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Offline Danee

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U of Oregon to Frisbee team: No pants, no season
« on: May 02, 2009, 11:03:03 am »
by Steve Duin, The Oregonian
Thursday April 30, 2009, 1:00 AM
Befitting a campus on which "Animal House" was filmed, no one at the University of Oregon seems to mind when another football recruit is slapped with felony charges.

Few in Eugene complain when the Ducks break ground on the nation's most-expensive college arena for the Pac-10 Conference's worst basketball team.

But when the university's nationally ranked Ultimate Frisbee team is caught hosting a kegger or playing a point au naturel, this laid-back, live-and-let-live, dress-as-you-please college suddenly mutates into Bob Jones University at Eugene.

On Monday night, Oregon's club sports executive committee put the hammer down on the Ultimate team, shutting down its season and its national championship aspirations for conduct that strikes me as perfectly in keeping with the college experience.

The team was put on probation in November for such egregious behavior as picking up four speeding tickets en route to a tournament at Stanford and throwing a season-ending beer blast for 200 Ultimate players from around the Northwest.

In the latter incident, according to the Register-Guard, police cited 15 people for underage drinking and issued 21 noise disturbances, which sounds like a fairly quiet night on Greek Row.

So what daunting parole violation persuaded the five students on the club sports executive committe to go all Dean Wormer on us?

The men's open team played a "shirts only" point at an intrasquad game in Corvallis. One group of guys took off their shirts. Those on the other side removed their pants.

You're thinking the orgy scene in "Caligula"? Not quite.

"We still had our shirts on," said Kevin Minderhout, a senior from Portland. "And we grabbed the longest shirts we had. I was talking to someone's mom who was there, and she didn't realize it had happened."

Minderhout, by the way, is a Presidential Scholar at Oregon. He tells me the Ultimate Frisbee team is always looking for different ways to divide up for intrasquad games. Facial hair. Humanities majors vs. science geeks.

"We tried to divide up once by those who were over and under a 3.0 GPA in high school," Minderhout said, "but we didn't have anyone on the other side of the 3.0 line. So, we went with 3.5. These are intelligent, passionate people, some of the smartest I know."

Smart enough to keep their pants on when they're on probation and out in public? You'd think so. Minderhout and Jackson Kelsay, a junior from Eugene, thought so, too.

But instead of ripping the commitee's overreaction, they seemed most disappointed by the dishonor they may have brought on a sport that rarely if ever has the spotlight.

"We were college kids having fun, not thinking at the time," Kelsay said. "We feel really bad we portrayed our sport in a way we shouldn't have."

Ultimate Frisbee, after all, is a sport that's self-refereeing. Respect and reputation matter. Minderhout applied to (and was accepted by) the top three Ultimate colleges in the country -- Stanford, Oregon and Carleton -- and came to Eugene because he wanted to add to the legacy, not introduce a bit of ignominy.

I would have been considerably more inventive in designing punishment than the executive board, which decided to make a lesson of these guys and hit 'em where it hurts. I wonder if they realize that option was available only because boosters, gate receipts and bowl games weren't in the mix.

-- Steve Duin; steveduin@news.oregonian.com



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Offline vanesa1017

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Re: U of Oregon to Frisbee team: No pants, no season
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 01:06:26 pm »
So weird.  A lot of these sports stories are just not fair.  The sports that make the most revenue also usually have the students with the lowest graduation rate.  Yet smart kids wear long shirts and there is hell to pay.  Lame.