Ducking Out: Mike Bellotti Leaving Oregon for ESPN

Oregon's athletics department has already had a tempestuous 2010. First, the football team's spate of recent trouble forced Chip Kelly to make some tough decisions. Then, Ernie Kent was fired after 13 years as the Ducks' men's basketball coach. (Bright spot: the nascent baseball team seems to be doing well.)

And yet, things can get even more topsy-turvy in Eugene. Athletic director Mike Bellotti is leaving the program, one he's been with in various capacities since 1989, to join ESPN as a television analyst.

Will this quell the speculation by local columnists that Bellotti misses coaching? Maybe, maybe not. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that this is Bellotti wanting to do TV, nothing more:

⇥Oregon's Mike Bellotti isn't resigning because Nike has World Wide Wes and Lynn Merritt running his basketball search. He wants to do TV.
But it's Oregon, with a ton of turmoil to sift through, that is left adrift by this move. The half-joke Sports Illustrated writer Andy Staples tweeted might be half true, too:
⇥Will Bellotti step down so they can cut out the middleman and name Phil Knight AD?

Why can't Gus Johnson announce this? It's just a different kind of March madness.

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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