Kelly Speaks About ESPN Article

eDuck Sports
Posted Apr 19, 2012


On Thursday, Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly responded to media questions about an ESPN article that claimed widespread marijuana use by current and former Duck football players.

The day after an ESPN article detailing rampant marijuana use on the Oregon football team was released, there was little focus on the comparatively ho-hum minutiae that has pervaded the 10 previous spring practice sessions. Instead on Thursday, Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly was left to answer questions pertaining to the article and defend his program’s stance on substance abuse.

“I think it’s a problem that’s on every college campus right now,” Kelly said. “I think the biggest thing and our responsibility as coaches is to educate our guys on what the dangers of it are. That’s what we continue to do.”

In the article, written by ESPN The Magazine’s Sam Alipour, reports 19 current and former Duck football players indicated that they estimate between 40 percent and 60 percent of their current/former teammates smoke or smoked marijuana on a regular basis. When asked if he felt that figure was accurate, Kelly said no, citing the results of drug tests that have been administered to players on his team since he was named head coach in 2009.

“I know how many kids have been tested and that [figure] hasn’t shown up,” said Kelly. “The other thing I’ll tell you is, the single biggest determining factor on sports performance is central nervous system readiness, i.e. your brain.

“If we had that many kids doing it [smoking marijuana], we wouldn’t be 34-6. It’s not just doing it the day before a game, it’s about practice, and we win because of how hard we practice.”

Kelly was also asked if he will seek to punish the player who reportedly smoked in front of Alipour while contributing quotes to the article.

“We can’t because you guys [the media] won’t give up your sources,” said Kelly. “I’d love to find out who it is. If you guys can get me the name, we’ll test him.”

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