I will be addressing this as a letter to Chip Kelly in hopes he will one day read it.
Mr. Chip Kelly:
Here are my credentials:
I was born in Oregon.
I spent my entire childhood in Oregon.
I went to preschool, elementary school, junior high and high school in Oregon.
I attended the University of Oregon and went to every single home football game in my time there, and in 2008, I graduated with a degree in biochemistry.
You can say I'm an Oregonian.
I (along with most Oregon fans) have been wearily supporting you throughout this whole Will (I won't say Willie, or you won't know who I'm talking about) Lyles controversy. We wanted to support you. We did support you.
Some might take that as a given, but I now live in Ann Arbor, where Rich Rodriguez ("Dick Rod" as the locals affectionately refer to him) was never given a chance. We gave you a chance. You won for us, and you made us happy. For that, we've been loyal.
But now, it's gone too far.
After Lyles opened up with his very plausible story, complete with hand-written notes from you and email/cell phone records corresponding with his story, I find myself in disbelief.
Clarification: I believe him for the most part.
My disbelief is in how you, a non-native, could have brought down my beloved program in two years.
I laughed at Tressel and welcomed Ohio State's downfall. What's that saying about laughing as the hearse goes by? At least Tressel took more than a decade to destroy his program; you seemed to have done it in barely two years.
That couldn't be the case, right? We don't cheat and commit NCAA violations.
Cameron Newton and Auburn were supposed to be shady—not us.You're going to come out, explain everything and save the program, right?
Wrong, I think.
The University of Oregon is on communication lockdown. More than 48 hours have gone by without one word from you or the Oregon Athletic Department.
Meanwhile, other fans and I have nothing to do but read and reread the whole article on Yahoo Sports. For those of you who have been abroad the past few days, the original article can be read here.
Chip, sir, you must say something. You can't remain silent. Every minute you're silent the media continue to speculate, your supporters become more skeptical and the world draws more conclusions.
These are the conclusions I've drawn (which I hope are somehow incorrect):
You paid for Will Lyle's influence.
You supported going behind Lache Seastrunk's mother's back (which she might have deserved, but the University of Oregon should have had NO part in it), you supported transferring LaMichael to a different school so he could eschew Texas standardized testing.
I'm no lawyer, but that—at best—sounds like dishonestly working the system, and at worst, it sounds like some kind of fraud.
You lied to reporters about knowing Lyles. Then, after you realized you would get caught, you tried to cover it up by requesting last-minute documents from him.
And finally, it seems you wanted to throw Lyles in front of a train with the "bad business deal" excuse.
Chip, if those things are true, it's time for you to go. You cheated, then arrogantly and moronically tried to hide it. Maybe you're innocent—and if you are, I'll be the first to apologize.
But what I do know is this:
You cannot remain silent about this. You cannot come out and read a brief statement about cooperating with the NCAA. You cannot say you believe U of O has done nothing wrong.
You must address Will Lyle's charges directly.
You must deny or confirm them. If you deny them, then you'd better have a pretty good story and evidence to back it up.
If you do, I'll strap on my helmet and get in the trenches for you. If not, then you need to resign.
If you don't do either of these things, then I will be the first one at College GameDay in Dallas (oh yes, I'm going to the game) with a caustically witty and damning sign aimed at you.
Chip, please say something.
UPDATE AS OF 8/1/11
After Pac-12 media days and listening to Chip's interview with Colin Cowherd, I must say I am behind Chip Kelly 98%. I'm not convinced the Ducks will come through unscathed, but Chip says he's confident and feels good about the situation, which is as much as he seems to be able to say at this point. I must take him at his word and believe that things weren't what they seemed (LSU getting the same bogus materials as Oregon got from Lyles is another example that something may be off). I just wish Chip had come out and given the Duck faithful a thumbs up weeks ago. We'll see how this pans out.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!