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Fennelly: Thanks, Taggart, for taking your baggage to the West Coast

It was nice of former USF coach Willie Taggart to wait until he left Tampa to implode.

Andres Leiva | Times

It was nice of former USF coach Willie Taggart to wait until he left Tampa to implode.

24

January

There was a time, approximately 19 minutes ago, when USF fans were sad to see Willie Taggart leave.

He was the deliverer. He was 10-win Willie, who raised Bulls football from the dead.

Now look. Maybe USF should be counting its blessings.

The madness continues at Oregon, where Taggart is now head coach.

Could he lose his job before he ever coaches a game in Eugene?

None and done?

Probably not.

But the start to Taggart’s Oregon career gets more ominous.

The latest is the imminent firing of Oregon co-offensive coordinator David Reaves, who joined Taggart’s USF staff in 2013 and was hired by Taggart at Oregon. Reaves was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He has been placed on administrative leave and the process of firing him is underway.

This comes less than a week after Oregon suspended football strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde for a month without pay after an offseason workout landed three Ducks players in the hospital. Oderinde also worked under Taggart from USF.

What is going on up there?

Bear Bryant is dead, and so is the concept of the Junction Boys.

Or so we thought.

Great first impression, Willie, just great.

And to think all of this could have happened here, landed right in our laps.

Not that it really mattered where it happened, but isn’t it about time we learned the lessons of all those players who have died during offseason workouts? It has happened in this state more than once. It has happened in the NFL.

You would think by now people get it.

Taggart defended the workouts.

“It wasn’t like (Oderinde) was out there just beating them down,” he said.

Imagine if something had gone truly, terribly wrong.

I’m tired of the mentality that says these kids just weren’t tough enough.

There is no place for this garbage.

Apparently there is zero tolerance at Oregon for coaches suspected of a DUI.

It all adds up to an awful start for Oregon under Taggart.

Maybe it doesn’t seem as bad as George O’Leary, who lost his job at Notre Dame before he ever coached a game because of lying on his resume. Maybe it doesn’t seem as bad as Mike Price, who was going to be Alabama coach before he ran up the score at a strip club. But this is pretty bad.

Taggart has stumbled out of the blocks. Badly.

I guess it could have been worse.

It could have happened here.

Still, it doesn’t matter where it happens.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:28pm]

    

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