UPDATE: Confirmed: Mike Bellotti resigns as AD and takes gig as ESPN college football analyst, will debut with Auburn spring game april 17 on ESPNU.
Ok, maybe not.
But when was the last time the Oregon Athletic Department held a press conference to share good news? It sure feels like it’s been a while. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.
Duck Sports News reported a rumor on Twitter early this morning that Athletic Director Mike Bellotti would be leaving Oregon to take a cushy gig at ESPN as a college football analyst.
At first, I thought it was just more rumors – as this isn’t the first time this rumor has been passed out.
But moments later, the Athletic Department released this statement:
“University of Oregon Athletics Director Mike Bellotti will make an important announcement about leadership at the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.”
Yikes. That pretty much all but confirms that Bellotti will be one and done in his new position.
Did Bellotti get fed up with all the headaches? Is he getting the coaching itch again?
I have to respect him for stepping down last season to let Chip Kelly take over. Even if Bellotti wasn’t quite ready, he knew it was best for the football program.
If he’s really done with coaching, becoming a talking head on TV is the closest thing to retirement for the former coach, except a six figure salary is included.
On the other hand, if he wanted to jump back into coaching, I’m sure several top programs would be interested in his services.
It may seem that Bellotti is bailing at an important time in Oregon athletics, but if he really doesn’t want to be here, it’s better he leave sooner rather than later.
Phil Knight and Co. can handle things for the time being – or maybe further.
I heard another rumor on Twitter that Tony Dungy might be interested in the AD gig. I don’t really see it happening, but I’d be 100% behind it.
I’ve also heard Ernie Kent’s name mentioned as well. We’ll find out more at Bellotti’s presser at 11:30, but for now it’s fun to throw names around.
Who would you want?