Did Oregon players get improper benefits?

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Perhaps Michael Dunigan’s signing with Israeli basketball team Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem shouldn’t be a surprise anymore. He might not have even been eligible to play for Oregon this season.

The Eugene Register-Guard reported late Tuesday that the former Oregon center is one of several “former members” who may have received improper benefits. What entailed the extra benefits wasn’t clear, but new Ducks coach Dana Altman wasn’t taking any chances.

Dunigan’s eligiblity question was one of the reasons why Oregon didn’t take its basketball trip to Italy last month, though the school alerted the Pac-10 (which informed the NCAA) that it’s more than just Dunigan and that it’s investigating the matter. From the paper:

The UO’s statement did not name players or indicate how many might be involved but made it clear there is a more wide-spread issue than simply Dunigan.

There are nine players who could be described as “former” members of the past two teams, including three who used up their eligibility and six others who transferred to other schools, including four since the past season ended.

Who left early? Ben Voogd Kamyron Brown left the 2008-09 team, while Matt Humphrey, Drew Wiley, Josh Crittle and Jamil Wilson all left when ex-coach Ernie Kent was fired in March. Churchill Odia, Frantz Dorsainvil and Tajuan Porter all exhausted their eligibility.

It certainly makes the job tougher for Altman, who can work with his remaining players starting Wednesday. But he’s simply moving on.

“We’ll go with the players that we have,” he told the Oregonian, when asked about Dunigan’s departure.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.