Oregon football sure has been through a whole lot this offseason. More than any first year AD and head coach should have to handle. Let's take a little trip down memory lane shall we?
Sept. 3rd—LeGarrette Blount throws the "punch heard round the world" landing him a career-wrecking eight game suspension.
Jan. 24—Rob Beard is beat unconscious, and charged with misdemeanor assault. Mike Bowlin, also involved in the fight, was kicked off the team.
Feb. 1st—Garrett Embry's kicked off team for violating team rules.
Feb. 3rd—Matt Simms is kicked off the team on a misdemeanor assault charge involving the Rob Beard incident.
Feb. 21st—Jamere Holland is kicked off team for racist Facebook remarks, and "violating team rules".
Feb. 22nd—Kiko Alonso gets suspended for 2010 following a DUI charge.
March 12th—LaMichael James gets suspended for season opener after physically harassing his ex-girlfriend, and being given 24 months of probation.
This is the same day Jeremiah Masoli pleaded guilty to second degree felony burglary charges. He is suspended the 2010 football season, and given 12 months probation.
That's quite the list there.
And most fans have been bashing Chip Kelly for making the wrong calls, going too easy, changing his mind, etc. And I partially agree...I would've kicked him Masoli off the the team, and suspended LaMichael longer. However, can you really get mad at Kelly for what he did?
He's in his first year of coaching, and all these things have just been thrust at him. And Mike Bellotti, though more experienced, is still a first year AD. Have they both made mistakes? Absolutely. Should we expect any different? No.
I don't get mad at Bellotti and Kelly, or blame them for the teams actions in the slightest. Both have apologized to the staff and fans profusely, and all Oregon fans know Bellotti is one strict coach, the same as Kelly.
So, Oregon fans, don't blame them...blame the players, and the university's success. Look at Florida, for example. As soon as they got really good, there were over 40 arrests from the football team. And they went on to grow as a team and have great success. Look at the glass half full...maybe this means Oregon will have a national championship year next year.
It's easy to pick apart the coach's decisions from the couch with a bag of potato chips in one hand, and a cold one in the other. But in my opinion, Kelly's doing a fine job. Remember...taking back Blount's season long suspension wasn't even his doing. That was mainly the UO President and AD Mike Bellotti.
And speaking of Mike Bellotti...why is everyone pissed at him for leaving?
He never wanted to become AD in the first place. He always wanted to coach football. After he was practically forced into the position, I'd say he hasn't done too shabby. Then he was forced to fire his good friend Ernie Kent...like anyone didn't see that coming anyway.
But then he gets this great offer to come over to ESPN...wouldn't you take it? It's either that or he goes to coach somewhere else, either way he'd be a goner.
But in my mind here's how it'll work out:
Chip Kelly will keep it together, and put in one or two more solid Pac-10 performances. Then some big school back east will call his name and he'll head on home. He's never been an Oregon guy anyway...
It's at this point Bellotti comes back. As the football coach, where he belongs. He may go somewhere else for a year, or stay at ESPN for a while. But mark my words, he'll be back.