Ore. coach not ready to take action against James

Oregon coach Chip Kelly will wait before deciding whether to

take disciplinary action against LaMichael James, the star tailback

jailed this week on domestic violence charges.

“There can’t be a rush to judgment,” Kelly said at a Friday

press conference. “When a decision is made, and if he’s convicted,

we’ll make a decision.”

James, 20, was arrested after his girlfriend told police he

choked her and threw her to the ground during an argument. He

pleaded not guilty Wednesday and was released from jail Thursday

afternoon.

The arrest was the third for Oregon this offseason, prompting

criticism of the coach who took the Ducks to the Rose Bowl in his

first season.

Kelly told reporters he stresses discipline and reminded them he

recently dropped two players from the team for violating

unspecified team rules. One of those players, defensive end Matt

Simms, had been arrested for investigation of misdemeanor

assault.

“I have let players go from this program already because they

haven’t lived up to the rules that are set forth for our program,”

Kelly said. “But I need to get all the information first before I

do that.”

James rushed for 1,546 yards last season despite starting the

year as the backup to LeGarrette Blount. He got his chance, and

made the most of it, when Blount was suspended for punching a Boise

State player immediately following the Ducks’ season-opening loss

to the Broncos.

Kelly suspended Blount for the season before deciding to let him

return late in the year. On Friday, he dismissed the suggestion

that reinstating Blount showed he was soft on discipline and

contributed to the recent problems.

“I had a running back last fall I suspended for eight games,”

Kelly said. “The NCAA rule is one, so I don’t think that our

players think that they’re going to get away with anything.”