Search This Blog

Sunday, July 25, 2010

QB Jeremiah Masoli sends Ole Miss release papers from Oregon

By Ron Higgins
Updated Sunday, July 25, 2010
Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt confirmed Monday that former University of Oregon starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who was kicked off the Ducks team June 9 after his second arrest in six months, has sent Ole Miss his scholarship release papers from Oregon.
Nutt confirmed via text message to The Commercial Appeal that Masoli “e-mailed us his release as I’m sure he did to several schools.”
Masoli has graduated from Oregon, but he has one year of eligibility remaining as he has played just three years of college football. According to NCAA rules, he would be immediately eligible at any 1-A program if he enrolls in a graduate program Oregon does not offer.
Masoli's next stop has been rumored to be anywhere from Ole Miss to Hawaii to UNLV to Louisiana Tech to Syracuse to Mississippi State, where spokesman Joe Galbraith said the school's compliance office hasn't received a copy of Masoli's scholarship release.
When The Commercial Appeal asked Nutt in a follow-up text if he had any interest in pursuing Masoli, Nutt texted, "Checking all avenues. I anticipated Jevon's (Snead) departure (leaving school after his junior season for this past April's NFL draft), but (Raymond) Cotton's really puts us in a bind. Will let you know if I get serious with Masoli."
A month ago, Nutt might not have given Masoli a second thought. But on Saturday when freshman redshirt Cotton, the Rebels' No. 2 quarterback, announced he was leaving the team, it left Nutt with just two QBs on scholarship -- sophomore Nathan Stanley and junior college transfer Randall Mackey.
Cotton, who threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns this past April in the spring game despite playing with a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, quit because he was concerned about playing time. He was also upset about not being invited to the Manning Passing Academy (though Stanley was invited) earlier in July in south Louisiana. Nutt said Cotton didn't get the invitation because he was rehabbing his shoulder injury.
Whatever school signs Masoli will be taking a huge risk on someone whose athletic exploits have been overshadowed by arrests for burglary and marijuana possession.
The 5-11, 215-pound Masoli, a San Francisco native, came to Oregon after playing one year at City College of San Francisco. He was Oregon's fifth-string quarterback when he arrived but shot up the depth chart. He led the Ducks to 10-3 records each of the past two seasons and its first Rose Bowl appearance in 15 years in 2009. He was selected to the coaches' All-Pac-10 second team last year after completing 177 of 305 passes for 15 touchdowns and six interceptions, and running for 668 yards and 13 TDs.
He's Oregon's all-time rushing leader among quarterbacks (1,386 yards) and ninth on the school's career total offense list (5,277).
In March, Masoli began serving a yearlong probation after pleading guilty to a second-degree burglary charge. The case, which was a felony bargained down to a misdeameanor, resulted from Masoli and former wide receiver Garrett Embry stealing laptop computers and other items from a campus frat house in January.
When Masoli pleaded guilty, Oregon coach Chip Kelly suspended Masoli for this season but kept him on scholarship. He said he could return in 2011 if he followed team rules.
But on June 7, Masoli was arrested for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, driving with a suspended license and failing to stop. Those charges resulted in his permanent dismissal from the Oregon team.
After Masoli's suspended license charge was dropped, he pleaded guilty to the other charges. Last Wednesday, Daniel Koenig, Masoli's attorney, entered the pleas and paid $613 in fines.
Koening told The Oregonian newspaper that Masoli completed his community service requirement in connection with the January frat house burglary. The attorney also said Masoli finished his undergraduate coursework at Oregon and had taken the GRE, an expected requirement to entering graduate school. He added that Masoli was living at home in California with his parents.

No comments: