Oregon Football: How Reported Violations Affect Chip Kelly's Legacy

Sean FryeFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2013

Chip Kelly has apparently left the Ducks to deal with major violations on their own.
Chip Kelly has apparently left the Ducks to deal with major violations on their own.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

With the revelation that major violations occurred at Oregon during Chip Kelly's tenure, his legacy is certainly taking a hit. 

Kelly's success on the field with the Ducks was phenomenal. He was the AP Coach of the Year in 2010, won three conference championships and appeared in the BCS title game against Auburn in 2011. 

But now, with reports that Oregon paid Will Lyles, the head of a recruiting service, it appears that Kelly cheated his way to the top. 

What made Kelly so successful at Oregon was his ability to recruit. With Nike furnishing new uniforms to players on a seemingly everyday basis and with newly renovated facilities, it seemed like Kelly had it easy to make Oregon seem like paradise to a recruit. 

It's clear now, though, that Kelly broke the rules to get top recruits. 

The NCAA said in its report, according to ESPN.com, that, "There were underlying major violations coupled with failure to monitor violations involving the head coach (2009 through 2011) and the athletics department (2008-2011)." 

So clearly the NCAA found direct wrongdoing by Kelly. It wasn't just an assistant who went rogue. Kelly was in on the whole thing. 

And Kelly didn't even come out and deny the allegations. In a statement Kelly released, while he acknowledged the investigation, he did not say he was innocent. 

"While at Oregon, I know we were fully cooperative with all aspects of the investigation and I will continue to contribute in any way that I can," Kelly said. "But until the NCAA rules on the matter, I will have no further comment."

There are reports that Oregon and the NCAA disagree about the severity of the violations. The NCAA is saying that the violations are major, while Oregon believes they are secondary in nature. 

Regardless, it now seems that Kelly left Oregon at least somewhat unstable despite his successes. 

Oregon is proposing a two-year probation period with a one-year scholarship ban per year of probation. 

Whether the NCAA accepts Oregon's proposal or not, it still does not change the fact that Kelly's lasting effect will now include NCAA sanctions. 

He now joins a club that includes Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari and former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, who both left programs in shambles due to NCAA sanctions. 

Both those coaches have had tremendous success. They won a lot of games and even a few national titles. But the lasting stigma of both those guys right now is that they left their former programs right before or during an NCAA scandal. 

Kelly's legacy is now tantamount to those two coaches. And that's certainly not a good thing.