Thursday, September 24, 2009

Catching up: Chip Kelly gives refunds

* In case you haven't read the story already, Oregon coach Chip Kelly recently received a letter from an angry fan who made the trip to Boise State to watch the Ducks embarrassed. It went something like this:
"The product on the field Thursday night is not something I was at all proud of, and I feel as though I'm entitled to my money back for the trip," Tony Seminary wrote.
Attached was an invoice for the guy's travel expenses, totaled to $439. Kelly's reaction: He got the fan's home address and mailed out a check, which was so shocking to Seminary that instead of cashing the check, he returned it with a thank-you note. Kelly wouldn't comment on the issue when asked about it Monday, but he deserves a big-time thumbs-up for taking the time and effort to appease a frustrated fan. The only problem is that he'll probably end up with about 30,000 letters if Oregon loses to Cal this weekend, which is pretty likely if Jeremiah Masoli posts another 4-for-16 performance like he had against Utah.

* I complained two days ago about the Big Ten's bizarre and arbitrary decision to suspend Jonas Mouton for basically slapping a Notre Dame lineman, but at least the conference is following its precedent (it's stupid, but it's a precedent):
The Big Ten Conference office announced that it will impose a one-game suspension on Purdue University football student-athlete Zach Reckman for violating the Big Ten Sportsmanlike Conduct Agreement during Purdue’s game against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19, 2009.
Reckman threw his body (and particularly his forearm) into an NIU player who had slid to the ground after recovering a fumble as time ran out at the end of the Huskies' win, but to be honest, I'm not sure he deserved a suspension any more than Mouton did. Was it unsportsmanlike? Obviously. But there are a LOT of relatively dirty things that go on in a football game, and I just feel like the Big Ten is setting itself up for some very awkward decisions when a dozen similar incidents start getting turned in each week by conference coaches.

* I don't know what's going on at Akron, but starting QB Chris Jacquemain has been "removed" from the roster after a team rules violation and assistant coach Reno Ferri has been placed on administrative leave and suspended with pay as the school conducts an internal review of NCAA compliance requirements. I can't find any details about whether the incidents are connected -- there are rumors that Jacquemain was involved in some, um, drug-related activities -- but it's obviously been a rough week for coach J.D. Brookhart. Jacquemain, a senior and three-year starter, will be replaced by sophomore Matt Rodgers.

* Auburn receiver Montez Billings, who led the team in catches and yards last season but had been suspended for the first four games this year due to an academic issue, has left the team. As a fifth-year senior, his career is over. The Tigers certainly aren't deep at receiver -- Darvin Adams is the only wideout with more than six catches this year -- but with Ben Tate and Onterio McCalebb running wild and Gus Malzahn calling the plays, Billings' absence shouldn't have much of an impact.

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