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Oregon receives letter of inquiry from NCAA

Oregon v LSU Getty Images

Uh, happy game day everybody?

It’s hard to believe there’s actually football being played with all the talk of conference realignment, which has centered around Syracuse, Pittsburgh and the ACC, and now there’s another piece of information that further reflects the off-the-field distractions that have plagued college football over the past year.

According to an official school press release, the University of Oregon has received a Letter of Inquiry from the NCAA over possible recruiting violations. Oregon AD Rob Mullens says the notice “has been anticipated and is simply the next stage of the process.”

“The University of Oregon football program, from Head Coach Chip Kelly through the entire organization, has tremendous respect for the NCAA’s important role in monitoring collegiate athletics and, to this end, continues to fully cooperate with the NCAA ‘s ongoing examination.

“The Athletic Department, Coach Kelly and the entire staff remain committed to operating the athletics program consistent with the highest standards and ensuring our program follows best practices.”

Strangely, Oregon revealed that the NCAA notified them of the inquiry via telephone and not letter earlier this week.

The NCAA has been investigating Oregon’s business relationship with Willie Lyles of Complete Scouting Services, specifically about the relationship among Lyles, Oregon and former running back Lache Seastrunk. Seastrunk, who signed with the Ducks in 2010, has since transferred to Baylor.

Lyles had met with the NCAA as recently as late last month; the NCAA has been curious about whether Lyles “steered” recruits — specifically Seastrunk — to Eugene. Additionally, Oregon’s 2011 National Package, which was “put together” by Lyles, contained no 2011 eligible recruits.

(Big thanks: the Oregonian) 

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9 Responses to “Oregon receives letter of inquiry from NCAA”
  1. southernpatriots says: Sep 17, 2011 2:06 PM

    Kelley is having to deal with these distractions as are so many other coaches. We met so many wonderful Oregon fans while tailgating at Jerry’s World and all were so gracious and kind, even when their team they traveled so far and at such great expense were not as fast, were not as strong, and lost to LSU. It is all these wonderful fans and others like them for whom we feel. This is a story which does not seem to go away. All the best to the best Duck fans!

  2. WingT says: Sep 17, 2011 2:20 PM

    SouthernPats – was LSU able to clear their name in regards to the Willie Lyles mess or is it still under scrutiny?

  3. southernpatriots says: Sep 17, 2011 6:49 PM

    WingT: LSU says there is nothing to it. No rule violation or anything. They have provided every communication and transaction with Lyles to the NCAA and don’t expect any further concerns. The NCAA has said they have not concluded the investigations of Lyles and his contacts with their member schools but have not specified if this was with Oregon and others, or if that included LSU. A strange mess.

  4. webfootdoug58 says: Sep 17, 2011 7:46 PM

    southernpatriot,
    thanks for the kind words about the Oregon fans, we are always happy to hear good words these days about our off-field activity.
    This whole Lyles mess is like being stuck in tar for Oregon, and though Kelly keeps denying it affects the team’s preparations, it’s obvious it does.

    However, these problems will keep happening as long as Oregon and others must go to such desperate lengths to get, and keep, hot recruits in order to compete with the likes of Oklahoma or the SEC.

  5. cosanostra71 says: Sep 17, 2011 8:35 PM

    hoping Oregon gets taken down for their dirty ways…

  6. southernpatriots says: Sep 17, 2011 10:28 PM

    webfootdoug58: Trying to post while watching the Oklahoma – Florida State game and now the starting QB for FSU is now off the field and in the locker room. We are partial to Jimbo Fisher. He was with LSU and Coach Saban and was calling the offense for the National Championship team.

    Most recruits for SEC teams come from the SEC areas in general and mostly from the particular SEC’s team area. It has been that way for many years. College football in the South is MUCH more popular than pro football or any other sport or possibly any other entertainment. That makes a huge difference. Young boys are raised with their fathers and uncles having a favorite college football team.

    Our fathers would carry a transistor radio on the worksite when they worked at night or leave on the truck radio (AM stations only back then, and it was 1150 AM WJBO in Baton Rouge. We would pop popcorn and drink Zatarain’s root beer made from Zatarain’s root beer extract and some yeast to give it carbonation.

  7. WingT says: Sep 18, 2011 10:08 AM

    @SouthernPatriots
    When I was about 6 years old I remember going with my dad to Sears to buy us a radio so we could listen to Alabama football games. I remember that radio cost $40 and I was amazed that we could afford it. Dad later told me how long he had to save to buy it.

    Dad and I would plan our day around the time when the game would come on. We listened to many many games together. It’s probably why I like to turn down the volume on my TV today and tune in Eli Gold over the radio when Bama plays.

    I cherish those memories of the times I got to sit with my dad and listen to the games. We would yell and scream at that darn radio, lol….great memories

  8. southernpatriots says: Sep 18, 2011 10:23 AM

    Wing T:

    You are absolutely right…great memories, Dad and the radio, screaming at the radio…we would especially scream at the radio when LSU played Ole Miss. We did not regularly defeat Alabama back then…haaaarrrrsddd to beat The Bear!

    I think that gave us our “addiction” to popcorn. That is what we would enjoy during the game. Our radio was a kitchen clock AM radio from Sears and Roebuck as well! ha. We sometimes would have to “pop” it when the frequency would waver and static would drown out the play by play at the most inappropriate time…right when Billy Cannon was running a kickoff back toward a touchdown.

    He bought that one before we were born. But it finally wore out (or we “popped” it one time too many?!) Then our Dad bought a radio from Sears and Roebuck with an antenna! We thought that was big time. An antenna might mean no more static! It was much better….ha….what great memories…we no longer have our Dad but what great memories.

  9. webfootdoug58 says: Sep 18, 2011 5:55 PM

    We love your memories, southernpat & Wing T; I even remember Billy Cannon. The SEC has a long history with tons of great in-state players.

    But believe it or not, Oregon did play football back before Nike as well, so we Webfoots have our own ancient memories, like listening with my Dad and brother to the old radio blasting out an Oregon game while we worked in the yard, with Norm Van Brocklin as QB. (remember him, a future pro star?)

    And back in the Past, Oregon teams actually featured mainly in-state athletes– I personally knew a bunch of the guys on the 1958 Rose Bowl team that lost by a FG to Ohio State, as I’d played with, or against, them in HS.

    Today, we depend almost totally on out-of-state athletes–just six of our top 45 are in-state– thank God for Texans James and Thomas– so recruiting nation-wide is our life blood– and thus the danger of getting in the mess we are in.
    Maybe we too will end up like Ohio State, USC, Miami, etc., knocked down beyond recognition by NCAA penalties.
    It’s sad, takes a lot of the fun out of our current success on the field. Let us be a warning to others who are tempted to cut corners.

    Last week Ron Bellamy, who retired last week as the excellent sports editor of the Eugene Register-Guard, had a thoughtful essay on his enjoyable career, but with a serious warning about Oregon’s current direction with its emphasis on Big Money and pressure to be at the top.

    Bellamy noted that the real problem with our current mess with Lyles is not the original mistakes, but rather the cover-up in which the aggressive Kelly may be involved.
    Needless to say, all true Duck fans are distraught at this possible breach of athletic ethics. This isn’t the Oregon we grew up with and loved.

    And cosanostra, your comment is as sweet as your name.

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