By Rob Moseley
The Oregon men’s basketball team flew to South Korea on Tuesday in advance of Friday’s regular-season opener against Georgetown, and did so without two potential starters.
Sophomore point guard Dominic Artis and sophomore forward Ben Carter have been declared ineligible for violating NCAA rules relating to extra benefits, the UO announced Tuesday evening. They will serve suspensions and must donate to charity the value of team-issued apparel they sold in violation of NCAA rules.
The exact length of the suspensions has yet to be determined. Oregon self-reported the violations to the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference.
"Ben and Dominic are two good young men who made a poor decision that was against NCAA rules,” UO coach Dana Altman said in a statement released to media. “I feel that both regret their decisions and the impact that it has on their teammates and our university."
Artis averaged 8.5 points and 3.2 assists last season, while Carter averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. Artis was expected to share point guard duties with senior Johnathan Loyd, and Carter was to be a key piece as the Ducks deal with the loss of 2012-13 seniors Arsalan Kazemi and Tony Woods.
“We’ll just make adjustments,” Altman said before the Ducks left Eugene.
The loss of Carter figures to mean more minutes for seniors Waverly Austin and Richard Amardi, potential scoring threats in the post who lack Carter’s consistency in other facets of the game. With Artis out, transfers Jason Calliste and Joseph Young can share ball-handling duties with Loyd.
Oregon was already potentially short-handed entering the trip, as senior Mike Moser, junior Jalil Abdul-Bassit and sophomore Damyean Dotson all missed the Ducks’ second exhibition game. Altman said all three practiced “a little bit” on Monday, the team’s lone practice in Eugene between the exhibition game and the flight to South Korea.
The Ducks were scheduled to practice upon arriving later Tuesday, and again Wednesday and Thursday. They face the Hoyas on Friday at 5 p.m., a game to be televised by ESPN.
In statements released by the athletic department, Artis said that, “I want to apologize to the University, to coach Altman and to my teammates for selling team apparel. I regret my actions and do not want this situation to define me or my character.”
Carter said that, “As a student-athlete at Oregon, I recognize that I have a responsibility to represent our team and our university at all times with the utmost of integrity. I regret the decision to sell the apparel and I am grateful to the NCAA and to the university for the opportunity to make amends.”