By Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden):
This is to all the Oregon Ducks fans who commented on my story two weeks ago about how the long arm of NCAA was closing in fast. Yes, the ones who said the Oregon Ducks were not crossing any lines — i.e., not committing any NCAA violations whatsoever — and I was merely blowing smoke because I had nothing better to do.
How are you feeling today?
Because, since then, a thoroughly reported encyclopedia of information was released about the inner workings of the Willie Lyles-Chip Kelly relationship, and today, the Ducks started the heads rolling in Eugene. There are conflicting reports (Oregon is denying that Gibson has been removed, of course), but DucksTerritory.com has cited multiple sources in saying that Assistant Director of Football Operations Josh Gibson is no longer an employee of the university.
Gibson was at the heart of the Kelly-Lyles relationship, as Yahoo's Charles Robinson reported last week with state phone, text and email records to substantiate his claims. Does the rumor of Gibson's firing/resignation affect wins and losses for the Ducks in 2011? Probably not, but it sure makes me wonder who is next. Just wait until Lyles sits down with the NCAA again. I can only imagine what he may or may not say.
Last week I wrote simply that I would be nervous if I was a Ducks fan, but that I was still officially picking Oregon to win the Pac-12 this fall.
Sorry to say my feathery friends, it's the Stanford Cardinal all the way in 2011.
Also check out: What should Oregon do with Chip Kelly?