By Dan Corcoran and Steve Andress
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has gone from being suspended from the Duck football program to being dismissed.
Head coach Chip Kelly announced the decision two days after Masoli landed in legal trouble again.
Masoli was cited for three infractions Monday night by Springfield Police: failure to stop while exiting a parking lot, driving with a suspended license and possession of marijuana.
At about 9:15 p.m. Monday near Gateway Street in Springfield, officers pulled over a 1996 Cadillac DeVille for failing to stop when pulling out of a Chevron gas station. Masoli was behind the wheel with teammate Darron Thomas as his passenger.
Police found he was driving with a suspended license. On further investigation, they discovered less than an ounce of marijuana in the glove box. Springfield police say they saw no evidence that Masoli or Thomas were high, and initially had no idea who the driver was. According to Sgt. Tom Borchers, “They just saw a traffic offense occur and then pulled the vehicle over for that reason, and it just happened to be Masoli driving. It’s unfortunate, but that’s what happened.”
Duck fans are clearly frustrated. They are standing by Coach Kelly and not the ousted quarterback.
“You want to stop having more trouble with the football team, recruit more stand up guys that have plans and won’t mess it up because they can,” said UO senior Melissa Buich.
“Masoli was such a great player, I’d love to have his back but it just seems like he’s just shooting himself in the foot,” said UO junior Jared Keen.
Masoli is slated to appear in court June 24th. Meanwhile, the UO Athletic Department says Masoli was dismissed for “a failure to adhere to obligations previously outlined by head football coach Chip Kelly.”
In March, Masoli was suspended for the 2010 season after he pled guilty to charges surrounding a burglary during the Winter term.
UO Football Coach, Chip Kelly Coach Kelly has said he always talks with his players before punishing them. It seems he didn’t feel the need to wait for the legal process this time.
Kelly said he will not comment further. According to the athletic department, Masoli has one season of collegiate eligibility remaining.