The absence of sportsmanship in a sport that cherishes its traditions leaves me speechless. It hurts the students, players, the fans, UO, and the league.
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Los Angeles, CA (Vocus) February 27, 2010
In a breach of conduct, tradition, and sportsmanship, the University of Oregon has failed to give the perpetual PAC 8 Hockey “Championship Cup” to the current title holders, the University of Southern California (USC).
Fifth-ranked USC came from an underdog position in the tournament to defeat #4 UCLA (preliminary game), then #1 University of Oregon (semi-final), and #2 University of Washington (championship game) and capture the PAC 8 Championship February 20.
The University of Oregon had dominated the PAC 8 this season winning 14 of its 16 league games and had won the PAC 8 tournament the previous two years. USC Head Coach Mark Wilbur commented on the lack of a cup at last week’s awards presentation, “ The absence of sportsmanship in a sport that cherishes its traditions leaves me speechless. It hurts the students, players, the fans, UO, and the league.”
The University of Oregon has not issued any communication to USC or the PAC 8 league to inform them of when they should expect the trophy delivered to the winners, nor an apology for failing to bring the perpetual cup to last week’s tournament. Wilbur noted the lack of accountability and leadership from the University of Oregon Duck team, “It’s pathetic...grow up and face the classless act and apologize publicly to the league and the team. Forget our seven previous championships – for this year’s team, it’s their first! I never thought I would witness such a class-less act at this level.”
USC’s last tournament win was in 2007. For many of their players, this was their first championship victory.
When asked what the team would do when the trophy arrives, coach Wilbur said, “What else, throw another victory party!! Maybe we should thank them for giving cause to celebrate again. But, that doesn’t replace that moment stolen from my players and our fans.”
About the PAC-8 Conference:
The PAC-8 Hockey Conference was founded in 1995, as a competitive intercollegiate ice hockey conference composed of those PACIFIC-10 schools with university sanctioned ice hockey programs. The current PAC-8 members are: Arizona State University, University of California – Berkeley, University of California – Los Angeles, University of Oregon, University of Southern California, Stanford University, University of Washington, and Washington State University. As members of the Western Region of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), PAC-8 teams play a diverse schedule of conference teams and against over 100 other universities and colleges teams within the ACHA, either on the West Coast or across the country. All teams are required to abide by ACHA rules and regulations, as well as on-ice NCAA rules. PAC-8 teams also must follow additional conference on-ice and academic eligibility requirements.
About USC Ice Hockey:
Established in 1923, USC Ice Hockey is a student-run organization under the auspices of University of Southern California’s Recreational Sports department. The team plays in the PAC-8 Conference, and is a sanctioned member of USA Hockey and the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), the national governing body of non-lettering college hockey. USC Ice Hockey plays approximately 25 games a season, playing teams locally, nationally, and even internationally. In 2002, USC Ice Hockey became the first American collegiate hockey team to visit China, as well as play against their national team.