James Speaks to Media

Eugene – Running back LaMichael James told reporters today following the third practice session of Oregon's spring workouts that the off-field legal problems he was involved in was the "hardest and most difficult thing" he's ever faced. James also said that one of the people that helped him through the troubling times was quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.

James surprised reporters by agreeing to talk to media following the conclusion of the two and half-hour workout. James pleaded guilty to Misdemeanor Harassment last month stemming from an altercation with a former girlfriend. James spent a night in the Lane County Jail following his arrest as he was charged with Assault IV and Strangulation. The charges were reduced on a plea bargain that also included jail time. However, the Lane County Corrections Office suspended any further jail time but James is still on a 24-month probation.

The Duck running back said he has grown from the incident and then revealed that teammate Masoli, who faced legal trouble of his own helped James through the emotional ordeal. Masoli pleaded guilty to Misdemeanor Burglary II on the same day James was in court. Head Coach Chip Kelly has suspended Masoli for the 2010 season. James was suspended for the first game of the season next fall against New Mexico.

"Masoli was there for me from day one," said James of Masoli. "He was a big help to me, talking to me everyday.

"He (Masoli) told me everything would be okay," explained James. "He just went through his own ordeal, and everybody makes mistakes in life. We're 19 and 20 year-old kids. We're not perfect."

James was very relaxed when talking to reporters and patiently answered questions. His comments were the first public statements he's made since the Rose Bowl.

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