Editor’s Note: As some of you might know, UOSportsDude.com is expanding the site to be able to bring to you deeper, more expansive and hopefully better coverage of the Oregon Ducks this coming season and beyond. Please welcome our newest writer, UO student Jonathan Marx, to the mix. He has written for the Oregon Daily Emerald as well as Santa Barbara CC’s The Channel Online. You can follow him on Twitter here.
That was the plea Jeremiah Masoli’s lawyer gave on behalf of the disgraced quarterback on Wednesday morning to a judge in the Springfield Municipal Court.
Guilty of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Guilty of failing to stop at a driveway or sidewalk. Guilty of letting down the Duck Nation, one last time.
In reality, Masoli’s guilty plea was less of an acknowledgment that he committed a crime, and more about his desire for a potential future. By pleading guilty and coughing up a palty $937 in fines and fees, the case is now closed, and his September 3rd court date is cancelled. A court date on September 3rd would’ve been inconvenient, as it may very well have interrupted his plans to play football in the fall.
Where might that be, though? That’s a question he wished he had an answer to.
Every day, several reports come out saying he’s interested in yet another school: Louisiana Tech, Texas Tech, Hawaii, Ole Miss, the latest being UNLV. The problem is, it takes two to tango, and the interest he shows in these schools is rightfully unreturned. Well-established athletic programs don’t want someone with his criminal past. Just ask, say, us.
But even if these schools could look beyond that, and just see an outstanding athlete with a love for the game and an unfortunate criminal record, would they still be willing to take the risk? No. He had his chance, they will say. He had his first, second, and third chance. And he blew all of them. What’s to stop him from blowing another?
If Masoli continues his career at UNLV, he might find he fits in well with the Sin City culture. But that seems like a situation almost too good to be true for him. He’ll probably end up at some low tier D-2 or D-3 school. Somewhere where he will sell lots of tickets, and outperform any competition put in his path. Somewhere he doesn’t want to be but has to. If it’s any consolation to him, he’ll be regarded as a hero at his new institution. One where he can take the reigns, trudge forward and never look back.
As Masoli relaxes and enjoys his summer vacation down in the Bay Area, having just finished his final two classes at the University of Oregon, a few other questions still linger in the back of the quarterback’s head. What the hell was I doing in that fraternity house on that cold January night? Where would I be right now if I had used the brake, instead of the gas, while pulling out of that driveway in Springfield?
Or, more appropriately, why don’t the Oakland Raiders just get it over with and sign me already? I’d fit in perfect over there!
The reality is these questions will never be answered. As Jeremiah walked off the field after a hard fought and unfortunate loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, he began a journey into the unknown. Seven months later, that journey has taken him even deeper into the unknown. And stability remains nowhere in sight.