Shocked, betrayed, deceived, stunned — these are a few of the emotions circulating amongst Oregon fans at this very moment. Upon news of Chip Kelly heading to the NFL, social media platforms erupted as fans verbalized their discontent with the situation and concern for the future of the Oregon Ducks football program.
An early morning phone call by Chip Kelly to athletic director Rob Mullens sparked the circulation of Chip’s change of heart as he flipped the script on his beloved followers. The University of Oregon is now in a mad scramble to replace one of the most prestigious NCAA football coaches of the decade. Mark Helfrich was the planned successor; however, Rob Mullens addressed in a news conference Wednesday afternoon that there will be an ongoing search for a new head coach and that Helfrich is not guaranteed the position. Furthermore, Chip’s departure is during a crucial recruiting period in which the signing day is three weeks away.
Chip’s sudden exit leaves Rob Mullens in a tough situation and re-sparks the conversation of potential impending NCAA sanctions. Coach Kelly’s unexpected exodus to the NFL may signal to fans that he might have information on sanctions soon to hit Oregon. Regardless of this information, it will be hard for the University of Oregon to replace such a unique coach as Kelly. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if the Ducks next head coach attempts to replicate Chip or tries to shape the program in a different direction.