Thompson ineligible for season

CORVALLIS — The personnel problems keep adding up at Oregon State, where starting left tackle Tavita Thompson has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the remainder of the season.

That's bad news especially for Oregon State's beleaguered offensive line, which has already suffered the loss of preseason All-American left guard Jeremy Perry Aug. 30 to a broken bone in his leg.

And the status of right guard Roy Schuening and right tackle Andy Levitre for the Beavers' Saturday home against Stanford is also uncertain. Schuening has walking pneumonia and hasn't practiced all week. Levitre left Monday's practice with a leg injury and practiced on a limited basis Tuesday.

Oregon State coach Mike Riley hopes Schuening and Levitre will be healthy in time for Saturday's game. Perry returned to practice this week and may even dress as an emergency player against Stanford.

"We've had some misfortune on the offensive line, and we need to overcome it," Riley said.

The 6-foot-6, 319-pound Thompson can continue practicing with the team, and the Beavers will work to get the junior reinstated for the 2008 season. Riley declined to disclose the reason for Thompson's ineligibility, citing student privacy laws.

Riley said he was confident the Beavers (4-3, 2-2 Pacific-10 Conference) wouldn't have to forfeit any of their wins for using an ineligible player.

Ryan Pohl, a 6-3, 278-pound redshirt freshman, will step in to replace Thompson. If Schuening or Speer can't play, either sophomore Gregg Peat, redshirt freshman Mau Nomani or junior Marcus Henderson could see action against the Cardinal (3-4, 2-3)

"We're just going to have to prepare like we do every week," said center Kyle DeVan, the only healthy starter on the line. "Ryan Pohl is a good athlete, he's just a little young. ... We'll have to get him some more film study and make sure he's physically and mentally ready for Saturday."

The Beavers have already lost third-team All-American receiver and punt returner Sammie Stroughter for the season with a kidney injury.

Oregon State will likely be missing starting cornerback Keenan Lewis (knee injury) for another week. Safety Daniel Drayton will return from a groin injury Saturday.


COACHES HAVE A HISTORY: When Stanford visits Oregon State Saturday, Beavers coach Mike Riley will be facing off against his old quarterback. First-year Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh played for Riley's San Diego Chargers in 1999 and 2000 and they've remained close.

Riley said Harbaugh "was destined to be a coach."

"I have a lot of admiration for Jim," Riley said. "He was towards the end of his NFL career, his great NFL career, and as our quarterback in San Diego. He was basically brought in to be a veteran backup player and ended up being a starter and won eight games our first year."

Not much was expected from the Cardinal this year, who were picked to finish last in the Pac-10. But an upset of 41-point favorite USC and last week's 21-20 win over Arizona have lifted expectations on the Farm.

"I think he is a great fit for Stanford," Riley said of Harbaugh. "I think he is doing a great job there and it's not surprising to me."


EXTRA POINTS: Stanford running back Jason Evans and offensive lineman Allen Smith will miss the rest of the season with knee injuries, Harbaugh said this week. ... Oregon State's national championship baseball team will be honored at halftime of Saturday's game and receive its College World Series rings.

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