Bellotti on decision to leave Oregon for ESPN

You can read the official release on Mike Bellotti stepping down as Oregon's athletic director to become an analyst for ESPN here.

Here's what Bellotti said:

"One of the most difficult decisions in my life was to walk away from being the head football coach at Oregon. Coaching here for 20 years was a wonderful experience that enriched my life. The players, coaches, staff and fans are simply the best. The relationships that we have built and the memories we share will endure forever.

"The second most difficult decision has come today, to leave the university. This past football season as Athletics Director, I had the opportunity to work in the broadcast booth for the Oregon Sports Network. It allowed me to stay connected to the game in a new way. ESPN recently offered me a position, which I accepted yesterday, as a college football analyst. It is a tremendous, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I like college athletics, but I love college football.

"I appreciate the understanding and support of president Lariviere, the university and the athletics department. I will always be supportive of the University of Oregon and in the offseason I hope I can still be involved with UO functions."