The web of phony college credits for incoming athletes that brought down New Mexico's basketball squad and coach has spread to entangle Oregon . . . maybe Oregon State too.
In Eugene, Rich Brooks, Oregon football coach, offered his resignation -- refused by the university president, William Boyd -- after it was learned that Paul Perez, a freshman Webfoot player, had been given credit for course work he never took. Perez admitted receiving three hours of credit for a correspondence course through Ottawa U. of Kansas; 10 hours, credit for courses at Los Angeles Valley College, a two-year school in Van Nuys, Calif., that teaches an Ottawa extension course called "Current Problems and Principles of Coaching Athletics." He also admitted having done no work on the courses, although Oregon offensive coordinator John Becker allegedly arranged for him to handle by mail the studies at L.A. Valley -- where Becker used to be head football coach.
Boyd said the university has found that all 13 hours credited to Perez to bring him up to standard for admission after high school deficiency were bogus but that transcripts of the other two Duck players who took courses at L.A. Valley checked out okay, they actually attended classes and did the work. Oregon, coming off its first winning football campaign, evidently won't have to forfeit any victories, because Perez, a defensive lineman from Aurora, Ill., didn't play due to illness and injury.
Brooks, evidently in the clear after offering to quit in support of Becker, "will continue as head football coach and will only try harder."
In Portland, the FBI said it is investigating allegations of mail fraud and bribery involving student athletes at both Oregon and Orgeon State. The bureau said the common thread arose during the New Mexico probe of false credit for Ottawa extension courses.
Where next? . . .
Harvey Martin salvaged a little class with his telegram of apology to Jack Pardee and the Redskins Monday night, but the big Cowboy still is in no class with Earl Campbell. The Houston Earler was named MVP of the NFL by Associated Press yesterday. Campbell, a 1,697-yard sophomore after winning rookie-of-year awards on 1,450 yards in '78, drew 34 votes from a nationwide panel of 84 sportswriters-casters. Runner-up: Dan Fouts, 27. Then a long drop to Brian Sipe, 7; Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach, 5.
College football coach-go-round: Pepper Rodgers fired at Georgia Tech after a not-so-colorful 34-31-2 stand with a 4-6-1 finishing sag . . . Bob Naso hired at Columbia as head mentor after 21 years as a football assistant and 13 as head lacrosse coach at Rutgers . . . and Earle Bruce hospitalized at Ohio State. Chest pains as he prepped his 11-0 Buckeyes for the Rose Bowl caused him to miss the first practices of his career. Early tests show no heart problem, attribute the pains probably to a chest cold, but doctors will keep Bruce, 48, for 48-72 hours of tests before springing the just-named UPI college coach of the year.