Who pays for departed sports-coach violations?

FILE - This Sept. 8, 2012 file photo shows Oregon coach Chip Kelly looking to the scoreboard during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Fresno State in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)
FILE - This Sept. 8, 2012 file photo shows Oregon coach Chip Kelly looking to the scoreboard during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Fresno State in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — Pay up Chip Kelley.

That’s what a new bill from an Oregon state lawmaker could do if it’s determined the head coach broke NCAA rules during his time at University of Oregon.

The bill — proposed by Rep. Brent Barton, D-Oregon City — would hold college coaches at public universities in Oregon accountable for violations of NCAA rules. As such, coaches rather than the schools would pay any related fines.

“The costs and benefits of breaking the rules are not aligned,” said the 33-year-old Barton. “The costs are borne by the players, the fans and the school. The benefits go to the coach.”

Representative Barton said former USC Coach Pete Carroll comes to mind as a reason for his bill. Carroll left USC for the Seattle Seahawks — only to leave his college program saddled with a long list of NCAA penalties because of things that happened under Carroll’s tenure.

Now the NCAA is investigating whether rules violations occurred at the University of Oregon during football head coach Chip Kelley’s tenure. While the jury is still out on the Oregon case, Barton said coaches need to more accountable — even after they’ve left the program.

Duck football fans are of mixed opinion when it comes to penalizing coaches after they’ve left the program.

“If Chip Kelley decides to get out of a NCAA program and move on, then that’s it,” one fan told KOIN 6 News. “You have to penalize the program for not monitoring the coach.”

Across the room at the Skybox Sports Bar in Sellwood, Ore., another Duck fan likes the idea of holding coaches more accountable.

“If you commit an infraction and you know what the rules are and you break the rules anyway,” the fan said, “you should be held accountable — because you are costing everybody money.”

Barton admits his idea to hold coaches accountable for wrongdoing is a long-shot this session. But said he has grown tired of the not-so-coincidental habit of coaches turning pro — and leaving a real mess of the college programs they walked away from.

“Who should be responsible when a coach knowingly breaks the rules?” Barton said. “I think it should be the coach.”

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