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UO players arrested in shoplifting case

EUGENE — The latest run-in with the law by players on the University of Oregon men’s basketball team happened Sept. 12, in the form of the shoplifting arrest of Jalil Abdul-Bassit and Elgin Cook, The Register-Guard has learned.

The two were caught with stolen goods at the Market of Choice on Franklin Boulevard at 3:17 p.m., which constitutes theft 3, Eugene Police Department spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin confirmed Saturday afternoon.

They were cited in lieu of custody and given a date to appear in court, although McLaughlin did not know the specific date.

Craig Pintens, senior associate athletic director for marketing and public relations at the UO, said the university “knew of the incident the day it happened, and the two players were disciplined immediately.”

He also provided a statement from men’s basketball coach Dana Altman.

“We are disappointed with these two young men,” Altman said. “We expect our student athletes to conduct themselves as solid members of this community and team. Both are being disciplined internally.”

Both Cook and Abdul-Bassit transferred to the UO last year and are two of just three returning scholarship players for the Ducks this season. Three players were suspended and two more transferred out of the program during the off-season.

The UO men’s basketball team has been plagued with legal issues recently. Damyean Dotson, Brandon Austin and Dominic Artis were expelled during the summer following an investigation of sexual assault. Dotson also was suspended last year for one game after he tried to use a false ID to get into a campus bar.

Cook is a 6-foot-6-inch junior forward from Milwaukee, Wis. He transferred to the UO from Northwest Florida State. Last year, he averaged 6.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, playing in all 34 games.

Abdul-Bassit is a 6-foot-4-inch senior guard who transferred from North Idaho College to the UO. Last year, he played in 17 games, averaging 1.9 points per game.