EUGENE, Ore. — During the football season, Duck fans let out screams of excitement. But after the NCAA handed down its ruling, they’re letting out sighs of relief.
Fans started calling Steve Tannen’s phone line immediately after he hit the air at 3 a.m. Wednesday. As the host of KUJZ’s sports radio show, he’s hearing Duck fans express their lack of worries after the NCAA handed down its punishment to the University of Oregon’s football program.
“I can safely say I speak for a lot of Oregon fans when I say that we’re all ecstatic as far as the type of penalties and whatnot,” said one caller.
Tannen wasn’t surprised either. This was the response he was expecting from fans.
“Those who are actually examining the facts and seeing what happened at places like North Carolina, Ohio State, and USC probably realize these were not as severe of violations,” Tannen said.
Tannen says fans were most worried about a bowl ban, so they’re happy with the ruling, which most are calling a slap on the wrist.
“There’s kind of a logical element where fans are in the back of their mind thinking ‘it’s not going to be that bad, it’s not going to be that bad, it’s not going to be that bad’ then the sanctions get handed down and it’s not that bad so I think the initial fan reaction’s going to be ‘woo hoo!’” Tannen said.
Looking forward, Duck fans say that their team can only move forward from here.
“As far as being an Oregon fan and following recruiting and all that kind of stuff, to me the worst I think is actually behind us,” said another caller.
Tannen says not having a bowl ban was the biggest point of relief for fans because it’s there that their players can showcase their NFL talent.