Oregon Coach Chip Kelly is focused on playing LSU Sept. 3 and he’s not worried about losing his job in the wake of an NCAA investigation.
“I’m very confident in everything that will happen,” Kelly told reporters before the Oregon Ducks’ first practice. “We don’t run our program based on outside influences. It really doesn’t affect our thought processes.”
Oregon running back Lache Seastrunk is brushing aside the controversy as well.
“I know I haven’t committed anything wrong so I’m going to keep focused on the task ahead and keep pushing to reach my goal,” Seastrunk said.
At issue is the Ducks’ allegedly inflated $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles’ Complete Scouting Services in Houston. Lyles may have steered former Texas high school stars Seastrunk and LaMichael James to Oregon in exchange for the cash.
Oregon issued a $25,000 check to Lyles in March of last year, right after Seastrunk signed a letter of intent to play for the Ducks. It would be an NCAA violation if Oregon paid him to use his influence to steer a recruit to Oregon.
Despite Oregon’s off-field issues, the team is ranked No. 3 behind Oklahoma and Alabama in USA Today’s pre-season college football poll.
Kelly said he’s not distracted by the NCAA investigation and isn’t planning at this point to self-report any recruiting violations.
“We haven’t done anything with that,” Kelly said. “Whatever we have to do from a compliance standpoint then compliance will tell us what to do.”
Meantime, NCAA President Mark Emmert is meeting with 54 university presidents and chancellors this week to address rules compliance and integrity — or lack of it — in college sports.