COMMENTARY | Chip Kelly was found to be guilty of a failure to monitor the Oregon Ducks football program by the NCAA and has been slapped with an 18-month show-cause. Fortunately for the Eagles, and Kelly, all of this means practically nothing as far as the NFC East franchise is concerned.
The NCAA hit the University of Oregon with three years of probation and a loss of one scholarship for two years to bring an end to a drawn out investigation process in to recruiting violations, according to the university's public infractions report. Oregon failed to monitor their football program, a charge shared by Kelly as well as others, and allowed improper recruiting services and recruiters to help Oregon's football program recruit talent to their campus. Kelly admitted to his role in the investigation and accepted blame placed upon him during the process.
The show-cause penalty in college athletics ensures any coach who left a program before sanctions were issued will still pay repercussions in the event they attempt to return to coaching at the collegiate level. Any school that would hire a coach with a show-cause penalty would likely serve some form of sanctions comparable with the original sanctions on the coach's former school. This prevents coaches from skipping out on a university before sanctions are issued and immediately continuing coaching elsewhere at the collegiate level.
Instead, Kelly was hired by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and is basically free from penalty of the NCAA. Before Kelly joined the Eagles, Pete Carroll left USC for the Seattle Seahawks under similar circumstances and Jim Tressel had joined the Indianapolis Colts as Ohio State was being investigated (Tressel was fired by Ohio State). It is unlikely NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would feel a need to address the situation regarding Kelly any further.
The 18-month show-cause will expire in December of 2014, during which time Kelly will be the head coach in Philadelphia. This prevents any Bobby Petrino sort of situation, in which Kelly would attempt to return to the college game after the 2013 season. Petrino coached less than a full season with the Atlanta Falcons before returning to the college game to coach Arkansas. If the next two seasons fail to develop with Kelly in charge of the Eagles though, Kelly could hypothetically return to the college game after two years the way Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier had done previously.
Ultimately this means absolutely nothing for the Eagles for now. Kelly can continue to coach the Eagles without issue. Kelly and Oregon essentially get off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist moving forward. Win the day, indeed.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer. Follow McGuire on Twitter @krmcguire.
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