Oregon Football: Sanctions Would Set Program Back More Than Other Top Teams

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIDecember 22, 2012

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 17: Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks looks on as his team warms up before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

If Oregon faces sanctions for their alleged involvement with a recruiting service, per ESPN, the fallout could have a huge negative impact on the program going forward.

According to NFL.com, amidst the rumors of NCAA penalties, speculation has grown that this could be the year head coach Chip Kelly finally heads to the NFL.

This chain reaction of events would be devastating to Oregon's football program. In addition to the impact sanctions can have on recruiting, there is a chance Kelly's verbal commitments could change their minds.

Per CBS Sports, coveted recruit Thomas Tyner has already flip-flopped his commitment to the school. For now he's recommitted to the Ducks, but it isn't crazy to think that sanctions and/or Kelly's departure could make him—and others—think twice before officially committing to Oregon.

If some of the recruits that pictured themselves in Kelly's spread offense become disenchanted with playing for a different coach, it will damage what looked like another solid recruiting class for the Ducks.

The Oregon program has made great strides over the last decade, but the school does not have the tradition of a USC or Ohio State. This program can't afford to lose scholarship athletes and expect to remain a top choice for the nation's best high school players.

If they aren't able to restock athletes at skill positions, the Ducks could easily slip to the middle of the pack in the Pac-12 by 2014. Without Kelly, and after playmakers like DeAnthony Thomas have moved on to the NFL, the Oregon attack won't be as formidable.

Even if they bring in another head coach that maintains the spread offense, or if they promote offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, there is no guarantee Kelly's successor will have the same success.

Ducks fans must hope that the NCAA doesn't hit the program too hard. If Kelly makes his move to the NFL, it could signal a downward snowball effect for Oregon football.

Follow Brian Mazique and Franchiseplay on YouTube and Twitter for reactions, analysis and news from the world of sports and sports video games

Subscribe on YouTube

Follow @BrianMazique

Follow @franchiseplay

Like us on Facebook