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Sources: Florida officials meet with Kelly

The Gainesville Sun, Fla.
November 20. 2017 8:41PM

Chip Kelly 

Florida made its pitch to former Oregon and NFL coach Chip Kelly on Sunday, flying University Athletic Association members to New Hampshire to interview him about the school’s vacant head football coach’s position, multiple sources told The Sun.

It was not known whether Kelly, a New Hampshire native, was offered or accepted the job, as some reports suggested Sunday night. He still might be interested in talking to UCLA, which fired head coach Jim Mora on Sunday.

Kelly-to-Florida rumors have been swirling since last weekend. There have been reports that Kelly, a former Manchester Central player and UNH offensive coordinator, has been offered the job and a deal is in place, but UF has not confirmed the hiring and according to a source the deal is not finalized.

The Sun did confirm that a UF contingent flew from Ocala to New Hampshire on Sunday to meet with Kelly. Kelly was not on the plane that was scheduled to return to Ocala on Sunday night.

Many UF players reacted to the Kelly rumors Sunday night on Twitter, all posting a contemplative emoji over a short span.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said his search for a new coach is going to be private. It has been thus far, with almost zero information leaking from credible sources.

Kelly has been considered a candidate for the job since the start of the search, and interviewing him Sunday could be just part of the process.

Kelly has been listed as one of the top candidates to fill the Gators’ vacant coaching job. His name was burning up social media since Jim McElwain was cut loose Oct. 29.

“I really enjoy doing what I’m doing now,” Kelly said when asked Sunday about the Florida job on ESPN where he works as an analyst. “I think Florida is an outstanding program and has had so much success with Urban (Meyer) and Steve Spurrier. I think whoever gets that job would be really lucky.”

Mayfield won’t start on Saturday

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, won’t be a starter or a captain in his final home game on Saturday.

That is the fallout from Mayfield’s sideline behavior in last Saturday’s victory at Kansas, when the senior yelled obscenities and made vulgar gestures toward the Jayhawks.

Coach Lincoln Riley announced the discipline at his weekly Monday press conference. He added that Mayfield will play at some point when the No. 4 Sooners (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) host West Virginia (7-4, 5-3).

“I think it’s important for everybody here and across the country to keep in perspective ... that’s not just Baker, but all these players across the country are still young men. They’re still learning. They’re still in that phase that they are going to make mistakes,” Riley said.

“The important thing is you learn from them and grow from them. I think what we’re setting forth here is going to provide Baker an opportunity do that.”

I think it’s something that certainly will get his attention.”

Mayfield’s apology was his third this year. He also did so after an offseason arrest in Arkansas and for planting the OU flag at midfield after the Sooners’ win at Ohio State early i