Oregon coach Mark Helfrich wasn’t on the hot seat to start the season, but as the team has endured blowout loss after blowout loss, the unrest is palpable in Eugene.
And ESPN’s business reporter Darren Rovell decided to throw some gasoline on that smoldering fire with a tweet suggesting super booster Phil Knight, who is the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, would be more than happy to shell out the money to find the Ducks a new head coach.
There's talk heating up in Oregon that Phil Knight is ready to throw insane $10M+ a year money at a football coach. He's 78, wants a title.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 5, 2016
Oregon is 3-6 this season after losing 45-20 to USC on Saturday. The Ducks have allowed teams at least 35 points in losses this season and rank 125th (out of 128 schools) in scoring defense allowing 42.6 points per game. The only teams that are worse are New Mexico State, Cal and Bowling Green.
And the potential to salvage the regular season and finish with six wins is bleak with games against Stanford, Utah and Oregon State remaining.
It’s a strange downturn considering the Ducks played for a national title just two years ago and even managed to win nine games in 2015, the first year post-Marcus Mariota. But it’s clear things are trending downward and if Rovell is right, the money that has made Oregon a national brand is starting to get antsy.
Unfortunately for Oregon, Chip Kelly ain’t walking through that door any time soon. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, sources close to Kelly say he’s not interested in returning to Oregon or to the college game. However, speculation continues to swirl especially since Knight was at last Sunday’s 49ers game as Kelly’s guest.
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