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Duck Chopping Block

Axes Always Look Bigger In The Air Says NW Boomer

Gravity still works in Eugene

Gravity still works in Eugene

Will the NCAA finally explain the evils of Chip Kelly?

All the man did was put Eugene on the recruiting trail. What he didn’t do was learn to wipe off fingerprints along the way.

Maybe it’s excusable for a New Hampshire guy who’s never worried about fingerprints, and maybe for a university that never mattered enough for anyone to throw under the bus.

Kelly made the Ducks matter while he lasted. They mattered to the football world who marveled at the field management. They mattered enough to rake the muck of big time college football.

That’s a lot of concern. But is it fair?

Wrong-doing in the first, second, or third degree won’t change Eugene as a destination for players ready to make a mark that matters.

Nothing the NCAA hands down will change their mind.

But, is that fair? Fair to Coach Kelly, to the University of Oregon, to the NCAA? Whether it’s fair to the players  or not isn’t part of the equation, so why ask?

All they do is play the game, but even the most sheltered of recruits have heard of SMU’s death penalty. In case they haven’t, this is from wiki:

  • The 1987 season was canceled; only conditioning drills were permitted during the 1987 calendar year.
  • All home games in 1988 were canceled. SMU was allowed to play their seven regularly scheduled away games so that other institutions would not be financially affected.
  • The team’s existing probation was extended until 1990. Its existing ban from bowl games and live television was extended to 1989.
  • SMU lost 55 new scholarship positions over 4 years.
  • SMU was required to ensure that Owen and eight other boosters previously banned from contact with the program were in fact banned, or else face further punishment.
  • The team was allowed to hire only five full-time assistant coaches, instead of the typical nine.
  • No off-campus recruiting was permitted until August 1988, and no paid visits could be made to campus by potential recruits until the start of the 1988-89 school year.

That’s not happening to Oregon Duck football, not after how long it took SMU to matter again. How many sports fans think SMU should have received the death penalty to begin with?

If that’s the worst punishment in recent history, where do Oregon’s illegal acts rank? Are they comparable to THE Ohio State Buckeyes? Or even USC? Penn State ought to be closer to SMU, but no.

Oregon won’t vacate national titles or Heisman Trophies, and maybe that’s the bigger picture. First, they don’t have them to vacate. Second, the loyalty trail didn’t dry up to Eugene any more than it did to either OSU or USC.

One lost a coach, and in return got the only one named after a Pope. That’s a blessing.

The other kept their coach who convinced USC’s quarterback sensation Matt Barkley to come back for one more season, which ended up a curse to him and falling draft stock.

If you hear any cursing after the NCAA finally drops the hammer it may come from the Philadelphia Eagles where Chip Kelly and Barkley wear matching hats.

Let’s hope this new duet keeps with Philly’s tradition of great singers like Hall and Oates, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and The O’Jays.

This last group had a big hit in 1972 called Back Stabbers. It was a baby boomer regular on the dance floor.

So far the case against Oregon hasn’t made Kelly sing that song.

Now that the ax dropped, the campus paper Daily Emerald tells the tale of NCAA sanctions.

  • Three year probabtion.
  • One scholarship loss per year.
  • Coach Kelly gets the show-cause penalty for 18 months.

Not to kill the messenger, but who is the spokesman for the NCAA on the Oregon punishment? Gregory Sankey, associate commissioner of the SEC and NCAA Committee on Infractions.

You’d expect the SEC to pop up here?

From secdigitalnetwork: “Over the past decade Greg has played an important role as a member of the SEC’s leadership team and has been a key contributor to our success,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “He is extremely talented in all facets of athletics administration and will make even greater contributions to the conference in his expanded role as our chief operating officer.”

From the same: “Sankey is active within the NCAA where he currently serves as vice-chair of the Division I Legislative Council and as a member of the Committee on Academic Performance and the Division I Committee on Infractions. He previously served on the NCAA Division I Management Council, NCAA Bowl Task Force, and NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification. He also served as the executive vice president of the Collegiate Commissioners Association and as president of the National Association of Athletics Compliance.”

When the fox is in the hen house, the last thing they want are more foxes.

Cam Newton has a clean slate with Auburn. Nothing to look at here, so move along little doggie:

From ESPN: “The NCAA and Auburn found Cecil Newton and Rogers first discussed asking representatives of Mississippi State for “a substantial cash payment” around the time of his official visit from Nov. 27-29, 2009. Rogers was also on campus during the visit and, NCAA documents say, he and Cecil Newton met with two Bulldogs assistants in a hotel lobby and discussed payment. The two coaches denied to the NCAA that such inducements were discussed.”

Patrick Peterson didn’t have a price tag of $80,000 to go somewhere other than LSU? Don’t be silly. Besides, Texas A&M is in the SEC without shelling out the cash. There was no cash involved.

With Mr. Sankey running the SEC from his Chief Operating Officer’s chair, along with the one he sits in for the NCAA, college football in the south has a brighter future than ever.

Expect no vacated titles or trophies from his neck of the woods. And where is that? Birmingham, Alabama. Come on down.

(posted on






About David Gillaspie
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