Chip Kelly apologizes, says he didn't leave Oregon due to investigation

Jeff Gross

The former Duck head man apologized for his role in the scandal that brought sanctions to the Oregon football program, a far cry from his original stance on the issue.

Hours after the NCAA let Oregon off light over the Will Lyles recruiting scandal, former head coach Chip Kelly apologized to the university, players and fans for his role in the scandal.

Kelly received the harshest penalty associated with the investigation in the form of an 18-month show cause, but it won't affect him after he left Oregon to take the Philadelphia Eagles job.

Kelly says the scandal had no bearing on his decision to leave Eugene for the NFL, but whether you believe him or not is up to you. Kelly was hired by the Eagles back in January, well after everyone was aware that the NCAA would be leveling some sort of punishment towards Oregon. It was also well before, however, anyone had any idea when they would get around to it.

The apology is a change in tune from Kelly's tone on the scandal while still at Oregon as he was much more defiant in the face of potential penalties while at the school.

March, 2011

"Most programs purchase recruiting services. Our compliance office is aware of it. Will has a recruiting service that met NCAA rules and we used him in 2010."

July, 2011

"Around here, we call him 'Will,'" Kelly told Canzano according to the column. "We've already distanced ourselves from him, trust me."

For whatever part he played in the scandal, Kelly did not cost his former team a shot at a national title by bringing down a bowl ban on them. It would seem that he'll avoid his show cause penalty, obviously, but also any punishment from the NFL:

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