Oregon St. football coach spoke publicly for the first time since a series of off-field incidents involving various members of the football team, head coach Mike Riley told the media Thursdays morning that junior quarterback Peter Lalich is off the team in the wake of Lalich's May 7 citation for a boating DUII episode at Lake Shasta in California.
Riley said that Lalich, once the starting QB at Virginia, was looking at a three game suspension (anyway) for the alcohol related offense, and "it would have been very difficult for him, with that suspension, to continue to compete at quarterback. ... so he will not be on our team this year, and he will not be on scholarship.''
Lalich transfered to Oregon St. in September, 2008, after being dismissed from the University of Virginia football team for minor in possession of alcohol offenses. Riley gave Lalich a chance to resurrect his career at OSU on the recommendation of former Virginia coach Al Groh.
Riley said it was not necessary to let the legal process work itself out in the Lalich boating DUI case, for which Lalich will be arraigned on June 21, "... because we have all of the information we need." He said he thought about the decision for several weeks, and added "I ‘hated' being put in a position where we had to eliminate Lalich from the program."
Riley said he had several conversations about the matter with Lalich, but doesn't know if Lalich will leave Oregon St., or seek a transfer to continue playing football.
"He may stay here and continue his education and finish school,'' Riley said. "He's been given a blanket release, so he could play anywhere within NCAA rules. Hi's gathering information about other schools.''
"I came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to work here," Riley sain. "Once I came to that conclusion, I talked to him about it. Pete had a rough start here, but when he put his mind into it, he did a lot of good work. And not only in school, but in the weightroom. He really tried to do what he could to change. I hate anytime we have to eliminate somebody, but with this situation, our goal now is to help him find something that is positive.''
Olander Can Stay Around
In another matter, Riley said that starting defensive tackle Brennan Olander, who was part of the stolen golf cart incident that also involved former players Lyle Moevao and Keaton Kristick, will be cleared for Fall camp, which starts on August 8th., after he completes his court mandated 65 hours of community service.
"Brennan's got to make good choices, through his time here, and hopefully for the rest of his life,'' Riley said.
Riley said that with Lalich's departure from the roster, Oregon State is at the NCAA limit of 85 scholarships at this point.