Masoli suspension earns Chip Kelly world of respect

Chip Kelly has it all wrong.

This is 2010, coach! It’s the golden age for lies, cheating, violations, and keeping players on the field no matter what.

You have a team in your very conference that won seven straight league titles, and even they might be bending the rules.

News flash: Chip Kelly has it all right.

The second-year Oregon Ducks’ head coach suspended quarterback Jeremiah Masoli for the season Friday, after Masoli pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor burglary charge.

It’s the second time in as many years that Kelly has been faced with a suspension of his star player.

If anyone reading this suffers from chronic amnesia, Kelly suspended LeGarrette Blount for what amounted to 10 games for sucker punching a Boise State player after the Ducks’ 19-8 loss in the 2009 season opener.

Kelly doesn’t care that this is an era where only 11 years ago, Florida State neglected to suspend star wideout Peter Warrick after he pleaded guilty to robbing a department store. It just so happened that the Seminoles were in the midst of a national championship run.

Oregon clearly has players in its system right now that are out to deface the program. Is this Kelly’s fault? Not entirely. While he was a part of the coaching staff before taking over as head coach, it was Mike Belotti who recruited Masoli, Blount and LaMichael James, the starting tailback who police arrested two weeks ago on domestic violence charges.

Should Kelly be keeping a closer eye on his players, and try to lead them in a better direction (preferably one that steers clear of Eugene Prison)? Absolutely, but you can only do so much. Every team deals with this problem.

Urban Meyer is famous for giving players second and third chances. From Marty Johnson at Utah to Marcus Thomas at Florida, Meyer penalizes his players for their actions before giving them back the gift of playing football.

The suspension of Masoli shows that Kelly is a man of integrity, and he also has quite a pair of you-know-whats. He doesn’t delve from his word, and if you screw around in his program, you will pay for it.

This also leads to another safe assumption for the Oregon program during the Kelly era: the NCAA will never slam them for recruiting violations. If coach Kelly is as strict on his players for following his rules, he will surely abide by the ones set for him just as closely.

So before anyone goes off on a wild tangent about how the Oregon program is a mess and they are more concerned with jacking computers from frat houses or beating their girlfriends, just remember who is pulling the strings on those players’ careers.

Kelly’s got one heck of a grip.


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