Talking Points: Oregon's football troubles

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What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Well, it’s been the Pac-12 Conference for a day. Looks like it might again soon be the Pac-10, at least in football.

Revelations in an extensive Yahoo Sports report posted on Friday by reporters Dan Wetzel and Charles Robinson — based on interviews with Will Lyles, who has close ties with Oregon Ducks running backs LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk — certainly are not flattering to Oregon.

Time (and maybe a lot of it since this is the NCAA) will tell whether coach Chip Kelly and the Ducks program face significant sanctions. But based upon the penalties handed down to USC and Ohio State, these cannot be comfortable times in Eugene.

And, with USC already on NCAA probation, this certainly isn’t the kind of news splash the Pac-12 wanted on its first day.

2

Loved the Mariners’ tribute to 1984 on Friday. Who doesn’t pine for that pitchfork logo!

Still, the Talking Points promotions department thinks few touches were forgotten:

• The roof should have been closed and painted concrete gray.

• The loudspeakers should have been tweaked to add an echo.

• Alvin Davis should have been signed for the day to DH.

• Attendance should have been limited to the first 10,745, the team’s average crowd at the Kingdome in 1984.

3

Much was made this week of Timbers coach John Spencer declaring open competition for the starting 11 (or, as soccer folks prefer, the starting XI).

No doubt the coach wants to shake some life into a team on a five-game winless stretch.

So don’t be surprised if some of the Timbers higher-profile players don’t start tonight against Sporting Kansas City.

For one thing, Spencer has a few more lineup options than he’s had over the past month now that forwards Eddie Johnson and Brian Umony are healthy and defender Steve Purdy is back from the El Salvador national team.