Just when you think this offseason couldn't get any more ridiculous, it does. Early this morning, Oregon's star running back, LaMichael James was arrested for domestic violence by the Springfield Police. The Lane County Sheriff's Office website lists James' charges as strangulation, assault-4 and menacing.
Obviously, this is not good news, and if these charges are even close to what happened, James' actions are totally unacceptable.
But, let's take a step away from the cliff, Duck fans. There have been 3 incidents so far this offseason. None related, and none similar. While it will be the popular angle to talk about the decline in standards at Oregon, we have a long way to go before we reach that level. On top of that, none of the incidents that have occurred so far this offseason have been addressed publicly by the athletic department, which is to be expected until all incidents are addressed legally.
Unfortunately, at this point, all that we can do is wait and see how this all shakes out, and there's no reason to think that'll happen soon. So while it's not looking great for James, let's not make big pronouncements on the state of the football team just yet.
[Update] James has plead not guiltu to one count of strangulation, two counts of fourth-degree assault and two counts of physical harassment. All of these are misdemeanors.
James was taken into custody on Tuesday after a fight with his girlfriend on Monday. So the arrest happened long after the alleged assault took place. James' girlfriend is alleging that "he grabbed her neck during an argument and pushed her to the ground."
There is conflicting word on the bond in the case. though ESPN is reporting that it's $40,000. The Oregonian is also reporting that James will likely be released in the next 24 hours, but will wear an ankle bracelet and be under electronic surveillance, though at this point, it's not clear if this means he will be confined to a specific area or not.
Chip Kelly spoke out on James' status as well, though was not forthcoming with details, and it seemed to be pretty standard coach-speak for an issue like this. I wouldn't expect much from the athletic department until all of the legal issues in this case get sorted out.
Unfortunately, it looks like we're in for a long wait on this topic, as James will not have his pretrial hearing until Mach 24th. Spring practices start on March 30th.