Chip Kelly laid down the punishment in response to some of his players recent run-ins with the law. Rob Beard and LaMichael James, who both plead guilty to misdemeanor harassment charges, have been suspended for the first game of the 2010 season. Jeremiah Masoli plead guilty to a misdemeanor second-degree burglary charge, and has been suspended for the entire 2010 season.
With all the speculation that has been happening over the past few weeks, I think that these punishments are fair. James and Beard made mistakes, and when presented with poor situations, made the wrong decisions.
Jeremiah Masoli's crime was much more premeditated, and he reportedly broke Chip Kelly's number one rule: he lied to the coach. I'm honestly surprised he wasn't entirely kicked off the team, though I support the University standing by the student-athletes and helping them compete their education.
All three players will have unspecified goals they will need to meet to earn full reinstatement. And if these plans aren't met, more suspension time will be administered. I don't imagine that James or Beard will have problems with that, but Masoli will have a long road ahead. Though he has the possibility to redshirt during the 2010 season, I don't anticipate seeing him play a significant role on the football field during the remainder of his career.
For now, this seems to bring for a close a fairly hectic time for Oregon football, though I'm happy with the response of the University. I'm confident that the players know their will be consequences for their actions, and hope that will affect their behavior. Here's hoping they can keep a low profile over the next few months.