EUGENE, Ore. -
Eric Webb, a Eugene native and senior heavyweight on the Oregon wrestling team, will no longer compete on the mat following a career-ending concussion suffered earlier this season. Webb has not competed since the concussion two months ago and has decided against risking further injury. "The medical personnel have decided that it is not in his best interest to continue competition," head coach Chuck Kearney said. "It's no longer safe for him to compete." Webb began the season listed in many publications as one of the top 10 heavyweights in the nation. He had overcome a foot injury from the previous season and was primed to make a run at the national tournament. Unfortunately, Webb was unable to compete after just the third match of the season. At the Body Bar Invitational, Oregon's first tournament, Webb cruised through the first two rounds of the heavyweight division. Early in the third match, however, Webb suffered a concussion, his fourth in less than two years. "He is a friend and a leader to the young men in this program," Kearney said. "Our team really fed off of his enthusiasm for the sport of wrestling. For the fans, Eric was someone who would always go out and compete well and he was very exciting to watch." Webb finishes his career with an overall record of 69-31. His best statistical season came his sophomore year, achieving the highest national ranking of his career at No. 4 in January of 2001. Perhaps his most memorable moment of that season came against Oregon State at McArthur Court, when his match with No. 2-ranked Jason Cooley opened up the meet. Webb had a 7-4 lead late in the third period, and then pinned Cooley with only eight seconds remaining in the match to give the Ducks an early 6-0 lead. Webb's sophomore season was cut short when he suffered a concussion warming up for the Pac-10 Championships. Webb was an NCAA qualifier his junior year following a third-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. In his sophomore season, Webb was unable to compete at the NCAA Championships because of his concussion at the Pac-10 Championships. Earlier in his sophomore campaign, Webb had defeated the eventual NCAA champion, John Lockhart, 5-3. "There are a lot of ways you can contribute to our program," Kearney said. "Hopefully, Eric will be able to help out Neil Phillips [Oregon's current heavyweight starter] and the other members of the team.