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Joke's on Oregon media; Masoli not really playing baseball

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The Eugene Emeralds made big baseball news in the Northwest League on Thursday when they announced suspended University of Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli would be pitching for the Ems this upcoming season. The team sent out a press release, and then a few hours later said, "April fools!"

The prank fooled just about everyone, including local TV stations in Eugene that reported the news Wednesday night on their 11 p.m. newscasts. The stations reported the news after hearing from the Emeralds' media relations director that it wasn't a joke.

Only, it was.

The Oregonian reported Thursday that Oregon football coach Chip Kelly seemed "untroubled by the matter" and joked with reporters that Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo - who has been reported to have been offered the coaching job at Oregon - would throw out the first pitch.

Masoli was suspended from the Ducks' football team for the entire 2010 season after pleading guilty on March 12 to a misdemeanor burglary charge related to a theft at a fraternity house in January.

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Previous coverage:

Oregon QB Masoli suspended for next season (Mar. 13, 2010)
Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was suspended Friday for the upcoming season by coach Chip Kelly after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary in the theft of a pair of laptops and a guitar from a campus fraternity......

Oregon quarterback Masoli to face burglary count (Mar. 11, 2010)
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who helped lead the Ducks to the Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth last season, faces a burglary charge in connection with a theft at a campus fraternity house in late January.

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