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Jake Fromm called out by Oregon Ducks on discriminating text messages

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USATI

Jake Fromm called out by Oregon Ducks on discriminating text messages

One day after several Oregon football players called out New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for his opinion on taking a knee during the national anthem, another quarterback has been called out on his remarks.

Incriminating text messages have surfaced on social media from former Georgia Bulldog and current Buffalo Bills quarterback Jake Fromm.

Fromm issued an apology shortly after:

I am extremely sorry that I chose to use the words "elite white people" in a text message conversation. Although I never meant to imply that I am "an elite white person," as stated later in the conversation, there's no excuse for that word choice and sentiment. While it was poor, my heart was not. Now, more than ever, is the time for support and togetherness and I stand against racism 100%. I promise to commit myself to being a part of the solution in this country. I addressed my teammates and coaches in a team meeting today and I hope they see this incident is not representative of the person I am. Again, I'm truly sorry for my words and actions and humbly ask for forgiveness. -- Jake Fromm

And here is what the Bills had to say on the matter:

Former Oregon Duck Tyrell Crosby (2014-2017) and current safety junior Jevon Holland spoke on on their personal social media:

Report: WNBA considering 22-game regular season in Florida

Report: WNBA considering 22-game regular season in Florida

Looks like Sabrina Ionescu will make her WNBA debut in the Sunshine State. 

The WNBA is proposing to have a 22-game regular season starting July 24, with games being held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, according to ESPN

A structure for the postseason is unclear but it would end in October. Players have not agreed to the plan yet with some still being informed of the details. 

The league did not confirm the report when reached out to for comment. 

Last week, Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports reported that Walt Disney World would "be happy" to host the WNBA in addition to the remainder of the NBA season if the league wants, but it appears that the WNBA will be going a different direction.

On April 3, the WNBA season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no longer targeting to begin training camp on May 15. With this proposed schedule, the WNBA would begin a week before the NBA returns to the courts 106 miles away from IMG Academy at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

IMG Academy has four basketball courts which are enough to host the 12-team league this summer. 

Currently, the WNBA playoffs include single-elimination games for the first and second rounds, and then best-of-five-games series in the semifinals and finals. 

All of Eugene has been waiting to see the professional debuts of Sabrina Ionescu (No. 1 to the New York Liberty), Satou Sabally (No. 2 to the Dallas Wings) and Ruthy Hebard (No. 8 to the Chicago Sky). The city may not be waiting too much longer. 

Be sure the listen to the latest Talkin' Ducks podcast with host Jordan Kent.

Drew Brees called out by Oregon Ducks for opinion on taking a knee

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USA Today Images

Drew Brees called out by Oregon Ducks for opinion on taking a knee

Drew Brees became a trending topic on Twitter Wednesday afternoon after saying he would disapprove of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem this upcoming season: “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”

The New Orleans Saints quarterback explained when he hears the anthem he thinks of his grandfathers that fought in the military and taking a knee during the song would disrespect the flag. 

Many online found the comments insensitive or ill-informed given the nationwide outcry against systemic racial injustice in this country in response to police brutality, and more specifically the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police Custody last month.

Some protests have transitioned into rioting or looting, which has some calling for only peaceful protesting.

Then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem to peacefully protest police brutality in 2016. Following that season and becoming an unrestricted free-agent, he has not been signed by any NFL franchise. He reached a settlement with the NFL to set aside his lawsuit for collusion to keep him out of the league in February 2019.

Current-San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted that Brees is "beyond lost."

Among those criticizing Brees were multiple players on the Oregon Ducks football team, which itself has been outspoken in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement with Coach Cristobal even attending a rally in Eugene, Oregon.

[RELATED]: Oregon football, CFB coaches call for change amid death of George Floyd

Saints fan Thomas Graham. Jr said he "lost mad respect" for Brees while Johnny Johnson III called him a clown. 

Additionally, senior defensive tackle Jordon Scott retweeted the following tweets condemning Brees' comments, including one from Tennesse Titans wide receiver AJ Brown.

Former Ducks safety also spoke out against Brees.

Former Oregon basketball player Chris Boucher was also disappointed in Brees' comments.

He wasn't the only NBA player to do so. Lakers star LeBron James also chimed in. 

Even Brees' own teammates tweeted their disapproval of his comments including Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Alvin Kamara.

Kelly Graves' advice to young coaches, "love your players."

Kelly Graves' advice to young coaches, "love your players."

"If you're a young, budding coach out there somewhere that's listening; love your players. Love 'em. Be there for 'em and in the end, they're gonna be there for you." 

This is the advice Oregon Women's Basketball coach Kelly Graves has for young coaches out there. 

Graves has built a powerhouse at Oregon. The Ducks went 31-2 this season, finishing as the No.2 team in the country and were a favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. 

Unfortunately for the Ducks, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the tournament, thus ending the season early.

Graves has no doubt that his squad would have won it all had the season played out. 

If you were around our team, you would see a team that is very lighthearted. We have fun. We kid each other. We're very sarcastic. And I think that's the beauty of what we do.  I'm convinced we woulda won this thing. The pressure wasn't gonna get to this group. - Kelly Graves

That loose and free spirit that led to so much success over the years all started with strong relationships between a coach and his players, something Graves says integral for team success. 

"If you build strong relationships with your players, even though I can be hard on them from time to time, they understand and they know that I love them," said Graves.  "I care for them more than just how many points or rebounds they can get in a game. I think once you get to that point as a coach, and that player relationship, the players are gonna do anything for you." 

While this approach has led to success on the court, the wins and losses don't matter. What matters is the ability to build strong bonds. To show a player that you are in their corner, not just during the game, but for the rest of life. 10, 15, 20 years down the road, your players know you will be there for them, and vice versa.

If I had to talk to my 25-year-old or 30-year-old self, what would I say? I think the first thing is, don't focus on the wins and losses. They're irrelevant in terms of the richness of your own life.- Kelly Graves

Be sure the listen to the latest Talkin' Ducks podcast with host Jordan Kent

Sabrina Ionescu taking a stand for George Floyd & Black Lives Matter

Sabrina Ionescu taking a stand for George Floyd & Black Lives Matter

The recent death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has sparked outrage, confusion, and protests all across the nation, which has prompted many people from across different spectrums to speak out.

Athletes are among those strongly voicing their opinions on this matter and how things need to change drastically.

From LeBron James to Michael Jordan, the Trail Blazers organization, OSU's Wayne Tinkle and Jonathan Smith and Oregon's Mario Cristobal, many are coming out in support against racism and social injustice

Former Oregon Duck Sabrina Ionescu is the latest to vocalize her support against injustice.

This past week has been a tough one for all Americans.

It is important, now than ever before, that people come together to recognize there is a problem that needs to be addressed, specifically between law enforcement and African Americans. 

The issue has been ongoing and people are fed up with it.

Will George Floyd’s death spark change? Most would hope so, but as of now, it is too early to tell.

What matters is that athletes, including Ionescu, are using their platform and speaking out.

Justice needs to be served for George Floyd and his wrongful death.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Justin Herbert’s odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year

Justin Herbert’s odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year

With the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the LA Chargers selected Oregon Ducks quarterback, Justin Herbert.  

Days following the draft, Chargers fans had mixed feelings about their team drafting Herbert, but as of late, it seems that most fans have bought into Herbert being the future.

Despite the former Oregon Ducks QB likely not seeing much playing time, if any at all, during the 2020 season with nine-year veteran Tyrod Taylor appearing to be the starting quarterback, Herbert is still a sleeper to earn the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is the favorite to win the honor.

Burrow’s odds are listed at +240 at MGM. If the former LSU quarterback wins the award, it will be the second straight year that the first overall pick is the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Last season, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray earned the honor.

The next-best odds belong to the last pick of the first round, Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who is listed at +600. Followed by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at +900, while Herbert is at +2000. Packers quarterback Jordan Love and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts are both at +8000.

[RELATED]: Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers were meant to be

Draft Kings released the odds for the winner of the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award just days after the 2020 NFL Draft. They also listed Herbert as a dark horse pick at +1600.

With Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn high on Taylor at the moment that will allow Herbert a year to grow into a starting quarterback while also providing the primary competition in training camp.

[RELATED]: Betting odds of Justin Herbert being LA Chargers' starter Week One

At the NFL Combine, the 6'6", 237 pound Herbert showed off his athleticism with a 40 yard dash time of 4.68 seconds (3rd among QBs), a vertical jump of 35.5 inches (tied for 2nd among QBs), broad jump of 123 inches (3rd among QBs), 3 cone drill of 7.06 seconds (1st among QBs), and a 20-yard shuttle of 4.46 seconds (4th among QBs).

But, as one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Chargers may have to take a chance on the young QB this season just as the betting world might as well.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Arik Armstead among Forbes' highest paid athletes, but there's a catch

Arik Armstead among Forbes' highest paid athletes, but there's a catch

This year’s Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in the world features a range of athletes across different sports.

While more NBA players made the list than any other sport (34 players), NFL players had their best year as a group thanks to the season’s late-summer start.

There are currently 31 NFL players on the list. Carson Wentz ranks the highest out of all of them with coming in at No.10.

Former Oregon defensive tackle Arik Armstead also made the Top 100. He came in at No. 59 with earnings of $26.8 million. After signing a blockbuster five-year, $85 million contract extension back in March, which included $45.85M in guarantees, it would make sense that him to be on this list.

Here is the thing, though. You most likely won’t be seeing Armstead in next year’s Forbes list.

Confusing? Yes, but let’s break down Armstead’s complicated contract.

As mentioned before, Armstead signed a 5 year, $85,000,000 contract with the San Francisco 49ers, including a $3,500,000 signing bonus, $40,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $17,000,000.

A lot of money upfront as you can see. But with it is a lot more complicated than that.

OvertheCap explains it a little bit more.

Armstead received $45.85 million in guarantees, $34.15 million of which is guaranteed at signing. His initial guarantee is made up of his 2020 and 2021 base salaries, a $17.5 million signing bonus, and a protected $7.5 million 2021 option bonus. If Armstead is on the roster on April 1, 2022, another $5.85 million becomes fully guaranteed. There are $750,000 in per-game bonuses in the final four contract years. The 2025 season is a void contract year used for the purposes of lowering cap charges during the contract. The contract voids if no extension is reached by the fifth day of the 2025 waiver period.”

Here is a breakdown of the cap hit by year:

2020: $6M

2021: $12.5M

2022: $20M

2023: $21.74M

2024: $23.26M

2025: $18.5M (Voids on 5th day of waiver claim which is after the Super Bowl)

So, yes, Armstead will still receive $34.15 million in full guarantees and $45.85 in total guarantees.

The contract is a little different from the norm of how contracts work, but they're becoming more common.

Long story short, it’s a three-year deal. The 49ers can get out after Year 2 if the option bonus is exercised, and that would mean $6.65 of his base salary is guaranteed instead of $14.15 million.

The 49ers basically got Armstead under $19 million against the cap for the next two years combined.

Armstead did make enough money for the Forbes list this year, but don’t be on the lookout for Armstead to be on next year.

The 49ers made him a wealthy man, but the organization is playing the money game well but spreading it out over the next five years.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Oregon Football lands commitment from 3-star corner Darren Barkins

Oregon Football lands commitment from 3-star corner Darren Barkins

Another day passes and the Oregon Ducks continue to build upon the Califlock pipeline.

On Saturday, 2021 three-star defensive back Darren Barkins from mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, California has committed to the University of Oregon.

My whole life I’ve been waiting for this moment. With that being said I would like to announce that I will continuing my athletic and academic career at THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON! — Darren Barkins

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound corner held offers from other Pac-12 schools Arizona, Cal, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State as well as Oklahoma, UNLV and Boise State among others before deciding on Mario Cristobal and flocking north to Eugene, Oregon.

Barkins is the second DB to commit to Oregon in the past 24 hours. The Ducks landed JUCO transfer Jadarrius Perkins from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on Friday. 

Here's what the Oregon corners room could look like in 2021: Mykael Wright, Trikweze Bridges, DJ James, Verone McKinley III, JJ Greenfield, Dontae Manning, Bennett Williams and Barkins.

First-year Oregon cornerbacks coach Rod Chance seems to be doing okay on the recruiting trail so far for the Ducks.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Construction begins on nation's largest video board at Autzen Stadium

Construction begins on nation's largest video board at Autzen Stadium

Back in March, the University of Oregon announced plans to install a new video board and sound system with a targeted completion date of August 2020, ahead of the upcoming college football season. 

Now it appears to have begun construction.

"The project is anticipated to cost $12 million and involves the removal of the existing stadium sound system (installed in 2002), removal of the small video board located in the northeast end of the stadium, and the installation of a new structure at the east end of the stadium which will include a point-source sound system and a new video board."

The plan involves removing the 18-year-old sound system located above the end-zone terrace as well as the small video board in the northeast of the stadium completely. The existing large video board on the west end, last upgraded in 2008, will remain in use. 

Oregon Athletics wanted to start construction as soon as possible to ensure completion by August 2020 but then the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States.

Next, Oregon Athletics will install a new support structure and video boards above the east end-zone terrace that'll also hold a new point-source sound system that'll serve the entire stadium. 

The video board open to the fans in attendance will be 186' x 66' while another video board facing the outside of the stadium (47' x 26') will communicate messages and entertain patrons. 

Here are some renderings of the designs from the University of Oregon.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Oregon Ducks land commitment from JUCO CB Jadarrius Perkins

Oregon Ducks land commitment from JUCO CB Jadarrius Perkins

What a Friday for the Ducks!

Hours after landing a commitment from three-star DE/OLB Brandon Buckner, the Ducks have gotten another addition to the 2021 recruiting class.

JUCO cornerback Jadarrius Perkins from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC has committed to the University of Oregon, he announced on Twitter Friday afternoon.

"FIRST and foremost I would like to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play this sport I love so much!" wrote the 6'2", 185-pound corner. "I also want to thank Coach Chance, Cristobal, and the rest of the Oregon family for believing in my talents that the good lord has blessed me with...WITH THAT SAID THIS SIP BOY COMING HOME TO Eugene I'M A DUCK BABY!!! #ScoDucks #TakeFlight21." 

Perkins held offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Louisville, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Washington State, UCF, West Virginia, and more. While unrated on current recruiting websites, it's clear that he will be a highly rated player once the lists are updated. 

He had originally scheduled his commitment for Wednesday but delayed it to an undisclosed time, which happened to be just two days later.

Only a few months after accepting the defensive backs coaching job at Oregon, Rod Chance secured a highly touted recruit in the secondary. 

The defensive back will have three years to play two when he arrives in Eugene.

He took a virtual visit of the campus on May 11 which blew him away, as he told the Oregonian's Andrew Nemec.

“I visited [virtually],” he said. “The campus is so nice and everything is top notch. They have one of the best facilities I’ve ever seen.”

Perkins also said he wants to be a unique player in the Pac-12. One that aligns with Mario Cristobal's desire to bring SEC-like physicality to the West Coast.

They want me to press and be physical with receivers,” he said. “I’m a big, fast press corner. They ain’t seen anyone like me in the Pac-12 yet. I promise you that, sir.”

You can watch his hudl highlights below.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.