Recap: NCAA announces penalties in Oregon investigation

Recap: NCAA announces penalties in Oregon investigation

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter more than two years of digging, the NCAA announced penalties in its case against Oregon on Wednesday.

kellySimilar to Mississippi State earlier this month, Oregon’s punishment showed that it pays to cooperate with college athletics’ governing body.

The NCAA concluded that Oregon paid recruiting service provider Willie Lyles $25,000 for his access to and influence on recruits rather than a legitimate recruiting package, but the school received what essentially amounts to a slap on the wrist.

Three-years probation, the loss of one scholarship and a reduction of official visits and evaluation days has to be considered a win in Eugene. (Quietly, of course.)

There was no postseason ban, so the Ducks’ national championship hopes in 2013 are still very much alive.

Chip Kelly was hit with an 18-month, “oh, by the way” show-cause penalty. Kelly, of course, will be making $9 million a year coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, so that penalty is essentially irrelevant.

Not surprisingly, Oregon AD Rob Mullens says the school will not appeal the ruling.

“No one wants to be in this position. So I don’t think anybody’s happy. We’re pleased to be at the end of the process,” Mullens said.

In their own words, the NCAA found the following:

“… The University of Oregon used a recruiting service provider, who became a representative of the university’s athletics interests, to assist the school with the recruitment of multiple prospective student-athletes. The representative provided cash and free lodging to a prospect and engaged in impermissible calls and off-campus contacts with football prospects, their families and high school coaches.

“Additionally, the football program allowed staff members to engage in recruiting activity, which resulted in the football program exceeding coaching limits. Both the former head football coach and the university agreed they failed to monitor the football program.”

The complete list of sanctions includes:

  • Three years probation from June 26, 2013, through June 25, 2016. (Oregon proposed two)
  • A reduction of one scholarship per signing class (from 25) for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. (Self-imposed)
  • A reduction of total scholarships by one (from 85) through the 2015-16 academic year. (Self-imposed)
  • A reduction of football official visits to from 56 to 37 for the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
  • A reduction of permissible football evaluation days from 42 to 36 each fall 2013-15, and permissible football evaluation days from 168 to 144 in the spring of 2014-16.
  • A ban on the subscription to recruiting services during the probation period.
  • A disassociation of the recruiting service provider. (Self-imposed)

In addition, Kelly faces an 18-month show-cause penalty through Dec. 25, 2014. The show-cause means that if any NCAA member wishes to hire Kelly, both he and the school “must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine if the school should be subject to the show-cause procedures.”

(You can view the complete Infractions Report HERE.)

For his part, Kelly issued a brief statement apologizing to Oregon fans and accepting his “share of responsibility for the actions that led to the penalties.”

He reiterated that the investigation had nothing do with his decision to accept the Eagles job.

“The NCAA investigation and subsequent ruling had no impact on my decision to leave Oregon,” Kelly told ESPN’s Joe Schad.

Whether or not it actually did play a role in Kelly’s decision may never be known, but there’s little doubt things worked out for the best — at least as it relates to this investigation — that he did.

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