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Return of the Chip


Well, this is good (and surprising) news:

Oregon coach Chip Kelly has decided to turn down a chance to go to the NFL and instead will return to the Ducks, according to league sources.

Kelly was intrigued with the Philadelphia Eagles‘ head coaching job but decided he wasn’t comfortable leaving the college game.

The Cleveland Browns are the only other NFL team known to have interviewed Kelly. The two sides met last week but the Browns decided to reboot their coach search after leaving Arizona late Sunday morning without landing Kelly, sources said.

The Eagles are the only other NFL team known to have interviewed Kelly.

Ducks still have to survive the NCAA’s Arbitrary Sanction Dispensation System, but outlook for next year is QUACK.

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  • Gary Guanine

    As an Eagles fan, I really wanted them to get Chip Kelly. I’m happy they at least tried.

    As a human being, I have no idea why anyone like Chip Kelly would want to coach the Eagles.

    • Walt

      You mean because the very best he could ever hope to get from the fans is begrudging acceptance? Entitled bastard.

      • Cody

        People in Philly are notoriously mean to their sports fans.

        I mean, they booed SANTA CLAUS!!

      • Gary Guanine

        And only about ten years after he retires, likely. Lord, we’re awful.

        • Walt

          Now now, don’t exaggerate. We reached grudging acceptance of Mike Schmidt in his last season or so.

  • Jonas

    I can’t imagine why anyone would turn down the Browns job. It’s like he enjoys being successful or something.

  • Morbo

    I demand more screenshots of Oregon playcalling signals.

  • Decrease Mather

    I’m assuming the NFL rejected Kelly because of the concerns about NCAA violations. They have standards, you know.

    • ploeg

      More likely that Kelly started with his ideas about dazzle camouflage uniforms, and the Iggles decided that they had to draw the line somewhere.

    • swoof

      That must be what kept the Seahawks from hiring Pete Carroll.

  • Domino

    Really surprised by this. It’s going to hurt Oregon in recruiting, though. Obviously a coach staying isn’t the end all be all for 18 year olds, but the knowledge that the coach may bolt to the NFL will only be used against him.

    Can’t blame him for staying though, he’s got a hot tub in his office.

    • witless chum

      I think Kelly will spin it as “Of course I can get you ready for the NFL. See how bad they want me?”

  • Warren Terra

    It’s nice your team keeps its winning coach, but realistically is it really a good thing that a publicly funded university with an educational mission is paying its football coach so very much money that he can afford to reject the blandishments of a couple of (inferior) teams from the massively profitable NFL?

    • witless chum

      Phil Knight would presumably be pumping less money into his alma mater if it didn’t play big money football. And even if he still did, the university it wouldn’t be bringing in the kind of athletic department revenue (mainly TV money) that it uses to pay Chip Kelly.

      Unless the finances are a lot different at Oregon than at the Big 10ish schools I’m familiar with, it’s a bit of a chicken or egg type proposition. At Michigan State, the football program pretty much pays for itself plus the rest of the athletic department and we don’t make anywhere near the kind of money our friends from Ann Arbor or Columbus do. (They also spend much more.) MSU gouges for tickets and donations with the best of them, but they aren’t taking money that would otherwise go to academics (or administration) and sending to athletics.

      My understanding is that’s how it works at the MAC schools. At Western Michigan, apparently, student fees pay for the athletic program, including ostensibly Div. 1 football and a pretty damn good college hockey program.

      • Warren Terra

        I haven’t looked into this deeply or recently, but when a school claims its football or basketball programs pay for themselves, be very, very skeptical. The accounting is massively fraudulent, with major costs not assessed against the program or sometimes even the department (including to build, maintain, and operate the stadiums and other facilities; the tutoring, special housing, and other aspects of having these quondam “student-athletes” on campus; and the Title IX requirements imposed by the presence of a massively expensive men-only football program), and the revenue side equally so (teams or athletic departments are frequently and often dubiously credited for all branded-memorabilia sales and for most alumni fundraising). There’s also a limited amount of fundraising capacity; if you’re getting a new, likely unnecessary stadium (as in Seattle), it means there’s something else you haven’t raised money for. Sure, you’re right that ticket money isn’t taken from the academics – but you’re likely wrong to imply that the athletics department isn’t taking from other departments in other ways.

        Basically: if the Ducks really are worth tens of millions a year, the state should sell the damn team and get the University out of the youth-abuse business.

        • witless chum

          Well, like I said, MSU is the one that I’ve read in deep detail about, but at least in that case they do things like have the athletic department cut a check to the registrars’ office for the tuition of every scholarship athlete.

          They seem to actually suggest that they’re really in the red or really in the black depending on the audience, too, which leads me to believe it’s pretty close one way or the other.

  • gratuitous

    I think Kelly stayed with Oregon for a couple of reasons: First, as a college football coach, you get to be your own general manager. I don’t think Kelly has a problem delegating authority, but in the pros, a coach doesn’t have control over the general manager, who is in ultimate charge of making personnel decisions.

    Second, a gig in the pros means a lot of personal appearance stuff. Kelly may be the only coach at his level of achievement who doesn’t have a weekly teevee show. Kelly also doesn’t make the weekly pilgrimmage to Portland to yak with the well-heeled boosters. There’s some grumbling about this, but as long as he keeps winning 11 or 12 games a season and going to BCS bowls, the alumni will forgive him. The pros practically demand a weekly show with the coach answering a lot of boring questions and explaining every strategem – good or bad – of the previous game. Kelly doesn’t appear to be interested in that at all.

    I think Kelly has finally reached a level of comfort and acceptance at Oregon, and the prospect of spending the next few years striking fear into the heart of Nick Saban whenever his name is mentioned has to count for something.

    • CJColucci

      Funny you should mention Nick Saban. Today’s Times has a piece on the one part of his coaching career that wasn’t a great success, his stint with the Dolphins.

    • Mike Schilling

      And then there’s the fact that it’s the Browns and the Eagles. Get back to me when he turns down the Packers or the Ravens.

      • gratuitous

        I agree; I think it would take an upper-echelon team to lure Kelly away from Eugene, but then would such a team be interested in a college coach without pro experience?

        I think Kelly is interested in coaching at the very highest level, but not just for the sake of saying that he coached in the NFL.

        In any case, it will be an interesting season next year: Will the BCS computers get out of their default setting favoring the SEC? Will Lou Holtz learn how to pronounce “Oregon?” Would Nick Saban throw a game to avoid having to play the Ducks in a bowl? Will the BCS ever join the rest of NCAA sports in determining its champion on the field instead of in the bowels of computers accountable to nobody?

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