Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 6th, 2012 at 1:23 pm
University of Oregon players are on a roll when it comes to football victories; but they're also racking up quite a few traffic violations. And we're not talking about minor stuff like parking tickets and rolling a stop sign.
Fed up with the dangerous driving, the executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) had a letter published in The Oregonian today calling on UO to "take action now."
Here's why Sadowsky is so concerned...
"The University of Oregon has a serious problem on its hands, and if it doesn't get a handle of this crisis now, someone is going to die."
Back in April of last year, running-back Kenjon Barner was pulled over and cited by the Oregon State Police for going 85 in a 65 mph zone.
Two months later, All-American cornerback Cliff Harris was pulled over after police clocked him going 118 mph in a rental car. His driver's license was suspended at the time.
Then in October, Harris was pulled over again and cited by the Eugene PD for three violations: driving with a suspended license; driving while uninsured; and failure to wear a seatbelt. Harris paid more than $8,000 in outstanding traffic fines, missed one football game, and was back on the field one week later.
Then on Saturday morning, another UO football player, wide-receiver Josh Huff, was cited for DUII, speeding, and driving without a license.
The BTA's Sadowsky has put road safety at the top of the organization's priorities. In his letter published by The Oregonian today, he says UO has "a serious problem on its hands." Below is the full text of his letter (emphasis mine):
Discipline these Ducks
I am writing in response to the article "Josh Huff cited for DUII, speeding" (March 4), about the Oregon Ducks wide receiver. The University of Oregon has a serious problem on its hands, and if it doesn't get a handle of this crisis now, someone is going to die. Players on the football team have been stopped for traffic violations that are serious in nature. This has included speeding, driving without a license or insurance, and driving under the influence.
The news is brought to us as bitter and disappointing for the football team, but this fails to address the seriousness of the violations. The lives of innocent residents are at stake. If someone gets injured by a motorist who is uninsured, he or she is likely to face astronomical medical expenses with no reimbursement.
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance calls on the University of Oregon to take action now. Punishment must be strong and clear that the university will not tolerate putting people at risk. These are crimes that need to be dealt with clearly. The next time could be someone's life.
We'll keep you posted if UO responds.