Oregon players are supporting the decision by first-year head coach Willie Taggart to dismiss starting receiver Darren Carrington from the team.
"We're standing behind Coach T," quarterback Justin Herbert said Thursday. "Darren has moved on, and I think we are too."
Carrington was arrested July 1 on a charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants. He was also suspended for the national championship loss to Ohio State and six more games in the 2015 season after failing an NCAA drug test.
Carrington signed with Utah on Thursday, head coach Kyle Whittingham confirmed. He graduated from Oregon in the spring, but plans to finish his college career at Utah. Oregon and Utah faculty are still working on completing the transfer. The Pac-12 intra-conference transfer rule, which requires transfers within the Pac-12 to sit out a year of eligibility, must be waived to complete the signing and for Carrington to play for Utah immediately.
If all goes through, he and the Utes will face his former Ducks team on Oct. 28 at Autzen Stadium. During Pac-12 media days on Thursday, players discussed playing against their former teammate.
"It's probably going to be pretty fun to see Darren come back to Autzen and play against him," sophomore linebacker Troy Dye said. "But we're looking forward to going out there and getting a W."
Taggart lamented the dismissal of Carrington, but chalked it up to following rules.
"I think it's always tough because you always want to help young people," he said. "You don't ever want to throw them out or kick them to the curb. You want to help them reach their dreams, goals and aspirations. But in the same sense, we have rules. And the rules, you have to abide by the rules, and when you break the rules, there are consequences."
"Unfortunately, the consequences for Darren were for us both to move on. I wish him nothing but the best. He's a great football player, and I hope things get right for him."