Cyber rules leave Helfrich cold
EUGENE — Mark Helfrich doesn’t have a lot to say about the NCAA’s new social media policy.
Maybe the best way to express the Oregon coach’s feeling on the matter would be an unamused face emoji.
“It’s a strange world we live in,” Helfrich said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
On Aug. 1, coaches were suddenly allowed to like, favorite and retweet posts made by prospective recruits on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Some of Helfrich’s peers from around the country started showing prospects the cyberspace love as soon as the clock struck midnight.
Washington’s Chris Petersen was more outspoken about his opposition to the rule change, even though it’s still impermissible for coaches to publicly post on a recruit’s wall, tag a recruit in a post or retweet with a comment.
“Let me just tell you, I hate social media,” Petersen told reporters in Seattle. “But we’ve got to do it. All we try to do is play by the rules and do the best we can with it and get guys fired up on Washington.
“But it’s a little bit scary because we can retweet this but not that. We can do this and not that. Every time we’re doing that I’m like, ‘We good here? You sure?’”
Oregon chief compliance officer Jody Sykes said the main reason the NCAA made the social media rules more lax is because they’re nearly impossible to enforce.
Ducks take a Flyer on O-line
Oregon’s recent tradition of adding graduate transfers to bolster the offensive line continues with the addition of former Dayton standout Zac Morgan.
The 6-foot-7, 291-pound senior was an all-conference left tackle for the Flyers of the FCS last season. In 2014, Morgan started at right tackle for Dayton, which is the position where he is competing during fall camp with the Ducks.
“He’s a versatile guy, an extremely good athlete,” Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood said. “I’m excited to put the pads on and see what he can do.”
Greatwood was able to successfully replace all-America center Hroniss Grasu last season with Notre Dame graduate transfer Matt Hegarty. That allowed Jake Hanson, this year’s projected starter, to learn the position while redshirting.
With Tyrell Crosby moving from right tackle to left tackle, Morgan gives Greatwood a large insurance policy. Redshirt freshman Calvin Throckmorton is also in the mix for the starting spot at right tackle.
Cameron Hunt could continue starting at guard, but the steady senior has also been getting reps at center and tackle. Redshirt freshman Shane Lemieux is another projected starter at guard.
“We’ve got some good competition across the board,” Greatwood said. “If for some reason we didn’t perform to our expectations at right tackle, then it would be very easy to plug Cam in there as well. It’s way too early to make those decisions.”
Brown ready to turn the page
Pharaoh Brown understands the outside interest in his recovery from the gruesome knee injury he sustained in November 2014 at Utah.
But after 21 months on the comeback trail, the senior tight end is tired of talking about the ordeal and ready to focus on playing again this fall.
Brown, the first-team all-Pac-12 tight end two seasons ago, returned from his redshirt season to catch three passes in the spring game.
His confidence grew even more after going through longtime Oregon strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe’s regimen this summer.
“It was the best summer since he’s been here, and you can do the math on that one since he’s been here a long time,” Brown said. “We had a great summer, everybody got better. We just have to keep improving through fall camp.
“It doesn’t matter what we did in the summer.”
Brown rejoins an impressive tight end rotation with seniors Evan Baylis and Johnny Mundt.