Oregon's Chip Kelly to Face the Bright Lights of the Media on Tuesday
Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly has been silent for months in the wake of the NCAA's investigation into his football program's relationship with Willie Lyles. But on Tuesday at 9:20am PT Coach Kelly will face the media during a press conference at Pac-12 media day. Because we haven't heard from Kelly, he is likely to be bombarded with questions. The Pac-12 has only alloted 15 minutes for Kelly's press conference but my guess is Kelly's presser will run longer than 15 minutes because of all of the questions, or a PR rep will cut the press conference short if Kelly is backed into a corner.
We're likely to hear Kelly tell us how he and the Ducks athletic department is cooperating with the NCAA's investigation. We're also likely to hear Kelly tell us that he can't comment on the Lyles matter because of the legalities around the investigation. I won't be surprised to hear Kelly get defensive with reporters or to respond in a condescending manner. I also won't be surprised if a PR person sets ground rules at the beginning of Kelly's presser that Kelly will only answer questions about the Ducks as it relates to on the field performance and what he expects from his team and their schedule this season.
When I am not hosting my radio show on The Game, I am a long time PR professional. I have advised many people who have found themselves in crisis and I continue to do so through my media training company (www.everythingisontherecord.com).
If I were advising Kelly, I would have had him sit down with a reporter who he has a good relationship for a one-on-one interview. I would have had him play things very close to the vest, but I would have had him talk about his desire to run a clean program and cooperate with the NCAA. Then when media day came along, Kelly could have said he already addressed many of the questions he'll be asked and refer back to that one-on-one interview.
In a press conference situation, things are unpredictable and reporters will throw darts at him. Its the situation that is the hardest to control.
It will certainly be interesting to watch how Chip Kelly handles the many questions he will receive at Pac-12 media day on Tuesday. And I'll take the OVER with the 15 minutes he's been allotted for his press conference.