Speculation's swirled all day long: reports from those in the program said Chip was given an ultimatum last week prior telling the University he was staying last Sunday night; someone who knew his housekeeper said he was living out of a single bag and sleeping on an air mattress since returning from Arizona; Brian Jackson wasn't surprised Coach left; Hronis Grasu said he was “really happy” when he first heard Chip was staying last week and is surprised, but understands NFL is the dream.
Time to put all that happenstance and hearsay in the past, to toss the panic button in the proverbial pond. The players have moved on, so should the rest of us.
What's next? NCAA sanctions potentially loom. A new search is on at full-speed. Assistant coaches' jobs are up in the air. Players like Keanon Lowe say wait until spring ball to see how good we still are. No one knows what the future holds.
The sanctions could be decimating. Or they could be wrist-slaps
. Coach Helfrich could take over and keep his staff in tact. Or not.
Rob Mullens, “We have a number of internal candidates… we’ve got several coaches on our staff who have the experience and background to be head coaches…but we will also talk to others outside of the program”
Assistants could follow Chip to Philly. If Mark Helfrich does indeed take over, and with it, the ushering in a period of Glasnost for the program. Interacting with Mark on a post-practice basis, he was more than willing to entertain questions Chip Kelly would have, well, “Chip-Kelley'd.” So perhaps we will see a layer pulled back on the program, providing more insight for Duck fans. A warmer haze just might hang over the iron doors of the Moshofsky Center.
Regardless, Chip told his guys this morning that the success of this program lies “in the players.”
There's plenty of talent to carry this program forward, and Coach Frost once told me this is the “hardest working group” of players he's ever seen. That said, the future remains uncertain.
For now, Duck fans have this certainty; their basketball team staring down the barrel of a 4-0 start. Certainly something to cheer about. Tune in tomorrow as they take on USC at 8pm