It's apparent now that the offseason is upon us, because there isn't a whole lot of news out there today. But it could be worse. Our hoops team could be losing:
- Rich Brooks' enduring coaching career has come to an end. The tireless, legendary Oregon coach, whose name still marks the field at Autzen Stadium, announced his retirement Monday and will hang up the whistle after seven seasons as Kentucky's head coach. The 68-year-old will never be known for his coaching record or number of bowl appearances, but the 1994 Paul "Bear" Bryant Award winner should definitely be considered one of the most respected coaches in all of college football, whose patience and virtue helped lift two struggling programs out of the depths of college football irrelevance. Brooks' only blemish is that he's an Oregon State alumnus. However, despite his ties to the Beavers, Brooks showed his loyalty to the Ducks with a 14-3-1 record against his alma mater from 1977 to 1994. All Hail the Coach!
- The brand new, Phil Knight-funded, three-story, 40,000-square-foot, high-tech John Jaqua Academic Center opened its doors yesterday on Oregon's campus at the corner of Franklin and Agate. Make sure you check out the pictures, because it's an unbelievably nice facility. The whole building is dedicated to Oregon's many student-athletes, however, the entire first floor, including an auditorium, will be utilized by the entire university. Have any of you current students had a chance to check it out? Let us know in the comments.
- ESPN.com's Ted Miller has a few more notes regarding the 2010 Pac-10 football schedule, which was released yesterday. I'll be honest: Oregon's conference slate does not sit well with me, with road games at USC, Cal and Oregon State. At least we get the upstart Huskies at home, right?
- Former USC and current Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing was named AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year yesterday, handily beating former Oregon star and current Buffalo Bills defensive back Jairus Byrd, who finished a distant second. Cushing had a fantastic rookie season, but Byrd still deserves recognition for a Pro Bowl-worthy performance in his first year.
- A bit more recruiting news regarding the T.J. Ward-esque defensive back, Erick Dargan. Despite his ensuing visit to UCLA this weekend, ESPN.com is reporting the Bruins have a lot of ground to make up on the Ducks. Dargan hails from defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti's alma mater, Pittsburg (California) High School. He may also visit Washington in the coming weeks, but it sounds like he's leaning pretty heavily toward the Ducks. Let's just hope he doesn't pull a Dominique Easley.
- And finally, former head coach and current athletic director Mike Bellotti is recovering from double knee replacement surgery. Our thoughts are with you, Mike. Get healthy before golf season!
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