First off, thanks to Sports Illustrated and Michael McKnight for doing a great job researching this information and shedding light on the facts involved with this situation. Far too often, reporters and writers are quick to demonize athletes more frequently than they tend to sensationalize them. It’s front page news for days when someone is accused of wrongdoing, but a retraction or reprint of the story with the facts rarely happens.
When news first broke about Oregon Ducks QB Jermiah Masoli being arrested for theft and subsequently pleading guilty I was shocked and embarrassed. From all accounts I had heard from coaches and players from U of O Masoli was a good, intelligent kid with a degree in Sociology and a good leader for the football team. This is proof that the pen is truly mightier than the sword. The media was coming at him full force but he could not juke or run over these defenders. Far too often, we as readers take what we read as fact instead of doing our own research. I am guilty so I immediately went on the attack. I was pissed because we had a dumb, thug, punk, knucklehead kid ruin our chance at a National Championship. I wanted to know why could he be so stupid , but who cares how great of a player he is; good riddance to these bad apples bringing the program down.
Is Jeremiah Masoli a thug or a victim of circumstance and a bad decision? After reading this Sports Illustrated article and reading court documents my opinion dramatically changed. Evidence points to the only thing Masoli is guilty of is bad judgement in the robbery situation. He was one of the most recognizable students on campus so lying about his whereabouts was a terrible idea. Then everyone asked why did he plead guilty if he was innocent. In a perfect world you should never admit guilt when you are not guilty. If you were faced with the possibility of 2-4 years in prison because Oregon has mandatory minimum sentences, a District Attoney with a high conviction rate, and you knew you lied; what would you do?
Part of me feels bad for Jeremiah Masoli because he is getting a bum wrap as a thug and a thief, but the weed…he is on his own for that one. Even after he got in trouble he was going to be reinstated if he met the terms head coach Chip Kelly set for him. He should have been walking a fine line.
All in all, Jeremiah Masoli you still have love from the Ducks. I hope he does well at Ole Miss and can do enough to repair his image when the NFL comes knocking.
Should he have been kicked out of school? Let me know what you think!