• No more "Civil War" — Contests between the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers will no longer be called the Civil War. Both universities on Friday announced that the name of the rivalry series between the Ducks and Beavers will change.
According to statements from both schools, the decision was made after discussions with leaders and current and former athletes from both universities. No new official name for the rivalry was announced.
Among those athletes involved in the decision to drop the Civil War name were former Oregon State football standouts Ken Simonton and Steven Jackson and former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon.
"Changing this name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery," OSU president Ed Ray said. "While not intended as reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake. We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter."
"Today's announcement is not only right but is a long time coming, and I wish to thank former Duck great Dennis Dixon for raising the question and being the catalyst for change," Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said. "Thanks also to our current student-athletes for their leadership and input during this process. We must all recognize the power of words and the symbolism associated with the Civil War."
Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes said that a number of current and former student-athletes and alumni have questioned the use of Civil War to describe the rivalry.
Added UO president Michael Schill: "I want to acknowledge and thank the current and former student-athletes who raised concerns about the historic name of the rivalry games played between our two institutions," UO President Michael H. Schill said. "We need to make this change to align the words and symbols we use around athletic endeavors with our shared campus values of equity and inclusivity. While the name of our annual game might change, it will absolutely continue to be one of the great rivalries in college sports."
The Oregon State-Oregon football rivalry has been played 123 times, the fifth most in the country among Football Bowl Subdivision programs. The schools have competed in men's basketball 354 times, more than any other rivalry.
"We will embrace members of the university community, alumni, student-athletes, and friends of Oregon State to assist in a collaborative process with the University Of Oregon to consider other names for this historic rivalry," Barnes said.
Let the Tweeting begin.
• Blazers' schedule released — The NBA has announced its restart schedule involving the 22 teams that will gather in Orlando, Florida.
The Blazers' schedule (Portland time): Memphis, 1 p.m. July 31; Boston, 12:30 p.m. Aug. 2; Houston, 6 p.m. Aug. 4; Denver, 5 p.m. Aug. 6; Los Angeles Cippers, 10 a.m. Aug. 8; Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m. Aug. 9; Dallas, 2 p.m. Aug. 11; Brooklyn, time TBD Aug. 13.
• Oregon Amateur champions — Bryce Wortman of Creswell pulled away midway through the afternoon round Saturday to claim his first Oregon Amateur title. He won five consecutive holes during the afternoon round to beat Ben Wanichek of Eugene 8 and 7 to take the 36-hole men's championship match on the final day of the 111th Oregon Amateur at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
Portland's Amanda Jacobs led the women's final throughout to deny Ellie Slama a third consecutive women's title. Jacobs had four birdies on the first 12 holes claimed victory with a five hole lead with three to play in the 36-hole match.
Lara Tennant of Portland won her fourth consecutive Oregon Senior Women's Amateur title, beating Ginny Burkey 5 and 4 in the 18-hole championship match.
• Wild West baseball — The Wild Wild West League, a college wood-bat summer baseball league that includes the Portland Pickles, will begin play on July 11. The new league was formed after the West Coast League season was canceled because of COVID-19.
If Multnomah County is still in Phase 1 of reopening on July 11, the WWL will begin play in Marion County so that up to 250 fans can attend the games.
Once Multnomah County enters Phase 2, games will be played at Walker Stadium in southeast Portland.
The four-team league includes the Pickles, the Portland Gherkins, the West Linn Knights and the Gresham GreyWolves.
The league is scheduled to play between July 11 and August 8, with doubleheaders most days.
Full rosters will be released soon. The league will include college players from Oregon, Oregon State, Portland, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Michigan and more.
For information about the league, or to join the season-ticket waiting list, visit www.portlandpicklesbaseball.com.
• Pilot men add transfer — Point guard Ahmed Ali (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has signed a National Letter of Intent and will join the Portland men's basketball team for his final season of eligibility. Ali was a JUCO All-American at Eastern Florida State College (Brevard County, Florida.) before earning starter's minutes at Washington State during the 2018-19 season. He transferred to Hawaii, but did not play for the Warriors during the 2019-20 season.
Ali joins eight other newcomers to the program for the 2020-21 season. The incoming class consists of a two immediately eligible Division I transfers, five junior college transfers, and two incoming freshmen.
• Pilot women add freshman guard — Emme Shearer, a guard out of Auckland, New Zealand, has committed to the Portland women's basketball program. Shearer attends Westlake Girls High School, and she has played for New Zealand's U-16 and U-19 national teams.
• Horan ready for NWSL tournament — Portland Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan admitted she had trepidation about participating in the National Women's Soccer League Challenge Cup.
But as Saturday's match against the North Carolina Courage approaches, the U.S. Women's National Team player is glad she chose to participate.
"Something that I've missed so much is that competitive feeling … Going out and playing against an enemy is so exciting," Horan said during a Thursday conference call with reporters.
Horan and the Thorns take on the North Carolina Courage at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the first game of a monthlong tournament being played in the Salt Lake City area. The match will be televised by CBS (KOIN, 6), the first NWSL game to be on an over-the-air national network.
Several of Horan's national team teammates — including Thorns attacker Tobin Heath — decided the COVID-19 risk was too great to play in the Challenge Cup. Horan said she had concerns about the plan, but became comfortable with the Thorns and NWSL plans after arriving in Portland from her home in Denver.
There is frustration, Horan said, that the NWSL isn't getting much attention for being the first team contact sport league in the United States to play since COVID-19 shut down all sports.
While she is correct, the lack of attention should be attributed more to the league having only nine teams than to the fact that it is a women's sport, or that the sport is soccer.
Horan has a lot of new teammates on the Thorns, including veteran national team defender Becky Sauerbrunn and Costa Rican international midfielder Rocky Rodriguez.
Despite a significant turnover in the Thorns roster, Horan said the team has good chemistry and is focused on the challenge ahead.
"Everyone has fit in seamlessly," Horan said. "I feel very positive vibes."
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