Quite the change for a program that won the Rose Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl the past two seasons, going a combined 24-3 in the process.
Oregon is under hot water for allegedly paying scout Willie Lyles $25,000 before recruit Lache Seastrunk committed to the university, per ESPN. On Dec. 19, Oregon's plea bargain to the NCAA failed, which means the NCAA committee of infractions will conduct a hearing with the program.
That means there's still the chance Oregon receives scholarships sanctions, fines and even a bowl ban.
If those sanctions do go through, it hurts the Oregon program even more after Kelly shockingly left for the NFL. That would mean the Ducks would not only have to find a new head coach, said coach would potentially be burdened by limitations from the get-go.
This has the potential to turn Oregon upside down. It could create the perfect storm, especially considering some top recruits could (and, most likely, will) decommit from the university now that Kelly is gone.
Oregon has been such an exciting program under Kelly that it's hard to imagine the team without him, and thus difficult to imagine the team being as successful down the road. Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer showed this past season that progress can be made quickly under dire circumstances, but more often than not programs don't rebound that seamlessly.
It makes the upcoming hearing that much more important for the university. If sanctions are handed down upon Oregon, it could be an ugly scene in Eugene.
The Chip Kelly era is clearly over for the Ducks. How they fare in the next era depends on who they hire next and the actions of the NCAA.
It's a scary time to be a Ducks fan.
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