September 15, 2010
Regular readers will be familiar by now with the timeline of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli's matriculation from Oregon to Ole Miss over the summer: The erstwhile suspended for the 2010 season after pleading guilty to a frat-house theft in March, dismissed outright following another minor arrest in June, earned his bachelor's degree in July, landed at Ole Miss in August and was finally cleared to play in September. These things are never as complicated as they seemed at the time.
For the record, though, Masoli would like to correct one piece of the story: According to documents from his request for a waiver to play this fall in Oxford, he told the NCAA he was never dismissed from Oregon. Nah, man, he quit that hole:
Masoli wrote that Oregon coach Chip Kelly suspended him in March 2010, and that he had the option at that point to transfer to another school. "I realized that other players had been suspended for a season and allowed to play after a few games," Masoli wrote, likely referring to LeGarrette Blount, who was initially suspended for the 2009 season by Kelly but was reinstated by the end of the year. "Therefore in my mind, playing in the 2010 season was still a possibility."
But Masoli then said he "was no longer comfortable at Oregon and believed it would be in my best interest to leave." In late May, Masoli said he decided to transfer "without really knowing where I would go." Masoli wrote that he notified Kelly of this and that Kelly said he would be given a release. Masoli said he received a release from Oregon on June 8 — and that on the next day, Kelly announced his dismissal from the team. "I was surprised about the announcement because we had already agreed that I was not returning and would be transferring," Masoli wrote. "The announcement was made because I had been stopped for a driving infraction. However, I had already made my decision to transfer and had received my release prior to this announcement so the dismissal announcement was not really a factor in my leaving."
Masoli said he decided not to return for 2010 because he "wanted to get on with my life. I was no longer comfortable in my environment at Oregon and needed a chance and a new start. It was personal and not necessarily motivated by athletic reasons."
Reading that, Oregon felt compelled to respond by noting that Masoli was kicked off the team in a June 8 meeting with Kelly, and e-mailed his release later the same day. The university announced his dismissal a day later. It still supported Masoli's quest for a waiver to play for Ole Miss, but come on, dude: You got booted.
Not that it matters now, with Masoli apparently entrenched as the Rebels' starting quarterback as they open SEC play Saturday against Vanderbilt. But we can say this much: Whatever goes down, this guy's always got his side of the story.
- - -
Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.