Jeremiah Masoli, Garrett Embry are Oregon players named in police report, student says
By Lindsay Schnell, Special to The Oregonia...
January 25, 2010, 11:39AM
jeremiah-masoli2-120109.jpgThomas Boyd/The OregonianJeremiah Masoli is named in a police report but has not been charged.EUGENE - The Eugene Police Department confirmed this morning that its officers are investigating an alleged theft, and the student who filed the report has told The Oregonian that the men he accuses in it are University of Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and wide receiver Garrett Embry.
Fraternity member Max Wolfard filed a police report alleging that the players took two MacBook Pro computers - one valued at $2,000, the other at $1,500 - and a $900 guitar from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house at 812 E. 14th Ave. in Eugene early Sunday.
This morning Oregon athletic department spokesman Dave Williford said that the university would have no comment on the matter. Through Williford, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said he would have no comment "unless there's further substantiation." The Oregonian went to athletic director Mike Bellotti's house in Eugene late Sunday and, through his wife, Colleen, he also had no comment.
embry.jpgGarrett Embry is named in a police report but has not been charged. The Oregonian has been unable to reach Masoli or Embry directly, and messages left with Masoli's mother, Linda, in California were not returned. Embry's father, Maury, said by phone Sunday night from Roswell, Ga., that he had heard nothing about an alleged theft.
"At this point we're not going to be talking about where they are in the investigation," Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda Kletzok said this morning. "Once the detective has finished their investigation we'll be able to release one."
She added that the case was assigned today to property crimes but she wouldn't identify the officer leading the inquiry.
The Eugene Police Department's online log shows that four officers responded to a reported theft at the house at 12:48 a.m. Sunday. Officer Rodney Thrower, who took the initial report, was reached on Sunday evening and said "I'm not comfortable answering that question," when asked if it was true that Masoli and Embry had been identified but not been seen by anyone other than Wolfard.
Thrower later called The Oregonian back to say he wouldn't confirm the names of any individuals involved and referred all further questions to Kletzok.
Wolfard, a 20-year-old sophomore from Portland, is adamant he has correctly identified the players.
"The minute I stepped on the staircase I said to myself, 'Wow, Masoli and Embry are in our house right now," Wolfard told The Oregonian on Sunday afternoon. "Masoli has a very distinctive face, very distinctive facial hair -- not to mention I see him on TV all the time."
Wolfard said he didn't think anything of Masoli and Embry's presence at first given that he'd seen them at the house before. But when they started to act "suspicious" -- and appeared to be hiding something -- he demanded to know what they were doing. It was then that Wolfard noticed Embry was carrying what appeared to be Wolfard's projector screen, valued at $560.
Wolfard said the two players then ran out the back door. Wolfard said Masoli fled north and Embry went east up Agate Street as Wolford chased him. Blocks later, Wolfard says, Embry stopped running, gave him back his projector screen and said, "You've got it back, now you better get out of here."
Wolfard, who said there was no evidence of forced entry at the fraternity house, returned to his room to find his guitar and computer missing and then called police. Max Iantorno, 20, a sophomore, arrived at the fraternity house soon afterward to find his door open and his laptop missing.
As of this morning, the Lane County Sheriff's online booking log did not show that Masoli or Embry were being held. It was unclear whether the players had met with the university or with police.
Masoli was the Ducks' star player and leader last season, in which Oregon won the Pacific-10 Conference title and went to the Rose Bowl for the first time since January 1995. A native of Daly City, Calif., the junior was the second-team all-conference selection at quarterback, throwing for 2,147 yards and 15 touchdowns, as well as rushing for 668 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Embry, a sophomore from Roswell, Ga., caught two passes last season while appearing in 11 games, mostly on special teams. LINK