Several current and recent Oregon St. football players made the news off the field this week, and in a variety of ways.
Rogers Alert On The Road
Senior-to-be captain wide receiver James Rogers made a positive contribution (as he usually does) to the outcome while driving near Salem Thursday afternoon.
While returning to Corvallis after picking up a friend at Portland International Airport, Rogers noticed a man in a minivan, veering off the freeway, and back onto the road from the shoulder.
"I switched lanes, and he passed me up,'' Rodgers explained. "It looked like he was sleeping. He had his head back, with his eyes closed. I hit the horn, and he woke up. I was trying to tell him, ‘get up' and I was raising my hand up. He thought I was ‘raising the roof' and he passed me again and kept going.''
Rodgers pulled alongside the man's minivan again, and saw him appear to fall asleep again.
"I honked, trying to keep him (awake). I was relieved to finally see a state policeman pull up and pull him over. I couldn't tell if he driver was drunk, or just unable to stay awake. It was 'kind of scary', pulling beside someone asleep at the wheel, but I didn't really worry about that. It could have been a lot worse if he had run into a guardrail or something.''
Not everything in the traffic report was quite as positive, though.
Golf Cart Joyride Goes To Court
Former Oregon State University football players, quarterback Lyle Moevao and linebacker Keaton Kristick, and defensive tackle Brennan Olander, a current team member, were charged Wednesday in the Benton County Circuit Court with felony unauthorized use of a vehicle by Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson.
The vehicle is an OSU golf cart.
Moevao, Kristick, Olander, and their attorney, John Rich, appeared, and entered pleas of not guilty at the arraignment hearing Wednesday afternoon.The three are accused of stealing a golf cart belonging to the OSU athletic department.
The black and orange cart was reported stolen on March 14. At 3:54 a.m. on March 18, Oregon State Police found the cart in a parking spot for the handicapped in the 2800 block of Southwest Western Boulevard, according to police reports. Witnesses reportedly saw a man driving the cart earlier, and that it had been flipped over.
Oregon State Police troopers spoke with Moevao that evening, and gave him a citation for unauthorized use of a vehicle. Troopers also wanted to talk to Kristick and Olander, but neither were available until April 1. Police decided not to cite them, but forwarded the case to the Benton County District Attorney's Office, where Haroldson decided to charge all three.
All three will be back in court next Tuesday morning for plea and possible sentencing hearings.
It isn't Olander's first brush with the law. In January, Olander was ordered to complete a diversion program after pleading guilty to second degree theft in a May, 2009 incident.
Assistant Athletic Director in charge of Communications Steve Fenk said "We are aware of the situation, and we are handling it internally for the time being."
Fenk said no determination has been made at to what kind of team discipline Olander may face because of the multiple offenses. Football coach Mike Riley is out of town, but is aware of, and following, the events.
Given that there have been recently two major incidents on campus (a trespassing and theft case by members of a fraternity that led to one of the victims assaulting them, and an intruder into a dorm room), not involving any athletes, it is surprising the level of attention a golf cart joyride by students is receiving by authorities.
Haroldson, whose' law degree is from the University of Oregon, probably isn't concerned about season ticket renewal prospects either.
Kavanaugh and Peat Earn National Academic Honors
Returning to more positive news, two former Oregon St. players, holder & return specialist Taylor Kavanaugh and guard Gregg Peat have been selected to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society.
Kavanaugh and Peat are two of 620 players from 246 schools that qualified for the membership, and the only two from the state of Oregon. To be selected, a student athlete must have maintained a 3.2 cumulative grade point average for their career.