Vernon Adams barred from EWU prep

ByKyle Bonagura ESPN logo
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vernon Adams will remain on scholarship at Eastern Washington while he finishes his degree but will not be permitted to work out with the team or use the school's athletic facilities to train leading up to his eventual transfer to Oregon, Eagles coach Beau Baldwin told 700 ESPN in Spokane, Washington.

Adams was aware those would be the circumstances, Baldwin said, before ultimately choosing the Ducks, who host Eastern Washington in the season opener for both teams Sept. 5.

"For the next four months, he can't prep down there with them and he certainly can't be in our weight room or throwing with our guys ... and I talked to him about that," Baldwin said. "I go, 'What's your plan for the next four months? How are you going to prepare for your senior year? I love you to death, but one, you're moving on, and two, you're moving on to who we're playing in Week 1.'"

In a candid, wide-ranging interview, Baldwin appeared torn. He made it clear he wants what's best for Adams, but it was equally evident he took issue with the process and the rule that allows Adams to transfer without sitting out a season once he graduates.

"It's not what the rule is intended for, and when you're Oregon and we've gotten a guy that we recruited when no one else was ... ultimately we feel like, you know what, we were also the ones who developed him from a level where obviously out of high school he wasn't at that level," Baldwin said. "When you're Oregon and over the last three or four years you're not recruiting a number of guys that can fill in when Marcus [Mariota] leaves, I'm kind of asking the question -- I'm flattered, I guess -- but what are we doing over there?

"I don't see [Ohio State coach] Urban Meyer going to Northern Iowa for his next guy."

Without an ideal set of circumstances to prepare for the competition to replace Mariota at Oregon, Baldwin said Adams' transfer wasn't the easy decision many have made it out to be.

"There's no slam dunks with any of that, and that's what probably has me the most worried," he said. "If he was sitting here with his degree in hand, I might feel a little bit differently about whether or not is this the right decision, is it not?"

Adams is on track to graduate in the spring, but there is no firm date on when he will be able to join the Ducks in Eugene.

"It has nothing to do with his talent," Baldwin said. "It has to do with everything and all the pieces that have to go into place for him to be that starter in early September."

Although Baldwin is not convinced Adams' transfer was the correct decision and outlined the difficult road the quarterback has to get brought up to speed, he still expects to see Adams win the starting job.

"There's not going to be too many things that I don't think that guy can get done," Baldwin said. "I do believe that he can do that. He's someone that's given us so much, given me.

"And I told him this. When I sign a new contract -- and I'm so blessed to be able to do that -- there's a lot of people that have an impact on me being able to do that and he's a big one of them and that will never be forgotten."

In three seasons at Eastern Washington, Adams threw for 10,438 yards and 110 touchdowns with 31 interceptions. He was named Big Sky player of the year twice and was twice the runner-up for the Walter Payton Award.

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