Eugene Omoruyi didn’t wait until midnight to announce his transfer destination.Instead, he made a prime-time declaration on his Instagram account.The former Rutgers basketball captain completed his stunning late-spring defection Monday night by committing to Oregon, where he will sit next season before playing his final year of eligibility in 2020-21.
Will the Scarlet Knights pursue tampering charges?
Although Oregon was the forward's second visit after Texas A&M, Rutgers sources have believed all along that his destination was decided before he posted his intention to leave the Scarlet Knights in the wee hours of May 29. The only reason for leaving Omoruyi gave Rutgers’ coaches, those sources said, was that he wants to play in the NCAA Tournament.RELATED:Is Omouryi's defection the new normal? RELATED: Analyzing Rutgers' non-conference scheduleDoes that mean Rutgers will pursue tampering charges? Highly unlikely. First, tampering is hard to prove; even if Omoruyi had a destination in mind before asking for his release, that doesn't necessarily equate to tampering. Second, even if proof was available, the chances of the NCAA punishing a tampering party seems remote given the governing body’s inaction over the FBI’s investigation into the sport’s recruiting practices.
The jump to Oregon also dispels speculation that Omoruyi, who was Rutgers’ leading scorer and rebounder last season, left because of increased competition on the Scarlet Knights' roster. The Ducks are coming off a 25-13 season that ended in the Sweet 16, and they’re reloading on transfer talent.In fact, Omoruyi’s rugged defense and aggressive rebounding should be quite effective in the Pac-12, which is a few degrees softer than the Big Ten.Meanwhile, Rutgers is in the market for a power forward to bolster a frontcourt that returns just three power players players, none of whom have more than a season of Big Ten experience, and adds Stony Brook wing Akwasi Yeboah.
Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and the college basketball beat since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Contact him at email@example.com.
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