Eagles coach Chip Kelly has bolted college football for the NFL in time to avoid NCAA sanctions.
Kelly has been hit with an 18-month show-cause penalty, Bruce Feldman of CBS reports. That means if Kelly wants to return to coaching college football in the next two seasons, he and the school that hires him will have to show that they have a plan in place to abide by any restrictions that the NCAA puts on his recruiting.
Of course, there’s approximately zero chance that Kelly will want to return to coaching college football in the next two seasons, as he has a lucrative contract to coach the Eagles. This punishment matters not at all to Kelly’s coaching career, present or future.
It may, however, matter to his past, in the sense that it could tarnish Kelly’s reputation as one of the best college football coaches in recent memory: According to the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, Kelly built his Oregon football powerhouse in part by violating recruiting rules. Pete Carroll’s reputation in college football circles has similarly been damaged by revelations that USC broke the rules while he was the school’s coach, before he left for the Seahawks.
But like Carroll before him, Kelly left for the NFL before the NCAA could get him.