The nightmare January for former USF and new Oregon head coach Willie Taggart escalated overnight when his new hire for tight ends coach, David Reaves was arrested for DUI in Eugene. That, though, may not be the worst news for Taggart.
Oregonlive.com is reporting that Ducks Athletic Director Rob Mullens is not messing around with this arrest and has already put out a statement saying that Reaves, who had been with Taggart at USF, will be fired.
“(David) Reaves has been placed on administrative leave and the process to terminate his employment with cause has commenced,” Mullens said in the statement. “The University has high standards for the conduct of employees and is addressing this matter with the utmost of seriousness.”
Reaves expected dismissal comes after he was reportedly stopped by Eugene police for driving erratically just after 2 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday with a passenger in his car.
He was taken into custody on DUI and other charges, including reckless driving and reckless endangerment and booked in the Lane County Jail at around 5 a.m. and bonded out just before 10 a.m. Pacific time.
Oregonlive.com reported Sunday afternoon that even though the Ducks were hosting prominent recruits this weekend, an Oregon official confirmed it was not a recruit or an Oregon football player in the car, when Reaves was taken into custody.
The 38 year old was previously on Taggart’s staff at USF coaching various positions including receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends. When Taggart left the Bulls in December, Reaves was elevated to play caller under the interim head coach T.J. Weist for the Bulls Birmingham Bowl win over South Carolina.
He had been hired as a “Passing Game Coordinator” by Taggart at Oregon in addition to keeping his tight end coach duties on a two-year deal and was slated to make $300,000 per season.
Reaves is the son of former Florida Gator, NFL and USFL with the Tampa Bay Bandits, quarterback, John Reaves. The younger Reaves played QB at Appalachian State for three seasons and is also, the former brother in law of Lane Kiffin. David Reeves got his big break, as an offensive assistant for the one season Kiffin coached the Tennessee Vols.
He is also no stranger to previous controversy and trouble, including with NCAA investigations at both Tennessee and the Universtiy of New Mexico, where ultimately no serious violations were ever concluded.
Meanwhile, Taggart has already had his brand new strength coach, Irele Oderinde, who he brought from USF to the West with him, suspended for a month without pay. This was after three Duck players were hospitalized from their involvement in conditioning practices under Oderinde.
This topic created a firestorm on the radio and the internet in the state where Ducks football is “King.” Some had even been calling for Taggart to be reprimanded for the actions of his new strength coach.
In the end, he apologized publicly and with the players being released from the hospital, they had all collectively moved on.
Now, Reaves’ arrest and soon dismissal will obviously re-ignite more outrage.
We at F.F.I. aren’t suggesting that Taggart is somehow in jeopardy of losing his job, but clearly this is a P.R. debacle for the Oregon, already.
And you have to wonder if Mullens, the University brass, Nike founder and ultimate Ducks benefactor, Phil Knight, etc. aren’t having reservations about the coach they got talked into hiring?