Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Updated: September 24, 2:15 PM ET
Kelly replies to invoice with $439 refund
ESPN.com news services
Plenty of disgruntled fans have said they wanted their money back after an underwhelming performance.
But how many have made that complaint -- and then received a check in the mail, signed by the coach?
Tony Seminary did.
The story starts in Boise, Idaho, where on Sept. 3, Oregon lost its season opener to Boise State -- and star running back LeGarrette Blount lost his temper and responded to an apparent taunt from Boise State's Byron Hout with a punch.
The 19-8 loss was disappointing for Oregon, which started the season with BCS bowl aspirations. The punch and Blount's behavior afterward, in which he had to be restrained from approaching fans in the stands, led the team to suspend him for the season.
Seminary, an Oregon alumnus from the Portland area, attended the game in Boise. According to the Web site everydayshouldbesaturday.com, he was so unhappy with what he saw, he sent Ducks coach Chip Kelly an e-mail, with an attached invoice for $439 in travel expenses.
"The product on the field Thursday night is not something I was at all proud of, and I feel as though I'm entitled to my money back for the trip," he wrote, according to the Web site.
According to the Web site, Kelly replied to Seminary's e-mail with a question: "What is your address?"
Sure enough, a check for $439, apparently signed by Kelly, arrived in Seminary's mailbox, according to the Web site. Seminary was so impressed by the gesture, he returned the check to Kelly with a thank-you note, rather than cashing it.
|When an Oregon fan demanded his money back for the Ducks' loss at Boise State, coach Chip Kelly took out his checkbook.|
"As a sales guy, it's really hard to shut me up," Seminary said, according to the Web site. "When I received that check, I was literally speechless.
"I think of Coach Kelly as a totally different person now," Seminary said, according to the Web site. "I have a different bond with him now. ... Let's just say he lost every game as an Oregon coach. You would never hear me calling for his head. It just wouldn't happen. The guy showed an incredible amount of class."
Kelly would not address the situation on Monday.
"I've got no comment on that," Kelly said Monday during a media conference call. "We're getting ready to play California."
Oregon athletic director and former football coach Mike Bellotti said that during his career, he has received e-mails and letters demanding money back, according to The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore. But he never complied with those requests.
"I've never heard of a coach sending money," Bellotti said, according to the report. "Chip [doing that] is one for the ages. He earns my respect."
Let's just say he lost every game as an Oregon coach. You would never hear me calling for his head. It just wouldn't happen. The guy showed an incredible amount of class.
-- Oregon alumnus Tony Seminary,
on coach Chip Kelly