Oregon coach Chip Kelly remains the most-discussed candidate to become an NFL head coach next month, and recent developments may make Kelly more interested than ever in leaving college football for the pros.
Oregon is anticipating an appearance before the NCAA’s committee on infractions this spring, Yahoo Sports reports. The NCAA is looking into whether the football program had an improper financial relationship with recruiting adviser Will Lyles.
Although the investigations are not the same, the end result could be the same as the end of Pete Carroll’s tenure at USC: A football power crippled by NCAA sanctions, and a successful coach deciding he’d rather coach in the NFL than deal with the ramifications. Kelly is already rumored to be interested in leaving Oregon for the NFL, and if he’s concerned that his Oregon teams will be weakened by scholarship losses or other NCAA penalties, it’s hard to see why he’d stay.
And it seems clear that if Kelly wants to coach in the NFL, some owner will want him. He’s the most innovative offensive mind in college football, and as the NFL begins to incorporate some of the same spread offensive approaches that have become commonplace in college, Kelly is a hot commodity.
Last offseason Kelly turned down the Tampa Bay job. This offseason, he may be ready to jump.