Masoli Suspended for the 2010 Season

Eugene -- Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly today announced that quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has been suspended for the entire 2010 season stemming from a guilty plea to misdemeanor burglary II. Kelly also announced that running back LaMichael James and kicker Rob Beard will also serve a one-game suspension next season after each pled guilty to misdemeanor harassment. None of the incidents are related.

Masoli and former Duck wide receiver Garrett Embry plead guilty today to misdemeanor burglary II during an arraignment hearing held at the Lane County Court House. The charges stem from a complaint made by a member of the SAE Fraternity who said the two athletes were inside the frat house on Jan. 30th and stole laptop computers.

"I am extremely disappointed anytime any of our players fall short of our expectations that have been clearly outlined for them in advance on numerous occasions, and this is especially true regarding their roles within the community," said Kelly in a prepared statement. "Their accountability for their actions is paramount and any tainting of the reputation of the University of Oregon and this football program will not be tolerated.

"I have consistently stated that I will weigh every situation on its individual merits and will determine the consequences after carefully reviewing all the facts available to me. Frequently there are variable involved that I an unable to share in regards to the I make that preclude me from discussing individual cases but I want to eliminate any uncertainty that our level of expectations are the same for all student-athletes regardless of the role they play on this team."

No explanation was offered as to why Masoli and Embry entered the frat house. James charges resulted from an incident involving a former girlfriend at his home. Beard coincidentally was involved in a street brawl on the same night as the incident with Masoli. The two incidents are unrelated. Beard was injured in the brawl and required hospitalization. He was later charged with harassment during the incident and pled guitly earlier this month.

While Kelly would not take questions, Oregon Athletic Director Mike Bellotti did say Darron Thomas or Nathan Costa would compete for the starting job next season. Bellotti also said he was unaware if any other investigation was on going as result of the Masoli/Embry incident.

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