Chip Kelly’s football teams played fast on Saturdays and he coached them faster in practice. Unfortunately, Kelly also played it faster and looser with the rules while he was Oregon's head coach.
According to The Oregonian, Kelly was involved in commiting major violations while he was Oregon head coach. As a result of the violations, some of which involved $25,000 payments made to Texas-based scout Willie Lyles, the football program will reportedly self-impose a two-year probation and redact one scholarship each season for the next three years.
Not long after Kelly was named Eagles head coach, Oakland Raiders backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor was floated as a possible target of the teams. It made sense. Kelly recruited Pryor out of high school and he’s a big mobile quarterback in the mold of Colin Kaepernick. They would have been a perfect match for a tertiary reason.
Like Kelly, Pryor tried to boogie like WikiLeaks fugitive Julian Assange and escape his harsh NCAA punishment for bartering rings and jerseys for tattoos.
The only difference is that Pryor’s punishment was carried over to the NFL when he was suspended five games without pay.
While Goodell slammed the gavel down on Pryor’s misdemeanor like it was a federal case, grown men who were tasked with leading them with integrity got slapped with kiddy gloves.
Three years ago, Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks were a feel-good 8-8 Buster Douglas squad knocking out the defending champs. However, at the same time the 8-5 USC Trojans, whom he’d left in his wake, could not play in a single bowl game because the program was hit with heavy sanctions. The investigation began while Carroll was head coach, but it ended with Carroll rolling in NFL dough. Kelly and Carroll aren’t isolated cases. It occurs far too often.
The NFL and NCAA need to exchange rogue coaches that attempt to escape collegiate sanctions like Interpol treats fugitives.
If foreign nations can agree to extradition laws that corral individuals who’ve escaped prosecution and hand them off to the nation where their crimes were committed, the NFL and NCAA can work out a similar arrangement. The NFL set a precedent with Terrelle Pryor. Goodell needs to make a similar statement with Kelly and prove he’s the entire NFL’s disciplinarian and not just a dictator to players.
Kelly released a statement Tuesday afternoon through the Eagles, but has avoided making a personal comment.
“I am aware of the recent reports and of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the NCAA and the University of Oregon. While at Oregon, I know we were fully cooperative with all aspects of the investigation and I will continue to contribute in any way that I can. But until the NCAA rules on the matter, I will have no further comment.”
Hopefully, the NFL doesn’t remain as equally silent.