Oregon begins the season on Friday night in South Korea against Georgetown as part of the Armed Forces Classic. The Ducks will have to face the Hoyas without sophomores Dominic Artis and Ben Carter. The two were reportedly suspended on Tuesday for selling exclusive Nike basketball shoes this spring.
CampusInsiders.com first reported the suspensions, followed by Matt Prehm of DuckTerritory.com. Oregon self-reported the violations to the NCAA and sources told Prehm that Artis and Carter will likely miss nine games, though CampusInsiders.com says it could be between 10-15 games. If the suspensions end up being the latter, Dana Altman will be without his starting point guard and reserve forward for notable games against Georgetown, Ole Miss, Illinois and BYU.
“Ben and Dominic are two good young men who made a poor decision that was against NCAA rules,” Altman said in a statement. “I feel that both regret their decisions and the impact that it has on their teammates and our university.”
Artis, who missed nine games with a foot injury as a freshman, averaged 8.5 points, 3.2 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from behind the arc. In his absence senior Johnathan Loyd will take over the point guard duties. The Ducks return Damyean Dotson and add Detriot transfer Jason Calliste and Houston transfer Joseph Young to the back court this season.
The 6-foot-8 Carter saw about 10 minutes of action a game last season, averaging 2.4 points and 2.3 boards per game. His role was expected to be bigger this season, especially since Oregon lost its four top rebounders from a season ago. Oregon did however add UNLV transfer Mike Moser this offseason. Senior Waverly Austin started at center in both Oregon exhibition games while Richard Amardi some more minutes off the bench than Carter.
Three former Oregon players are alleged to have sold gear.
Oregon begins the season ranked No. 19 in the AP poll.