Oregon Coach Chip Kelly on Fairness of Penn State Sanctions: “Ask the Families If It’s Unfair What Happened to Them”July 25, 2012 – 7:30 am by Eric Schmoldt
Chip Kelly says he hasn’t paid a ton of attention to the Penn State scandal from a football perspective. So when asked if the sanctions handed down to the Nittany Lions by the NCAA were unfair, Kelly suggested asking the families whose lives were involved in the scandal whether what happened to them was unfair.
It’s the time of year for media days around the country, so coaches know they’re going to be asked about any number of different things. Kelly also discusses his involvement in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ coaching search this past offseason and claims he stuck around because of his staff.
Chip Kelly joined KJR in Seattle with Dave Mahler to discuss how close he was to going to the Buccaneers in the NFL, if he still wants to coach at the next level someday, if his offense will translate to the next level, the Penn State scandal, the sanctions the Nittany Lions received and his quarterback situation entering this fall.
How close were you to going to Tampa Bay to coach in the NFL?:
“I was close. … I decided to stay, really, because of our staff. I love those guys, love working with them. I think sometimes when people make decisions about taking job X over job Y, it’s ‘Well, that’s a good job?’ Well, what makes it a good job? The people you work with every day. We’ve got something special there. We’re the only staff in the country that’s been together four straight years. … There’s certainly challenges out there that intrigue me, but I think at the end of the day, when you finally have to make a decision, the reason I stayed was because of the staff.”
So you’d still like to coach in the NFL, perhaps, sometime down the road?:
“I would say this, I don’t know enough about it. When I got the call, I literally said I would like to take the interview because I thought it would be a good life experience for me. Then I ended up getting offered the job and I’m like, ‘Whoa, I didn’t see that coming.’”
How much would you have to change your offense? Or does it translate to the NFL?:
“I think some does. No one can be married to one thing, because it’s all personnel-driven. You can say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this.’ It’s like the Denver Broncos. What John Fox did in Denver with Tim Tebow was outstanding because he looked at what he had for a player and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to run this.’ Now, all of a sudden, they have Peyton Manning and they’re not going to run the same plays. … It’s a personnel-driven game and I think the coaches that are the best at it can adapt their systems to the NFL.”
What was your take on the Penn State scandal?:
“I didn’t look at anything that’s gone on at Penn State as a college football person or a college football fan. I just looked at it as a tragedy. I don’t think it’s a football thing. It’s something that even when you hear about it, and the sanctions and those other things, they still don’t resonate with me. What resonates with me is the heinous crime that went on that affected kids. We play a game and I still think about the families and the kids that are involved.”
Were the NCAA sanctions unfair?:
“Ask the families if it’s unfair what happened to them. Again, I don’t think it’s a football issue. It’s a bigger-than-that issue.”
On the Oregon Ducks quarterback situation:
“I honestly don’t know [who's going to start]. And right now I don’t want to know. I think it’s a big decision. I’ve always been this way, that if you have a big decision to make, why wouldn’t you get all the information possible and then ultimately make the decision? … In this situation, we don’t have to pick a quarterback. Ideally I want to do it before our first game, so that gives us 27 practice opportunities.”