Sometime you have to laugh to keep from crying. Who would predict that a Friday in March would be one of the most important days for Oregon Duck football. On Friday the two best players on the University of Oregon football team will appear in Lane County Circuit Court on criminal charges.
At 8:30 AM Oregon's best running back LaMichael James reportedly will plead "no contest" on an harassment charge arising out of an argument with an "ex girlfriend." He is presently under house arrest and spent two night in jail several weeks ago and has two Assault 4 charges and other misdemeanors pending against him.
At 1:30 PM Oregon's Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli, will be arraigned on a felony charge of Burglary II arising out of the theft of some computers from a fraternity house.
Also on Friday, after the Circuit Court Judge is done with them, these players will face the "judgement" of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly.
I will resist the temptation to express my opinion on what should happen to to them until the facts are outlined in open court. I have faith in the criminal justice system and I have faith in Coach Kelly ! However, whatever will happen will have dramatic consequences for Oregon Duck Football. Let's just hope both cases are resolved on Friday.
To go from the highs of a team going to the Rose Bowl to the depths of the criminal justice system in a few short weeks is very depressing for this fan. Like a punch to the gut.
Yes, Friday will be a big day
LaMichael James plead guilty to one count of Harassment and all other charges were dismissed. He got 10 day jail with credit for time served and will probably get a jail alternative for the other 8 days. Here is a summary of the District Attorneys Memorandum filed with the court outlining the facts of the harassment charge:
When the victim learned that the defendant (James) had a female house guest from outside Oregon, she went to the defendant's residence to speak with his house guest," according to the district attorney's memo. "The house guest was alarmed, refused to let the victim into the residence, and subsequently called the defendant.(I have removed the victim's name)
James arrived at his apartment and asked XXXXXXXXXXXXX (the victim) to leave and "physically removed the victim from the area immediately in front of his residence door."
While James held on to her arms, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX grabbed his necklace and told James she wouldn't let go unless he let her go.
"During the ensuing push-and-pull, the defendant's necklace broke and he became angry," according to the DA.
James grabbed XXXXXXXXXX by her collar and pushed her against his car. XXXXXXXXX got in James' car and pulled his keys from the ignition. James grabbed XXXXXXXX to pull her from his car, but she kept his keys and ran from the car.
James caught up to her and grabbed her waist. The two fell into bark mulch on the ground.
James got his keys back, "ending the physical interaction," the DA wrote. "The parties talked without further physical contact before the defendant drove away."
The memo explains that the Abuse Prevention Act "requires immediate arrest in circumstances such as these."
"Uniform enforcement of that requirement has undoubtedly saved many lives, but it also requires law enforcement to make preliminary charging decisions based on initial reports before a more thorough investigation can be completed," the DA wrote. "Subsequent investigation and clarification of the facts often result in modification of the criminal charges."
"In this case, dismissal of some of the charges, the admission of guilt by the defendant, and the recommended sentences are all appropriate to the facts," the DA wrote. "The disposition recommended herein is also supported by the victim."
Jeremiah Masoli plead guilty to Burglary II this afternoon and was given "misdemeanor treatment" and probation with a community service requirement plus restitution. It also appears from court document that he lied to coach Chip Kelly about his involvement.
What will the coach do in each case...... the coach will have a press conference at 3PM.
Oregon football coach Chip Kelly suspend QB Jeremia Masoli for the entire 2010 football season. He is a senior but could come back if he wants for the 2011 season by using 2010 as a red shirt" year. It will be up to him
The coach suspended RB LaMichael James for only one game, the first game of the season against New Mexico.
I love coach Kelly and support his actions today. What a great coach.