Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Oregon Football Boosters Are Mad That Chip Kelly Doesn't Hang Out With Them

Illustration for article titled Oregon Football Boosters Are Mad That Chip Kelly Doesnt Hang Out With Them

The Chip Kelly era has brought the Oregon Ducks to two Rose Bowls and a BCS Championship Game in three seasons—and a Fiesta Bowl appearance this season—so it'd seem difficult to complain about the then-unknown New Hampshire offensive coordinator who took over a Pac-10 program. And yet, some of the university's boosters are complaining that Kelly's not paying enough attention to donors. Off the record, of course.

From John Locanthi of Willamette Week:

A number of substantial Oregon football boosters, many of whom requested anonymity, expressed a widespread annoyance with Kelly. The coach with the highest winning percentage (45-7, 86.5 percent) among BCS conference coaches is at odds with many of those closest to the Oregon program. Although most would agree Kelly is an extraordinary coach, he doesn't care much for the many other obligations that come with his job.

"Some of the college boosters have gone as far as to say, ‘I hope he does leave so we can get somebody who appreciates the fans,'" says Jack Roberts, a former Oregon labor commissioner and Oregon alumnus.
"As revolutionary as Chip has been on the field with the no-huddle offense, he's been more revolutionary in how he acts toward social functions," says an Oregon booster who requested anonymity. The source said the relationship between Kelly and boosters is strained.

When Kelly began at Oregon as offensive coordinator, his contract included a $50,000 incentive-a third of his $150,000 base salary-to make specific public appearances, which he dutifully made. His current contract makes no mention of any similarly required appearances.

"He's good at talking to people," says Jack Roberts, "but he's not a glad-handing guy."

Dan Dutton, a booster and former walk-on player at Oregon under Rich Brooks, says: "Fundraising and socializing are not his favorite activities."


Apparently, winning does not solve everything. While anonymous donors are displeased because no one's fawning over them, Kelly is too busy slapping high double-digit scores on teams with his unique offensive scheme. Which is, you know, the most important part of his job.

Kelly's rumored to be heading to the NFL after the season's over—although he was supposed to do that last season, so who knows—which makes this the best chance for anyone with a grudge to take some parting shots. With his future job opportunities, however, it's doubtful that Kelly cares about some quotes with no name.

[Willamette Week]

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