Should the Oregon Ducks Football players be allowed to salute their school during games by making the “O” hand signal while wearing their cool Nike Oregon Ducks Pro Combat Rivalry Vapor Carbon Gloves after scoring? This is a question that the interim head of the Pac-12 is asking. Check out this video of Mike Pereira this weekend discussing the possibility that this special salute is borderline unsportsmanlike conduct.
Matt Hinton chimes in:
The penalty was dumb then, and if Pac-12 officials actually break out the flags against Oregon it will be dumb then, too. But given that we’re dealing with the discretion of mostly middle-aged men when it comes to interpreting the actions of college-aged men, the Ducks would be just as dumb if they went on doing it in the face of Pereira’s warning. Justified, maybe, and kind of metal. But still dumb.
Apparently, Pereira was getting a lot of heat over his comments this weekend because he quickly changed his tune since the airing of the video. Here’s what he now has to say regarding the simulation of the “O” during games.
I told them it is OK for Oregon players to quickly flash the “O” sign to celebrate a good play. But it must not be prolonged and cannot be directed at an opponent. Doing it the way the Ducks do it is fine.
I reached this conclusion after talking with the Pac-12’s coordinator of officiating, Tony Corrente, and the NCAA’s national coordinator of officiating, Rogers Redding. Both told me that the Ducks’ “O” is legal. Plus, if the Ducks flashing the “O” sign were deemed to be illegal, then the same would have to be said for the University of Texas and many other teams with similar school salutes.
That being said, if the salute is directed at an opponent in a taunting gesture, it would be deemed to be a foul.
When I read this article and watched the video above, I couldn’t help but think this guy Pereira was losing it. I’m pretty sure the Ducks Football team members are very proud of playing for the University of Oregon and wouldn’t simulate the “O” in a negative way taunting their opponents.
With cool uniforms, a great quarterback and such apparent team spirit, who wouldn’t be proud to salute the “O” in a celebratory, positive manner. I’m glad Pereira changed his opinion. What do you think? Do you feel the “O” salute is an issue of unsportsmanlike conduct?