The news of Oregon Football head coach Chip Kelly’s imminent departure to the NFL and last minute change-of-heart last night came as a blow to many University students.
University freshman Josh Hettwer heard about Kelly’s flirtation with coaching the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers last night while watching a NFL Divisional Playoffs game. Disappointed by the news, Hettwer was very aware of the impact Kelly has had on the football team, which hopes to earn a fourth consecutive bid to an elusive Bowl Championship Series game, after winning the 2012 Rose Bowl Game against the Wisconsin Badgers on Jan. 2, 2012.
“For those who heard, there goes the rest of the season,” Hettwer said, describing his friends’ reactions to the first reports.
Despite their initial disappointment, Hettwer and other students view the University retaining Kelly’s services as a huge step forward for the vitality of the program and the University as a whole.
“It says a lot for the school that we’re rising and better than we were five years ago,” University sophomore Grant Aman said.
After a day of swirling rumors about Kelly’s departure, the news broke at around 6p.m. on Twitter and continued until the Register-Guard’s George Schroeder confirmed that Kelly was staying at around 1 a.m.
Aman and several students only learned of Kelly’s plans through popular social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, with many students still under the impression that Kelly was still leaving. Some didn’t get the story at all.
““I’m a really bad UO student, I don’t really know who Chip Kelly is,” University graduate student Amanda Bartenstein said.
Despite the fog still surrounding Kelly’s reasons for pulling out of his deal with Tampa Bay, Kelly did hint at his rationale.
“I have some unfinished business to complete at the University of Oregon,” said Kelly.