Bellotti Leaving for ESPN

An era came to an end today when Athletic Director Mike Bellotti announced he was leaving the University of Oregon for a position with ESPN as a football analyst. Bellotti felt the time was right to move on, as he has been out of football for over a year. Bellotti did become somewhat emotional about leaving when talking about the accomplishments the Ducks enjoyed this year.

Bellotti said he missed most the interaction with the players even though he doesn't expect to have more contact with players in the future.

Bellotti will stay on with the Ducks through the month of April and will act as a consultant in the hiring of a new basketball coach.

Bellotti indicated he has been in discussion with ESPN for months and had hoped that he could remain at Oregon as Athletic Director and do a game during Oregon's bye-week, but ESPN felt that would be a conflict of interest.

When asked what was his favorite moment at Oregon, Bellotti thought that there was so many he could not point to one in particular.

Bellotti said he came to the decision to leave Oregon last Wednesday night. Bellotti also said that he and University President Richard Lariviere had no philosophical differences, but admitted that with today's economy a change in athletics and how the athletic department is run will occur.

Bellotti will remain living in Eugene and travel to games for ESPN during the season.

The former head football coach mentioned he has made a recommendation to Lariviere for replacement athletic director, but declined to name the person recommended.

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