Oregon Ducks

Mario Cristobal on Fair Pay to Play Act: “It’s our obligation, responsibility” to help student-athletes

Mario Cristobal on Fair Pay to Play Act: “It’s our obligation, responsibility” to help student-athletes

Beginning in 2023, California law will be in direct opposition to the NCAA’s definition of amateurism. Monday morning, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the “Fair Pay to Play Act" Senate Bill 206. This will allow the state’s college athletes to hire agents and make money from endorsements.

Get your popcorn ready, this will be a major showdown with the NCAA. If the bill survives the expected court challenges, the NCAA's business model would be in question.

The ability for athletes to make money could create a major recruiting advantage for schools in California. However it also begs the question, would out of state schools be willing to schedule games with California teams? Would the NCAA ban California teams from future competition?

The ruling of unconstitutional or not will likely come from a judge’s decision.

Obviously the bill will have major implications on the Pac-12 Conference and the nation. The conference released the following statement, in opposition of the bill.

“The Pac-12 is disappointed in the passage of SB 206 and believes it will have very significant negative consequences for our student-athletes and broader universities in California. This legislation will lead to the professionalization of college sports and many unintended consequences related to this professionalism, imposes a state law that conflicts with national rules, will blur the lines for how California universities recruit student-athletes and compete nationally, and will likely reduce resources and opportunities for student-athletes in Olympic sports and have a negative disparate impact on female student-athletes.”

Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal, who competes against four California universities each season, wanted to do a deeper dive into the first-in-the-nation law before giving a comment on the specific bill. However, he did give his own insight:

"I certainly believe that in any way that we can help the student-athletes I think it’s our obligation, our responsibility,” Cristobal said. “We certainly do a lot for them here. I know what it’s like; I’ve been there. I don’t know enough about how, what the rules are, what the format is for that. I’m all for making sure that we maximize what they can benefit or how they can benefit.”

Newsom’s take is that student-athletes are prohibited from being fairly compensated while “other college students with a talent, whether it be literature, music, or technological innovation, can monetize their skill and hard work.”

California schools could form a new organization, since membership in the NCAA is voluntary.

Mario Cristobal adds Cooper Petagna to Oregon football recruiting staff

Mario Cristobal adds Cooper Petagna to Oregon football recruiting staff

Mario Cristobal loves recruiting. Players, coaches, you name it and he's good at it.

With the loss of cornerbacks coach Donte' Williams to USC, one may ponder how this would effect recruiting as Williams was the No. 1 recruiter in the Pac-12 conference. Well, not only did Cristobal go out and hire away Rod Chance from Minnesota, but he also added another weapon in recruiting on Oregon's coaching staff, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg:

Petagna comes down five hours south on I-5 highway from the University of Washington, where he served as Director of Player Personnel at UW. He has a taste of west coast football and knows how to recruit which is advantageous for the Ducks after losing Williams to USC, another Pac-12 school.

According to Rittenberg, Petagna has experience recruiting at LSU, Michigan and Alabama, three big power-5 schools with lots of football talent. So if you add Petagna's recruiting skills plus Oregon brand and its national relevance plus the recent success of the program and this seems like a good recipe for the future of the Oregon program.

Oregon Ducks men's basketball moves up in latest AP Poll

Oregon Ducks men's basketball moves up in latest AP Poll

The Oregon Ducks men's basketball team picked up two clutch wins over the weekend to remain at the top in a tight race for the Pac-12 crown.

In the latest AP Poll rankings, Oregon has moved up three spots from No. 17 to No. 14 this week.

It started with a huge comeback victory over then No. 16 Colorado on Thursday night. With Bill Walton, Dave Pasch and guest announcer Mark Jackson calling the game, the Ducks came from behind in a 14-point deficit to defeat the Buffs 68-60 at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. 

[RELATED]: Payton Pritchard gets his 100th career win in an Oregon uniform

On Sunday, the Ducks handled the visiting Utah Utes led by the sharp-shooting of sophomore Will Richardson, who finished a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range, and senior Payton Pritchard, who led all Oregon scores with 25 points and sinking five three-pointers in the first half. The Ducks built a 10+ point lead in the first half shooting 66.7% as a team from behind the arc and used the cushion the rest of the way.

Coming up next for Oregon is a road trip this upcoming weekend in the desert followed by three home games against unranked opponents: Oregon State (5-8 in Pac-12); Cal (4-8 Pac-12); and Stanford (5-7 Pac-12).

Oregon's Ruthy Hebard awarded Pac-12 Player of the Week honors

Oregon's Ruthy Hebard awarded Pac-12 Player of the Week honors

The No. 3 Oregon Ducks (24-2, 13-1) are riding a 12-game win streak heading into the final four games of Pac-12 conference play.

After a dominant weekend in Los Angeles, led by two double-double performances from senior forward Ruthy Hebard, the senior received Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.

Over the weekend, Hebard averaged a double-double: 26.0 points and 13.5 rebounds. She was a mismatch down low in both games against UCLA and USC. The Bruins and Trojans had no answer for the 6-foot-4 senior down low. She put up 30 points and pulled down 17 rebounds against then-No. 7 UCLA, a difficult task against one of the better rebounding teams in the conference. 

Hebard is averaging 17.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game this season.

Up next, the Ducks remain on the road, for what seems like an eternity now, for a weekend in the Bay Area starting with unranked Cal (2-12 in Pac-12) on Friday night followed by a top-5 showdown at No. 4 Stanford (12-2 in Pac-12) on Monday night.

In their first meeting, Hebard was limited to 16 points and 6 boards against Cal and 11 points and five rebounds against Stanford. Yes, the Ducks defeated Cal 105-55 and then a 32-point victory over Stanford 87-55, but this time around the Ducks are the visiting team and Hebard will be looking for more of an impact.

Oregon women's basketball receives a first-place vote in latest AP Poll

Oregon women's basketball receives a first-place vote in latest AP Poll

Keep ascending. 

Oregon women's basketball (24-2, 13-1 Pac-12) may not have moved up in the rankings, remaining at No. 3 in the latest AP Poll, but they received a first-place vote for the first time since Week 1, when they were ranked second in the country.

South Carolina (24-1) remained the top-ranked team in the nation with 27 first-place votes and No. 2 Baylor got two first-place votes.

Other ranked Pac-12 teams include No. 4 Stanford (23-3), No. 8 UCLA (21-3), No. 11 Arizona (21-4), No. 15 Oregon State (19-6) and No. 21 Arizona State (18-8).

Let's recap the weekend for the Ducks.

@ then-No. 7 UCLA, WIN 80-66

Seniors Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard got started early and it was enough to hold off a fourth-quarter rally from the Bruins. Ionescu surpassed 1,000 career assists and finished with 18 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. Hebard added 30 points and 17 rebounds for her 51st career double-double.

For the second-consecutive game, the Ducks held their opponent to single-digits in the first quarter, only allowing eight UCLA points. 

[RELATED: Instant Analysis: Ionescu, Hebard take over in No. 3 Oregon’s huge win over No. 7 UCLA]

@USC, WIN 93-67

In Minyon Moore's homecoming, she shared the love by dishing out 11 assists, however, USC did not welcome her back with open arms. The graduate transfer, who left USC to play at Oregon with the blessing of her head coach, was called a traitor by the Trojan student section. Ducks coach Kelly Graves was not having it.

As far as the game was concerned, the Ducks took care of business: Ionescu had 12 points and 13 rebounds, Hebard recorded 22 points and 10 rebounds, Satou Sabally ended with 18 points and Erin Boley hit seven three-pointers finishing with 25 points. 

[RELATED: Instant Analysis: ‘Boley Buckets’ heats up in L.A. as No. 3 Oregon cruises past USC]

UP NEXT: The Ducks will travel to the Bay area to play Cal on Friday before playing in Palo Alton against No. 4 Stanford on Monday. 

Oregon Senate passes bill which could soon pay student athletes

Oregon Senate passes bill which could soon pay student athletes

Student-athletes in Oregon are one step closer to being compensated for their name, image and likeness.

Per AJ McCord of KOIN, the Oregon State Senate passed a bill Monday that would give student-athletes the right to be paid, secure representation and receive endorsements. It would also enable them to maintain ownership of their name, image and likeness. 

Similar to legislation passed in California, Senate Bill 1501 is designed to let college athletes profit from their participation in amateur sports. 

The NCAA’s amateurism rules currently prohibit college athletes from entering endorsements from brands like Nike or being paid to host summer camps to teach their sport. Under the current model, players are not allowed to participate in NCAA games if they receive payments.

Under this bill, Oregon softball outfielder Haley Cruse or Ducks football signee Dontae Manning could profit from their success as viral sensations on TikTok. 

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. If approved by the house, Governor Kate Brown will be next to sign off on the legislation. 

Dolphins reportedly catching feelings for Oregon star QB Justin Herbert 

Dolphins reportedly catching feelings for Oregon star QB Justin Herbert 

While Tua Tagovailoa has been the most linked player to the Miami Dolphins come NFL Draft day, another quarterback could find himself in a Dolphins jersey next season. 

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have an “increasingly positive view” of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. Salguero cites sources familiar with the club’s thinking. 

There’s a number of reasons why Miami could adjust its thinking as it pertains to Tagovailoa. The obvious: He is recovering from a right hip dislocation and posterior wall fracture sustained in November in Alabama’s game against Mississippi State. The Roll Tide QB also suffered nasal bleeding and a broken nose, who Jeff Allen, Alabama’s associate athletic director for sports medicine, told ESPN was “as severe and profuse as I’ve seen.” 

But Salguero says the Dolphins aren’t merely concerned about Tagovailoa’s return to full health, but also his durability long term.

“Tagovailoa suffered multiple ankle and other injuries during his time as the Crimson Tide’s starter and while he has remarkable accuracy and displays other valuable gifts, including leadership, his relative smallish size (approximately 6-foot and 225-230 pounds) and only modest mobility has raised the question about his ability to remain injury free in the NFL,” Salguero added. 

Tagovailoa is certainly a boom-or-bust prospect and it’s not surprising to hear Miami would be considering Herbert as a solid backup plan should Tagovailoa concerns look awry. 

As Salguero notes, the Dolphins are attracted to Herbert’s prototypical size (6-foot-6, 237 pounds), arm talent, and mobility. In his senior year at Oregon, Herbert led his Ducks to a 12-2 record, a Pac-12 championship and a victory in the Rose Bowl. The 21-year-old Eugene native threw for 3,471 yards, 32 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 2019. 

Herbert’s draft stock has continued to rise since his Senior Bowl performance earned him MVP honors. He was 9 of 13 for 83 yards and a touchdown and had three carries for 22 yards, all in the first quarter, and impressed coaches and scouts with his poise. 

Herbert has many qualities Miami could benefit from in a future quarterback and he’s certainly worth a second glance should the Dolphins have any hesitation about Tagovailoa when they’re on the clock. 

The Dolphins went 5-11 in 2019 with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen under center. Fitzpatrick could return to play in 2020, and Dolphins general manager Chris Grier has said they expect him back in Miami.

Instant Analysis: Richardson, Pritchard heat up from deep; Ducks complete sweep over Utah

Instant Analysis: Richardson, Pritchard heat up from deep; Ducks complete sweep over Utah

It is fitting that on the same night as the 2020 NBA All-Star game, which features nothing but dunks and three-pointers, the No. 17 Oregon Ducks would light it up from downtown.

A combined 10-for-15 from behind the arc in the first half, gave the Ducks a nice 10+ point cushion over the visiting Utah Utes (14-11, 5-8 Pac-12). 

No. 17 Oregon (20-6, 9-4 Pac-12) picks up another win to remain at the top in the Pac-12 conference standings.

FINAL SCORE: Utah 62, Oregon 80

Here are three quick takeaways from the game:

1. DUCKS LIGHT IT UP FROM DEEP

The first half was looking a lot like the 2020 NBA All-Star game, well on one side. The Ducks lit it up from three-point range, hitting 10-of-15 (66.7%) as a team in the first half alone which helped create a 14-point lead going into halftime.

Sophomore Will Richardson got it started early hitting 3-for-3 and senior Payton Pritchard hit 5-for-6 in the first half.

2. THE GUARD-PLAY OF WILL RICHARDSON, PYATON PRITCHARD

The dynamic duo was at it again.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound sophomore guard, Will Richardson, is sneaky quick and can shift his way into the paint, which he did so often against the Utes. He sliced-and-diced his way in and dished the ball off to a cutting defender. 

Richardson finished with 18 points, hitting 4-for-4 from three-point range, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists. It was an all-around performance from Richardson.

Pritchard, who is in National Player of the Year conversations, added 25 points off 5-for-9 from 3-PT range.

3. PATTERSON A SPARK OFF THE BENCH

Athleticism isn’t an issue when it comes to Addison Patterson.

The 6-foot-6 freshman is a four-star recruit who reclassified into the class of 2019 to play for Dana Altman and the Ducks this season. Against Utah, he was impressive on both ends of the court with ridiculous blocks on one end followed by powerful dunks on the other. He finished with 10 points, three assists and two rebounds off the bench.

UP NEXT: The Ducks hit the road for the desert to face Arizona State on Thursday, Feb. 20, tip-off at 6 p.m. (PT) in Tempe, Arizona.

Oregon Ducks fans give new cornerbacks coach Rod Chance a warm welcome back

Oregon Ducks fans give new cornerbacks coach Rod Chance a warm welcome back

The newest member of the Oregon football coaching staff is coming home.

Rod Chance, who served as an Oregon football analyst in 2018 and then the cornerbacks coach at Minnesota last season leading the Golden Gophers to second in the BIG 10 Conference in interceptions (14), is returning home to Autzen Stadium as Mario Cristobal's newest hire to coach the Ducks cornerbacks.

[RELATED]: Former Oregon analyst Rod Chance returns as cornerbacks coach

Chance replaces Donte' Williams, who was hired within the Pac-12 Conference at USC.

[RELATED]: With Donte' Williams hired at USC, Oregon better be ready for a dogfight for Los Angeles

Here is how the Oregon football community responded to the news:

Your first look at the new coaching hires as well as Oregon's 2020 recruiting class will be the Spring game on Saturday, April 18 at 2 p.m. (PT) in Autzen Stadium.

Instant Analysis: ‘Boley Buckets’ heats up in L.A. as No. 3 Oregon cruises past USC

Instant Analysis: ‘Boley Buckets’ heats up in L.A. as No. 3 Oregon cruises past USC

It doesn’t rain often in Los Angeles, but on Sunday it poured thanks to Erin Boley.

Led by Boley’s hot hand from three-point range, the Ducks lit it up with all four starters finishing in double figures: Sabrina Ionescu recorded her 52nd career double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds; Satou Sabally with 18 points; Erin Boley with 25 hitting 7-for-12 from 3-PT range; and Ruthy Hebard with 22 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 9-for-13 from the field. Minyon Moore also dished out 11 of Oregon’s 26 total assists.

It was a complete team effort on Sunday afternoon with the No. 3 Oregon Ducks (24-2, 13-1 Pac-12) taking down the USC Trojans (13-12, 5-9 Pac-12) 93-67 in Los Angeles, California.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

1. SOLID BALL MOVEMENT

A 9-2 Ducks run midway through the second quarter opened up a 34-24 lead. It was good ball movement from Sabrina Ionescu and Minyon Moore finding Ruthy Hebard down low that gave 10-point advantage. Ionescu (8) and Moore (7) combined for all of Oregon’s 15 total assists in the first half.

[RELATED]: One step closer to 2K, 1K, 1K: Sabrina Ionescu checks off assists

2. BOLEY BUCKETS

When Erin Boley gets hot, get her the ball and get out of the way. The 6-foot-2 forward's three-point shooting (38.9%) has fallen off slightly this season from 43% last season, but when she is feeling it, she can go off. Sunday against USC was one of those days.

In the third quarter alone, Boley recorded with 12 points off 4-for-6 from downtown.

The Ducks started this game off shooting just 1-for-11 from three-point range. Since then, as a team, 12-of-19 to finish.

3. DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE

At some points, the defense looked great: sending double teams down low on USC freshman Alissa Pili (who finished with just 14 points after a 26-point performance against Oregon State on Friday). 

After halftime, Graves joined the Pac-12 Network crew on court for an interview and was asked about the defensive effort in the first half. He responded:

“We looked like the December Ducks, not the February Ducks.”

How did Oregon respond? Well, pretty similar defensive effort in second half. What pulled Oregon away in the end was finding rhythm from 3-PT range in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Ducks have another weekend road trip in the Bay Area starting with at the California Golden Bears (10-15, 2-12 Pac-12) on Friday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. (PT) in Berkeley.