NCAA FB

Helfrich at helm as Ducks open camp

The new 145,000-square-foot University of Oregon Football Performance Center on the Oregon campus. The glass facade reflects the Casanova Center.
The Oregon Football Performance Center has a reflecting pool outside.
Share This Story

   
 

EUGENE, Ore. (AP)

Mark Helfrich opened his first fall camp as head coach of the Ducks on Monday but he got upstaged by Oregon's new football performance center.

The lavish complex adjacent to Autzen Stadium houses a locker room with showers lined in Italian tile, a team auditorium with seats upholstered in the same leather Ferrari uses, and a 25,000-square-foot weight room with Brazilian hardwood floors.

''If a building was a superhero, that's it,'' said Helfrich, the team's former offensive coordinator who was promoted to head coach when Chip Kelly left for the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this year.

The Ducks have an ever-growing national profile on the field, but the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, as it is officially named, is undeniably world-class. Estimated conservatively at $68 million, the six-story, multi-wing football building was funded by Oregon alum and Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny.

It officially opened Monday.

''I was pretty speechless, and I'm still speechless about it,'' quarterback Marcus Mariota said.

''My locker room in high school was basically a bathroom,'' said running back De'Anthony Thomas when asked if he had anything he could compare it to.

The team's annual ''media day'' to open fall camp included a tour of the facility. Meanwhile, fall practice officially got underway under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-80s.

WE ARE FIRED UP!

College football fans are some of the most passionate in sports. See them in action.

Helfrich plans to keep most of what the team has been doing for the past several years in place, including practices that that are closed to spectators.

''There hasn't been a whole lot of difference from a football standpoint,'' Mariota observed. ''Coach Helfrich has always said, `If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' ''

Oregon finished 12-1 last season, topped off by a 35-17 victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Oregon went 46-7 over the past four seasons under Kelly, who devised the Ducks' innovative hurry-up spread offense. Over that span, the Ducks won three Pac-12 championships and played in four BCS bowl games, including the national championship game in 2010 against Auburn.

Kelly departed for the Philadelphia Eagles in January, and Helfrich took over. He inherited a team that retains two of its biggest offensive stars, Mariota and Thomas.

Newcomers include home-state standout Thomas Tyner, who rushed for 3,415 yards for Aloha (Ore.) High School as a senior, setting a new single-season rushing record for the state.

On his 18th birthday last September, Tyner set a state record with 643 yards rushing and scored 10 touchdowns in an 84-63 victory over Lakeridge High School. It was the third-most ever for a prep player, behind John Giannantonio's record of 754 yards in a game for Netcong High School in New Jersey in 1950, and Paul McCoy's 661 yards rushing for Matewan High School in West Virginia in 2006.

The Ducks overall are no longer under the specter of NCAA sanctions. Earlier this summer, the NCAA stripped Oregon of a scholarship in each of the next two seasons and placed the program on probation for three years for recruiting violations.

The NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions said in its final report that Kelly failed to monitor the program for its improper involvement with Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service. Oregon also faces reductions in paid visits and evaluation days, but avoided some of the harsher penalties handed down to other programs in recent years.

Kelly was hit with an 18-month show-cause order, a sanction that likely will have limited impact now that he's coaching the Eagles.

The sanctions had been hanging over the football program for more than two years.

Despite Kelly's departure, the Ducks were selected to finish atop the Pac-12 this season by the media who cover the cover the league. Oregon opens the season on Aug. 31 at home against Nicholls State.

Tagged: Oregon, Marcus Mariota, De'Anthony Thomas, Anthony Thomas

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Mark Emmert against unionization Posted: Apr 06, 2014
NCAA president Mark Emmert comments on unionization for student-athletes.

Northwestern athletes win unionization case Posted: Mar 26, 2014
FOX Football debates the implications of student-athletes being able to unionize...

Saban lectures media on Kouandjio's injury Posted: Mar 12, 2014
Nick Saban has some words for the media after the way Cyrus Kouandjio's knee inj...

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash