Oregon Ducks

Oregon football strength and conditioning coach suspended following hospitalizations of three players

Oregon football strength and conditioning coach suspended following hospitalizations of three players

The following is a press release sent out by the University of Oregon today...

EUGENE – University of Oregon head football coach Willie Taggart today issued an apology on behalf of the coaching staff and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics following incidents reported over the weekend related to off-season conditioning training that began last week.

“I have visited with the three young men involved in the incidents in the past few days and I have been in constant contact with their families, offering my sincere apologies,” Taggart said. “As the head football coach, I hold myself responsible for all of our football-related activities and the safety of our students must come first. I have addressed the issue with our strength and conditioning staff, and I fully support the actions taken today by the university. I want to thank our medical staff and doctors for caring for all of our young men, and I want to apologize to the university, our students, alumni and fans.”  

“The university holds the health, safety and well-being of all of our students in high regard,” said Rob Mullens, UO director of athletics. “We are confident that these athletes will soon return to full health, and we will continue to support them and their families in their recoveries.”

After a review of events surrounding the training last week, the following has been determined:

Last Tuesday, football student-athletes began their off-season conditioning program after being away from football-related activities for six weeks. The workouts were supervised by the training staff and led by football strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde.

On Thursday, after three days of workouts, one student-athlete complained of muscle soreness and displayed other symptoms of potential exercise-related injury. The medical staff examined the student-athlete, and took appropriate action pursuant to team’s medical protocols.

The medical staff informed coaches and staff of the diagnosis. Two additional student-athletes were then identified with similar symptoms and staff responded to them, as well.

No other student-athletes have demonstrated negative effects at this time or have been admitted to the hospital.

As a result, Oderinde has been suspended without pay for one month, with Jim Radcliffe assuming the position on an interim basis. In addition, the head football strength and conditioning coach will no longer report to the head football coach but rather to Andrew Murray, the director of performance and sports science. All workouts moving forward have been modified.

 

Justin Herbert wants to prove he’s a competitor at NFL Scouting Combine

Justin Herbert wants to prove he’s a competitor at NFL Scouting Combine

Former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert knows he has a lot to prove before the NFL Draft on April 23.

He needs to showcase his versatility at quarterback. He needs to demonstrate how quickly he can take information from his meetings to the field. And he needs to prove to teams that despite the fact he’s never been the prototypical natural-born leader, that won’t matter.

But of all the areas Herbert wants to show teams at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, it’s his competitive nature he hopes to put on full display.

“I want to come out here, I want to do everything,” Herbert told reporters on Tuesday. “Have fun, get better, learn, I think it’s all about the long haul. Anything that I can do to extend my game is what I’m going to do.”

On his list of “everything,” Herbert confirmed he will throw during NFL Scouting Combine Drills. This will give him an opportunity to showcase his robust arm strength and improve his draft stock in the pre-draft process.

Herbert won’t fit into the clichéd mold some teams are looking for at the combine, but he will likely be scooped up by a team looking for the next face of the franchise. His arsenal of skills and his high football IQ, however, won’t guarantee that he’ll start on an NFL team from Day 1. Herbert may not even be ready to play immediately.

"I've never played a down in the NFL,” Herbert said. “I couldn't tell you what the speed of the game is like. I've watched as much as I could and I feel confident with my abilities but I've never played in the NFL before, so to give you an answer whether I could play right now, I don't think that would be in my best interest."

Herbert played four years at Oregon, throwing for 3,471 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions on 66.8 percent completion across 14 games for the 12-2 Ducks. His last game at Oregon was a 28-27 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. He was recently named MVP at the Senior Bowl in January.

Herbert is currently projected to be the third quarterback taken off the board come April behind LSU’s Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, but when it comes down to it, Herbert says he'll just be satisfied to hear his name called. 

“Anywhere I go, I’ll be happy,” Herbert said. “I know that sounds cheesy and politically correct, but it’s true.”

Alabama reportedly targeting Oregon Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Aaron Feld

feld.jpg
NBCSNW

Alabama reportedly targeting Oregon Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Aaron Feld

You can hear Aaron Feld coming from a mile away. He is the loudest person in the room, or in this case, on the football field.

He's vibrant, rambunctious You can find him screaming “Let’s go!” and giving out high fives as the Oregon Ducks football team takes the field and during early morning practices and lift sessions. 

His energy is infectious, contagious. His mustache and bulging biceps are unmistakable. He is Oregon’s Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator and he is very good at his job. 

So good, in fact, that he is in high-demand for other programs across the country.

There is rumored interest in Feld from the Alabama Crimson Tide, according to Jon Wilner of the Pac-12 hotline newsletter, who just lost their Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Scott Cochran to the Georgia Bulldogs.

Here is how Feld is already connected to Alabama:

COACHING EXPERIENCE

2012-2013, UAB: Assistant Strength Coach (football) & Head Strength Coach (women’s basketball)

2013-2014, Alabama: Volunteer Strength Coach (football)

2014-2015, North Alabama: Head Strength Coach (all sports)

2015-2017, Georgia: Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning (football)

2017-present, Oregon: Head Football Strength and Conditioning Coordinator

Feld graduated from Mississippi State University. He has certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.

While this is just a rumor, it would be a huge blow to the Oregon football program. His Fourth Quarter program in the offseason has paid off for the Ducks in terms of staying in shape and increasing both size and speed when the season rolls around. Also, his energy is contagious. Flex Friday's, yelling and jumping around, leading before practice stretching, he does it all for the Ducks to limit injury and keep the Ducks in football shape.

Feld is the 27th highest paid strength and conditioning coach in the nation, third in the Pac-12 conference. He made $310,000 in 2019 and had a max bonus of $93,000.

It would be a big loss indeed.

 

Sabrina Ionescu’s record setting night was perfectly poetic in honor of Kobe and Gigi Bryant

Sabrina Ionescu’s record setting night was perfectly poetic in honor of Kobe and Gigi Bryant

Sabrina Ionescu's day started with speaking at her friend's memorial service.

She gave a touching speech at Staples Center in front of thousands and shared the wonderful memories she had with Kobe and Gigi Bryant.

She then hopped on a short flight north where the No. 3 Oregon Ducks were waiting for her. So was No. 4 Stanford. It was a top-5 showdown on a Monday night in Palo Alto with the Ducks looking to clinch a share of the Pac-12 title, while Stanford was looking for revenge.

Ionescu didn't just record her 26th career triple double, but she also made history becoming the first NCAA player to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds. She needed nine rebounds coming into the game to complete the triple threat. She did and it is awesome.

On 2-24-20, the combined numbers of Gigi (2), Kobe (24), and Sabrina (20), Ionescu made history! 

It is perfectly poetic.

Here is how social media reacted to this unbelieveable milestone:

Instant Analysis: No. 3 Oregon clinches share of Pac-12 title with win over No. 4 Stanford

screen_shot_2020-02-24_at_8.13.53_pm.png
OregonWBB Twitter

Instant Analysis: No. 3 Oregon clinches share of Pac-12 title with win over No. 4 Stanford

The Stanford Cardinal were ready to avenge their 32-point loss from back in Eugene on Jan. 16. They changed up their defensive scheme, leaving Oregon’s Minyon Moore open on the offensive end, double teaming Ruthy Hebard down low and clogging up driving lanes.

That didn’t last long.

The Ducks put the ball in Sabrina Ionescu’s hands as she fed it to the hot hand, Satou Sabally.

On a night where Ionescu made history in more ways than one, the No. 3 Oregon Ducks (26-2, 15-1 Pac-12) officially clinched a share of the Pac-12 conference title with the win over No. 4 Stanford (24-4, 13-3 Pac-12) in Palo Alto, California.

FINAL SCORE: Oregon 74, Stanford 66

Here are three quick takeaways from the game:

1. EARLY DEFENSE / POOR SHOOTING

The Ducks quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead after going on an 11-0 run to close out the first quarter. It was a nine minute scoring drought for Stanford. Junior Satou Sabally got the hot hand early hitting from both three-point range as well as AND-1 opportunities.

Stanford’s poor shooting start didn’t help the Cardinal either, hitting just 3-for-17 in the first quarter alone.

2. SATOU SABALLY

The 6-foot-4 forward has been a matchup nightmare all season long. She can stretch the floor wide with her sharp shooting which leaves room for her to drive the ball. 

Sabally brought her offensive skill and kept the Ducks afloat giving them a boost and a quick 10-point lead. She finished with 27 points hitting 10-for-17 from the field and nine rebounds.

3. THE BEST EVER, SABRINA IONESCU

Coming into Monday’s game, Sabrina Ionescu needed nine rebounds to reach a stat that no other has ever done before. She got all nine within three quarters. 

On her ninth rebound, Ionescu became the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds.

If those numbers aren’t crazy enough, how about recording her 26th career triple-double, too? Ionescu records back-to-back triple-doubles and finished with 21 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds in the win.

It is her first against a top-10 opponent and eighth this season.

UP NEXT: The Ducks finally return home to host the Washington schools, starting with Washington State (11-17, 4-12 Pac-12) on Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. (PT) in Eugene, Oregon.

Sabrina Ionescu becomes the first NCAA player EVER to reach 2K points, 1K assists, 1K rebounds

sabrina2k_16x9.png
NBCSNW

Sabrina Ionescu becomes the first NCAA player EVER to reach 2K points, 1K assists, 1K rebounds

Sabrina Ionescu is the best player in collegiate basketball. Hands down. Cut and dry. Plain and simple. Wrap it up.

The proof is in the numbers. Something no one has EVER done before in the history of the NCAA, men’s or women’s: Ionescu becomes the first player ever to reach 2,000+ career points, 1,000+ career assists and 1,000+ career rebounds.

Here is how she got to all three:

- On November 13, 2019, Sabrina Ionescu reached 2,000 career points.

- On February 14, 2020, Sabrina Ionescu reached 1,000 career assists.

- On February 24, 2020, Sabrina Ionescu reached 1,000 career rebounds.

These numbers don’t even make sense! They seem unreachable. That is unless your name is Sabrina Ionescu.

The 5-foot-11 senior guard from Walnut Creek, California has changed the game and elevated the Oregon program to national relevance. Players commit to Oregon to play with her. Players commit to Oregon to carry on her legacy.

Here are her stats from year to year:

FRESHMAN YEAR (2016-17): Averaged 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

SOPHOMORE YEAR (2017-18): Averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

JUNIOR YEAR (2018-19): Averaged 19.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game.

SENIOR YEAR (2019-PRESENT): Averaged 17.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game.

The NCAA leader in triple-doubles? Sabrina Ionescu, who recorded her 25th career triple-double at Cal on Friday. She even has a menu item named after her at the Wild Duck Cafe across from Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene: “Sabrina’s triple-doubles” which is three mini slider burgers, double stacked meat with cheddar cheese, pickles and slider sauce.

On April 6, 2019, Ionescu wrote a letter to Duck Nation stating she would return to Oregon for her senior season for some “Unfinished Business.”

She was most likely talking about a National Championship considering the Ducks had just come off the program’s first ever Final Four appearance and a loss to the Baylor Bears. But the possibility of consistently writing her name not just into Oregon record books but national record books is something else.

“She’s putting up ridiculous numbers.”

“I don’t know if there’s anything she can’t do.”

“It’s in her eyes and the competitive nature that she had, you can’t teach that.” -- Stephen Curry

These are just some of the things said about Ionescu.

And she’s not done yet. There is still some unfinished business left for Ionescu and the No. 3 Oregon Ducks.

Former Oregon WR Juwan Johnson gets married to Chanen Raygoza in Las Vegas

screen_shot_2020-02-24_at_1.40.19_pm.png

Former Oregon WR Juwan Johnson gets married to Chanen Raygoza in Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay in Vegas. 

Congratulations are in order to former Oregon receiver Juwan Johnson, who tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Chanen Raygoza!

The Johnsons nuptials were captured on video and shared on Youtube late last week, and it seemed like quite the Vegas adventure.

Their trip included everything a trip to The Strip should: a decked out suite, a hotel pool with a slide that goes through a fish tank, a wedding with a Las Vegas twist and of course a trip to “Canes,” which we can only hope to be Raising Cane’s.

Johnson penned this post to his wife after the two tied the knot on February 15. 

View this post on Instagram

❗️Follow our Joint Channel where we both said “I DO!”❗️People who like heartfelt message, this is for you...People who don’t just like and move on Chanen, We were always different. Different point of views. Different upbringings. Different States. Different time zones. Different interest in music. We even look different lol. But what we have in common that trumps all is that we love God. We are like the pieces to the jigsaw. Never the same but it happen to fit together. I knew 2 1/2 years ago that eventually you’ll be my wife. The road wasn’t easy but I’d rather take the journey with you because it’s worth it. You helped me grow, discover and build who i am as a man. You truly seen me grow from a boy to a man. (Literally tho i met you at 20 years old). I want to take every bump, every challenge and every milestone with you. Thank you God that i can call you Mrs. Johnson. Love you @chanenjohnson Feb. 15, 2020.

A post shared by Juwan Johnson (@juju__84) on

The two reportedly met in 2016 when Raygoza was a gymnast at Penn State. He popped the question to her earlier this month

Just days after Johnson made the biggest catch of his life, he departed for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Johnson is one of seven Ducks preparing for the NFL Draft in April. 

He underwent measurements, a hospital pre-exam, and interviews with interested teams on Monday. The 23-year-old topped all NFL Combine wide receivers with largest hands, longest arms and longest wing span. 

Oregon women's basketball stays put in the AP Poll ahead of big game against No. 4 Stanford

Oregon women's basketball stays put in the AP Poll ahead of big game against No. 4 Stanford

Another week, another top-three ranking for the No. 3 Oregon Ducks (25-2, 14-1 Pac-12).

The Ducks kept their lone first-place vote from last week after demolishing California 93-61, but can earn some more respect with a win on the road against No. 4 Stanford (24-3, 13-2 Pac-12).

Other ranked Pac-12 teams include No. 9 UCLA, No. 13 Arizona, No. 17 Oregon State and No. 24 Arizona State. 

The top-10 for women's basketball is as follows:

  1. South Carolina (27-1)
  2. Baylor (25-1)
  3. Oregon (25-2)
  4. Stanford (24-3)
  5. Louisville (25-3)
  6. UCONN (23-3)
  7. Maryland (23-4)
  8. NC State (23-4)
  9. UCLA (23-4)
  10. Mississippi State (23-5)
     

Let's recap the weekend for the Oregon Ducks.

@ California, WIN 93-61

Sabrina Ionescu's last hometown road trip of her career got off to a great start when Oregon demolished the California Golden Bears, 93-61. Ionescu recorded triple-double No. 25, while Erin Boley shot lights out from behind the arc hitting 8-of-9 attempts on the night. 

With her eighth point on the night, Ruthy Hebard moved into second on Oregon's all-time scoring list. Hebard finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds vs. Cal.

UP NEXT: The Ducks will play No. 4 Stanford Monday night at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN2. Ionescu is nine rebounds shy of becoming the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000+ points, 1,000+ rebounds and 1,000+ assists in her collegiate career.

Here's how Sabrina Ionescu's teammates watched her speech at Kobe and Gianna's Memorial

Here's how Sabrina Ionescu's teammates watched her speech at Kobe and Gianna's Memorial

The No. 3 Oregon Ducks (25-2, 14-1 Pac-12) are preparing for one of their most important games of the season so far, on the road against No. 4 Stanford (24-3, 13-2 Pac-12) tonight at 6:00 p.m.

But some things are bigger than basketball.

Senior guard Sabrina Ionescu spoke at the Kobe and Gianna Bryant Memorial Service and gave an emotional speech about the impact they both had on her in the previous year.

355 miles north in Palo Alto, her Oregon teammates had her back all the way and watched the speech after shootaround wrapped.

Sabrina also got support from her former teammates, including Atlanta Dream guard Maite Cazorla.

Ionescu will play tonight at Stanford, just hours after the memorial service, to all-but-clinch the conference championship with a victory. 

The Bryants had gotten closer to Sabrina since they attended the Ducks game against USC last season and visited the team in the locker room following the game. Ionescu worked out with Kobe and Gianna twice this past summer, and both Sabrina and Kobe saw the same thing in Gianna: the future of women's basketball.

If I represented the present of the women's game, Gigi was the future and Kobe knew it. So we decided to build a future together.

[RELATED: What you need to know: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 Stanford (round two)]