will be probationary and conditional on there being no further egregious instances of players making complete asses out of themselves.

This suspension is final and is not subject to appeal. I look forward to resuming my enthusiasm for Oregon Ducks Football this October.


As of this posting, University officials have not yet responded to news of the sanctions. I will keep you informed as events develop.

Update: The Athletic Department Responds!

This just in from Eugene:

Michael,Thank you for your feedback. We have passed your email on to the appropriate sources for further review.
Thank you for your support and GO DUCKS!


Elaine said...

The Mighty (Sad) Ducks deserve whatever punishment M5000 dishes out! I, personally, plan to gloat about the Penn State victory over the Ducks in the Rose Bowl game some years ago.
Reopening old wounds is a good way to levy judgment, IMHO.

Rebel said...

Booo ducks.

margaret said...

This begs the question: What will you do instead?! Just think how much running you could get in. Now there's a sports fan.

DrSchnell said...

Now you kinda know what it was like to be an Oklahoma fan back in aught-eighty-nine. See for a quick precis:

sister jen said...

Yeah, boy, they read that letter closely.

I haven't followed this,so I don't know how/when the charges went from what would clearly have been assault to misdemeanor harassment --I'm sure it was all legal 'n all--but it is striking to see juxtaposed the sentences of the big guy who shoved a woman around (at least) and the guy who stole computer equipment.

mydogischelsea said...

But, will you also refrain from painting half of your face green and the other half yellow? And refrain from using that photo has your profile pic?

Michael5000 said...

@DocSchnell: Holy Mother of God! Oregon is lagging well behind the '89 Sooners in the thug department.

@mydog: Although it is not, as you noticed, part of the formal terms of the suspension, I will in fact also be refraining from all face-painting activity until the end of the suspension period.

UnwiseOwl said...

It's a sad indication of the attitude of the football codes when you see those kind of punishments. A SEASON for stealing computer gear, and one game for what I assume is actually ASSAULT?

Michael5000 said...

@UnWise, sis: Well, there aren't codes per se; they do these things on a case-by-case basis. I don't know the details of the incidents, but on the face of it I have no trouble imagining a crime classified as a "burglary" that would be considerably more serious than a crime classified as an "assault"; both terms cover a lot of legal ground. Without further information, there's no reason to suppose that the penalties were out of proportion.

Too, if the suspensions were reversed, it would be easy to point out the obvious corruption of the Quarterback's light penalty versus the less-important player's heavy penalty. In truth, I'm actually rather impressed by the University's reaction; grounding Masoli will likely convert what would have been a top-ten season into a mediocre one, at a cost of perhaps millions of dollars to the school.

Libby said...

For some reason I feel the only appropriate response to this is "LOL".

mrs.5000 said...

Go Beavs.

Jenners said...

You tell 'em.

UnwiseOwl said...

An interesting point.

First, the idea of a 'more important player' is utterly foreign to me, but I am familiar enough with American football to understand what you mean.

Second, the term 'the football codes' is used in Australia when talking about the different games, Australian Rules is a football code, as are soccer and rugby league. I think you were thinking of the term as referring to codes of conduct or something.

In Australia at the moment retaliation against footballers (in all codes) for violence against women is extreme, whether proven by courts or not, trying to combat what is seen (fairly) as a large cultural problem. A minor ban like one game is simply unheard of since the bad old days.

margaret said...

Reading the official response, I've gotta say, They HEARD you Michael! Now maybe if you threaten to not buy seats or expensive beers at the stadium in Eugene, then you'll hit them where it really hurts: the wallet.

Rebel said...

I'm disappointed, but not surprised by their response. They are no Estonian consulate, that's for sure.

Dug said...

This is why I like Hockey. The thuggery takes place right there on the ice and we all get to watch. Go Flyers!

Dug said...

I'll never forget when Jaromir Jagr swiped Sidney Crosby's laptop right in front of the refs. That was awesome!

Ben said...

I just wanted to point out what may be the obvious: The punishment doled out by the U of O Athletic Department are ON TOP of the punishments doled out by the Lane County court system.