EUGENE – As the NCAA considers what to do for winter sports athletes whose seasons have been interrupted due to the cancellation of all NCAA winter and spring championships, goalkeeper Oregon Ducks Payton Pritchard said Friday he had played his last game for the Ducks, although he was granted another year of eligibility.
When asked directly if he would return for a fifth year if he could, the Pac-12 player of the year said it was time to leave.
“As much as I love Coach and being an Oregon duck,” said Pritchard.
“It’s time to leave,” said coach Dana Altman.
In a letter to member schools on Friday, the NCAA Division I Council Coordinating Committee announced its intention to “discuss issues related to competitive seasons” for athletes who were unable to attend conferences and NCAA championships.
Even if it means additional eligibility, it’s more than understandable for Pritchard to move to the NBA.
The other two Oregon seniors, Anthony Mathis and Shakur Juiston, should not be drafted by the NBA, but could still start a professional career abroad.
Altman said they would all be welcome, but acknowledged the reality.
“These two guys are fifth-grade guys, they’re probably looking forward to starting their professional careers,” said Altman. “Obviously, if they wanted to come back, we would like to have them. As far as Payton is concerned, he is ready. He could have gone there last year. He refused a very good financial offer a year ago. The L NBA money is different and if this window is open, I would advise her to go.
“As much as I would love to see him again, he played so well this year, it’s about time. He’s ready. Selfish as I want to be, I couldn’t do that. In good conscience, even suggests. different from (Dillon) Brooks and (Jordan) Bell a few years ago, it was their time.
“Considering that across the country if players have had this opportunity to play in the national championship, that’s what everyone is pointing out. This is what everyone wants to do. Not everyone is so lucky. So whatever they decide, it will not be an easy decision. In our case, we have a unique group of seniors, two who arrived in fifth grade and then Payton, who is ready to go. I don’t think it will affect us much, but if Anthony and Shakur want to come back, this door is open. We just need to understand it. “