Chip Kelly reportedly returning to Oregon

For the second year in a row, Chip Kelly appears to be returning to Oregon despite seriously considering taking a head coaching job in the NFL.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that Kelly decided to return to Oregon, and several other reporters/outlets confirmed the report.

Kelly interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, according to reports. He was even said to be close to accepting the Browns’ offer, but that obviously did not happen.

Last year, Kelly accepted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job before deciding to return to Oregon.

Kelly is among the finest coaches in college football. He has gone 46-7 in four seasons at Oregon and has led the team to BCS bowl games each year.

There are few details explaining why Kelly decided to return to the Ducks despite interviewing for a few vacancies in the NFL. ESPN says Kelly “decided he wasn’t comfortable leaving the college game.” My guess is he looked at the two jobs — Philadelphia and Cleveland — and realized at best he’d probably be around .500 for the next two seasons, which would mar his reputation. If I were in his situation, I’d want jobs with more potential than those two seem to offer.

Oregon could be facing potential sanctions from the NCAA, which is another reason why Kelly may have been considering leaving the school.

I’d also like to hear an explanation from NFL Network/NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport who said on Friday that Kelly was “very close” to a deal with the Browns. What happened in 48 hours since then? Did he have bad information on Friday, or did something change with Kelly?

Oregon’s uniforms against Arkansas State were as crazy as usual (Pictures)

Oregon has not disappointed in its quest to have the most talked-about uniforms in college football. The green and yellow duds you see above are what the Ducks wore for their season-opening game against Arkansas State. They had green jerseys with yellow numbers, yellow pants, yellow socks, and green cleats. The helmets were yellow with the reflective wing pattern. Overall, the uniforms weren’t too dissimilar from what Nike unveiled last week.

Personally, I’m not a fan of all the yellow, though it definitely has a nostalgic Reuben Droughns feel.

Below are more looks at the unis:

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Oregon’s new football uniforms released (Pictures)

Several teams unveiled new uniforms for the upcoming college football season, but fans were still waiting on one school to show off their new duds: Oregon. Nike finally came through on Wednesday by releasing the new football uniforms for the Ducks. The uniforms are made of 16 different materials, and they look infinitely better than Notre Dame’s hideous unis. Here are a few looks at the uniforms:

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Oregon players annoyed at school for profiting off their memorabilia

To see the hypocrisy of college athletics near its worst, pay a visit to OregonAuthentic.com. There you’ll be able to bid on game-worn jerseys, gear and other equipment used by current and former University of Oregon athletes. Naturally, none of those athletes will see a dime. To make you forget that detail, maybe the school was counting on your overwhelming excitement for getting some sweet Ducks merch.

The idea behind the site is to reduce inventory. The NCAA doesn’t permit schools to let players keep any more than three jerseys. Without Hermione’s magic purse in “Harry Potter,” the rest of the gear and equipment piles up. They have to go somewhere, and, as Oregon’s senior associate athletic director for marketing and public relations Craig Pintens suggests: “Why not share them with the fans?” According to the site, all money raised “directly supports the University of Oregon Department of Athletics and student-athletes.”

At writing, the LaMichael James jersey worn the night he broke the school’s career rushing mark is up to $980. And that’s with 10 days still left to bid! Also up for bidding is a No. 90 jersey — that belongs to Ricky Heimuli, who the NCAA forbids Oregon from mentioning because he’s an active player. You can get that one for a fraction of the price of James’. All items started with a $1 bid.

But don’t think any Ducks are going to take getting so blatantly and shamelessly swindled laying down.

“It’s just like another scheme, another wrinkle where the university, the football program and Nike are gonna make tons of money off me and my buddies,” former o-lineman Mark Asper told The Register-Guard in Eugene.

James also weighed in on the topic via Twitter:

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Oregon football’s locker room looks like a night club (Video)

If you need Exhibit A of schools spending exorbitant amounts of money to attract recruits, here’s a video tour of the Oregon football program’s swanky night club locker room. Sophomore quarterback Bryan Bennett takes us on a “Cribs”-like walk through of the two-leveled hangout. And, in true Ducks fashion, it is the epitome of gaudiness and materialism.

The entire space is littered with Oregon mantras and emblems, enormous images of former players and reminders of past victories. The lockers have wood-paneled doors, metal shelving on the inside and individual ventilation systems to combat mustiness from pads, shoes and sweat-drenched clothing. The upper level of lockers has a balcony so players can listen in when Chip Kelly gives a pep talk from the adjacent lounge area. Then there’s also the lighting system that makes it so the players’ eyes don’t have to adjust when they go outside. I. Know.

Of course Nike founder Phil Knight also has his own locker, in case, you know, he ever wants to strap on the pads one day. That’s not the only presence Uncle Phil has in the locker room. There’s also a metal-engraved dedication plaque with the likeness of the university’s billionaire benefactor in his trademark shades, creepily watching the players with a huge grin.

Try being a recruit on a visit to Eugene and not getting blown away by a state-of-the-art locker room that also happens to have the ambiance of a hot L.A. nightspot. (This is not to be confused with the trashy strip-club vibe of SMU’s locker room.)

H/T The Dish


Oregon’s Chrome Rose Bowl Helmets Bring Unique to a New Level (Pictures)

Last week, Nike gave the public a sneak peek of Oregon’s 2011 Rose Bowl uniforms.  We thought they were sick and were particularly intrigued by the helmets, but the pictures on Nike’s website did the Ducks’ new swag no justice.  The helmets they are rocking for the Rose Bowl are straight up chrome, as we saw when Oregon took the field Monday afternoon for their pregame warmups.  Have a look at these bad boys.

I wonder if Wisconsin has ever played a game in which they could see themselves in their opponents’ uniforms.  If not, they’re about to.  If the Badgers’ linebacker planned on screaming trash talk across the line of scrimmage at the quarterback, they better make sure they don’t frighten themselves in the process.  Bravo, Nike.  Bravo.

Pictures via @BryanDFischer and @GeorgeSchroeder

And Now For the Tale of Nine Oregon Football Players Trapped in an Elevator

The Oregon Ducks’ trip to California for the Rose Bowl has been about more than just football. With each passing day, more and more Frightening moments seem to be highlighting the trip. First, there was LaMichael James practically crapping himself on Space Mountain in Disney Land. Then on Thursday, offensive lineman Mark Asper had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a choking fan at a team dinner.  Now, we have the story of nine football players trapped inside a hotel elevator.

Nine players left the 11th floor of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City Monday night, and were headed down when the elevator came to an abrupt stop between the seventh and eighth floors.

There, it sat, unwilling to move no matter what buttons the players pushed.

Finally, they reached the hotel staff on the elevator intercom, and settled back to wait for help.

According to The Oregonian the players were stuck for two hours, which was long enough that they had to take turns sitting down because they were getting tired and there wasn’t enough space for everyone to sit.

“We had music playing,” defensive end Dion Jordan said. “We tried to make the most of it. It was kind of nerve wracking to be stuck in the elevator for that long.”

“I was joking with (defensive back Avery Patterson),” Asper added. “I said: ‘You were the smallest guy in that elevator. You would have been the first one they ate, man. If it had come down to it, it’s survival of the fittest. You probably would have got eaten.’”

Perhaps they were over the elevator’s weight limit?  Breathe, Oregon fans.  Everybody is okay.

Chest bump to Dr. Saturday for sharing the story