Nike U in Turmoil

10 weeks ago, Oregon played in the Rose Bowl as Pac 10 champions. Since their loss to Ohio State, the program has been in some kind of bizzaro parallel universe where every headline concerns a player arrest, a firing, or now a resignation.

Mike Bellotti, the Duck AD and former head coach earlier this week fired basketball coach Ernie Kent, the winningest coach in school history.

Then today, in a slighly surreal press conference, Bellotti, who resigned as head football coach just a year ago, announced his resignation as Athletics Director so he could talke an announcing job with ESPN.

His successor will try to fix his basketball program while trying to keep the football program off the crime docket in Eugene.

Since that Rose Bowl game, nine Oregon football players have run into public trouble. The headliner of course was QB Jeremiah Masoli, who along with receiver Garrett Embry pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary charges.

In the same courtroom just hours earlier, freshman running back LaMichael James pled guilty to misdemeanor harassment in connection with a Feb.16 domestic dispute. He will serve 24 months probation.

On the same night that Masoli and Embry were accused of theft, kickers Rob Beard and Mike Bowlin were injured in an unrelated brawl. Beard was charged with assaulting a woman, pled guilty to a lesser charge of physical harassment and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. Beard remains on the team, but Bowlin has since left it.

That's just part of what Oregon football coach Chip Kelly has had to deal with. Linebacker Kiko Alonso pled not guilty to drunken driving charges. Kelly suspended Alonso for the 2010 season upon learning of the arrest.

Kelly booted defensive end Matt Simms off the team after he was arrested on assault charges last month. Simms pled guilty to physical harassment for striking a man he thought had beaten Beard.

Receiver Jamere Holland was dismissed from the team by Kelly after posting vulgar comments and criticizing Kelly on his Facebook page.

Now Mike Bellotti has decided to leave all this behind so he can work with Craig James, Lou Holtz and the rest of the ESPN College Football gang.

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