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Oregon ‘agreeing’ to violations isn’t exactly how it sounds

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Yesterday evening, Oregon pulled a PR maneuver released “proposed findings of violations” documents submitted to the university by the NCAA regarding possible improper recruiting tactics. In it, there are seven findings, four of which are entirely redacted. The other three all have one thing in common: the word “agree.”

Proposed finding No. 2 (Bylaw 13.14.3) states “It is agreed that from 2008 through 2011, the football program paid for subscriptions to at least three recruiting or scouting services.” It is believed those subscriptions did not conform to NCAA legislation.

Proposed finding No. 5 (Bylaw 11.7.2) says “It is agreed that from 2009 through 2011, the… football program exceeded the permissible limit on the number of recruiting coaches by one.”

Proposed finding No. 7 (Bylaw 2.8.1) says “It is agreed that from 2008 through 2011… the athletics department failed to adequately monitor the football program’s use of recruiting or scouting services.” 

But when the NCAA says Oregon “agreed” to certain proposed findings, it doesn’t mean that the school necessarily concedes to the consequences. In fact, an athletic spokesperson told the Associated Press last night that UO “does not acknowledge any of the violations.”

Well, for one, no school in their right mind is going to come out and admit anything. Secondly, these aren’t official violations; it’s not even a Notice of Allegations. There is nothing definitive about them. Nothing to acknowledge.

Rather, they are snapshots into the NCAA’s investigation ever since they handed Oregon a Notice of Inquiry last fall. The Eugene Register-Guard has a good explanation of what this means:

The discussion of proposed findings between Oregon and the NCAA could indicate the Ducks are attempting to pursue the summary disposition process, whereby a school and the NCAA enforcement staff attempt to reach agreement on rules violations and sanctions. One goal of the summary disposition process — essentially a plea bargain — is to avoid a hearing before the Committee on Infractions.

It’s not clear whether the NCAA ultimately would agree that Oregon should be able to avoid such a hearing, however.

The NCAA began investigating Oregon because of the school’s connection to Complete Scouting Services owner Willie Lyles and the apparent bogus scouting package he gave the school. But where the NCAA starts with its investigation and where it ends can be two different things. The heavily-redacted documents only mention Lyles twice — proposed violation 2(a) and 2(c). Is Lyles a bigger part of the NCAA proposed findings? There’s too much redacted to know for sure.

There’s also too much missing to know what this means for Oregon in terms of what punishment may or may not result. One would have to imagine that if Oregon is trying to work toward a so-called plea bargain that the school will eventually agree to some sort of sanctioning.

It’s simply too early to tell what those would be.

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9 Responses to “Oregon ‘agreeing’ to violations isn’t exactly how it sounds”
  1. mrslay1 says: Feb 25, 2012 2:09 PM

    sc and now oregon which are the only 2 pac teams to win or get to the big game…It seems the only way the pac can win is by cheating.

  2. kiopta1 says: Feb 25, 2012 4:24 PM

    I am sure they aren’t the only ones nor are they the worst.

  3. uscatjerseyshore says: Feb 25, 2012 6:02 PM

    Once again Mike Slay (i.e. mrs lay1) crawls out from under the rock he lives under in Harrison Arkansas to make a pin-head moronic comment. The SEC is a good conference and the top teams in the PAC-12 (which includes not only USC and Oregon and Stanford) have good coaching and the ability to attract top recruits. Given the sanctions the NCAA levied against several SEC teams (including LSU, Alabama and South Carolina) and current investigations occuring at Auburn, Miami and South Carolina Slay’s comments that the PAC 12 only wins by cheating are beyond stupid.

    The NCAA sanctions against USC were completely over the top and based on “overlooking” relatives of 2 players attempting to cash out on presumed post-college careers in pro-football and pro-basketball. Big difference from recruiting violations by members of the coaching staff to build a team.

  4. effjohntaylornorelation says: Feb 25, 2012 8:49 PM

    Should Oregon be required to follow the same long and slow path the NCAA leads all violators down? Why does the administration thinkmthey should not have to deal with months of national media coverage along with the updates and additional disclosure of the facts that each other school that is guilty is forced to endure?

    Oregon, you got caught. Now enjoy the attention, you deserve every last ounce of it. I wonder when their friends at Nike begin to attempt to throw their weight around here.

  5. leeroyski says: Feb 25, 2012 9:45 PM

    Off with their heads…

  6. uscatjerseyshore says: Feb 26, 2012 11:59 AM

    Since the Oregon (i.e. Nike Team) athletic program has plenty of cash to spend, no doubt some of that $$ has been directed towards PR consultants on best way to approach the NCAA. That the NCAA is even working with Oregon to determine the scope of violations is quite peculiar. With Nike (through alumni Phil Knight) dropping over $300 million on stadium additions, luxury boxes, and palatial locker rooms, NCAA’s investigation of $45K paid to scouting services is missing the bigger picture. Additionally, consider that for nearly 100 year the Ducks did nothing but lose but with Nike money behind the program they are able to entice top players to commit to a school that needs to draw the majority of their student athletes from other areas of the country. In 2009, when Chip Kelly became coach fewer that 7% of the players were in-state. The current team has 18 in-state players, an improvement for sure but what is the draw, cost and enticement for so many students to come to non-private university.

    The release of the NCAA report by Oregon is clearly an attempt to control the message. Additionally, with previous recruiting violations from 2004 where the NCAA put them on probation, the more recent events should put Oregon into a repeat violator category.

  7. swu32733 says: Feb 26, 2012 12:37 PM

    It seems to me that this entire process could be accelerated by taking Oregon out of the loop and having the NCAA negotiate directly with Nike.

  8. hawkinsob says: Feb 26, 2012 2:16 PM

    Ben, government records requests by newspapers forced Oregon to release the documents you are talking about. So the “PR maneuver” line doesn’t really fit.

    uscatjerseyshore, you amaze me. Your first post was totally rational and was dead on about another poster “crawling out from under a rock” with a bunch of over-the-top and baseless nonsense.

    Then in your second post you decided to “crawl out from under a rock” yourself. “Non-private” universities can’t put together good football programs? So that basically covers most of the SEC, Big-10, Big 12, etc. Only private schools like USC are allowed to be good or there is something rotten going on? And small-town colleges that need to draw players from areas of the country aren’t allowed to be good either? Only if you are located in a big recruiting ground like LA can you field a good team, otherwise there must be something going on? Lots of great football programs are located in small college towns and recruit nationally. You yourself stated in your first post that Oregon had “great coaching and the ability to attract top recruits”. And before you go too far down road of talking about teams spending money on football, don’t forget that USC, being a private school with more wealthy alums than almost anyone, has a huge athletic department and football budget (second only to Stanford in the Pac-12).

    You want people to put USC’s troubles and sanctions into perspective (and I don’t blame you), but then you want to distort what’s going on everywhere else rather than put that into perspective.

  9. uscatjerseyshore says: Feb 26, 2012 6:17 PM

    @hawkinsob – I was a little quick on hitting the send key. My focus was on the NCAA investigation and to expand on my earlier comment, I intended say that Oregon is a non-private school located in a state that isn’t in a major media market nor in a fertile recruiting area with stong HS programs. Additionallly, from an academic perspective Oregon isn’t ranked in the top 100 colleges (US News Rankings). Given all those factors, what’s the draw to have built Oregon that wouldn’t be there without that program being financailly subsidized by Nike? With so much money floating around the NCAA needs to take a bigger picture look at the Oregon program. That said, success builds on success and I’m sure that the relatively recent success of Oregon is not only due to Nike money but having a strong coaching staff. I definitely didn’t want to make this about everywhere or anywhere else regardless of being private or public.

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