Wednesday's announcement that Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, above, was charged with second-degree burglary in connection with an alleged theft from a fraternity house had been anticipated for weeks. Masoli becomes the latest Duck player to run afoul of the law this offseason, and he'll be joined in court Friday by running back LaMichael James, who will change his plea and be sentenced in connection to five domestic violence charges filed last month.
Coach Chip Kelly has indicated that he will make an announcement Friday regarding the standing of Masoli and James with the team.
Garrett Embry, a receiver kicked off the team last month, is also scheduled for a Friday court appearance on a second-degree burglary charge in the fraternity house case.
Reaction to Wednesday's news:
Jack Moran, Eugene Register-Guard: This isn’t Masoli's first brush with the law. He served three months in Hillcrest Juvenile Hall in San Mateo, Calif., in 2005 for his role in a string of strong-armed robberies that involved him and several other members of Serra High team. According to media accounts, the group muscled people for money at a local mall and area bus stops. The robbery conviction resulted in his expulsion from the high school, and prompted him to move to Hawaii to finish his prep career.
Rachel Bachman, Oregonian: Oregon's issues come five years after state Sen. Rick Metsger introduced legislation aimed at holding the Oregon State program accountable for a similar spate of misbehavior. In response, Oregon State instituted a matrix of punishments for athletes who break the law. Metsger met with Oregon president Richard Lariviere recently and compared the Ducks' off-field issues to the problems at Toyota, whose image has plummeted in the public eye with reports of a few dangerously flawed cars.
George Schroeder, Register-Guard: Kelly doesn't have many options. Really, only two: Suspend Masoli and James, or send them packing.
John Canzano, Oregonian: How much support and compassion would Masoli and James get from fans if they weren't the two players most responsible for leading Oregon to a Rose Bowl? He doubts anyone would care how Friday goes if the players were a couple of scrubs.
Adam Jude, Register-Guard: There’s a chance the defending Pacific 10 champions — already picked by several preseason polls as a top-five team for 2010 — will begin next season with an entirely different look in the starting backfield.
Thanks to Image of Sport.