When Chip Kelly changed his mind and decided to leave the Oregon Ducks to be an NFL head coach, there were rumors that the motivating factor was that the team was about to be placed on probation. Turns out Kelly got out while the gettin’ was still good as the NCAA has placed the University of Oregon football program on three years probation, but they decided not to place a bowl ban on the school.
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) June 26, 2013
According to a live blog on OregonLive.com of the fallout, the NCAA is placing responsibility of the violations on former head coach Chip Kelly who the document filed claimed didn’t monitor the program properly. Obviously the NCAA can do little to Kelly now has he’s escaped their reach by hopping over to the NFL, but his move to leave the school may have been a reason why the NCAA failed to level a bowl ban against the program.
Penalties include three years of probation, a reduction in scholarships for incoming recruits from 25 to 24 for the next two seasons, and the overall number of scholarships from 85 to 84 for the next three seasons; a reduction in official paid visits; but no bowl ban. Permissible number of evaluations down from 46 to 32 in the fall, 168 to 144 in the spring. Ban on subscribing to recruiting services during the probationary period.
The Ducks were very successful under Kelly but unfortunately are now lumped in with other schools who have had NCAA penalties brought against them after the coach who committed the violations has left town. You’ll remember that Pete Carroll did the exact same thing when he bolted form USC to coach the Seattle Seahawks right before a massive investigation ended up erasing a National Championship and a Hesiman Trophy form the record.
Oregon didn’t receive that much feared bowl ban, one that prevented Ohio State from playing for a national championship last season. So while the recruiting restrictions will hurt the program in the long run, the team right now has a chance to make a final run at a title before people graduate, get drafted and the Ducks truly learn the price of allowing Chip Kelly the type of control he was granted.