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Documents: Oregon, NCAA agree ‘major violations’ committed

Chip Kelly AP

Chip Kelly may be off to the NFL, but the NCAA cloud that formed on his watch still looms over the Oregon football program.

In documents released to both The Oregonian and KATU-TV, both Oregon and the NCAA agreed that the school’s football program had committed what the television station describes as “several major violations” in its use of so-called recruiting services.  The documents were provided to the media entities following open records requests that were several months in the making.

The vast majority of the allegations — which in addition to utilizing suspect recruiting services include impermissible phone calls and too many coaches on the recruiting trail — occurred under Kelly, who left shortly after the first of the year for the Philadelphia Eagles.

One of the more significant takeaways from the released documents is that the NCAA’s enforcement staff made “no finding of lack of institutional control and no finding of unethical conduct.”  Such a development, if it holds through the next couple of steps in the process, could be a signal that the Ducks will avoid significant sanctions.

For its part, Oregon released a lengthy “no comment” in response to the reports.

“The review is ongoing until the NCAA Committee on Infractions issues its final report,” the school’s statement began. “The integrity of the process and our continued full cooperation with the NCAA prohibits us from publicly discussing the specifics of this matter.”

In March of 2011, both Yahoo! and published reports that called into question the financial relationship between Oregon and a pair of so-called recruiting services.  One of those services was/is Complete Scouting Services, solely owned and operated by purported “street agent” Willie Lyles.

In late February of 2010, Oregon purchased for $25,000 from Lyles’ scouting service what was described as a “2011 National Package” that detailed recruits from several states.  One of the biggest problems with that? The package for 2011 purchased by UO contained zero recruits that would make up the following year’s recruiting class.  Instead, the vast majority of players highlighted in the 143-page book UO received from Lyles contained data on members of the 2009 recruiting class.

In the midst of rumors that Lyles had steered recruits such as Lache Seastrunk to the Ducks — and that he was paid handsomely for said steering (allegedly) — the man at the center of the controversy claimed in July of 2011 that UO “paid for what they saw as my access and influence with recruits. The service I provided went beyond what a scouting service should … I made a mistake and I’m big enough of a man to admit I was wrong.”

That claim came a couple of months after Lyles, who has spoken to the NCAA on multiple occasions, labeled as ““unequivocally false” reports that he steered recruits to universities.

It was reported in late December that UO will appear in front of NCAA’s Committee on Infractions at some point this year, likely in the spring, after the school’s attempt at a summary disposition failed.  That failure apparently stemmed from the severity of one of the allegations involving Lyles.  From The Oregonian:

Oregon and the NCAA, however, reached an impasse late in 2012 while attempting to agree on the severity of one violation concerning the Ducks’ $25,000 payment to Texas-based talent scout Willie Lyles.  The Ducks believe the impermissible “oral reports” delivered from Lyles constitute a secondary violation; NCAA enforcement officials believe them to be another “major violation.”

Because the summary disposition fell through, the television station writes, “the findings discussed in this draft document will not necessarily be binding.”

According to the document dump late Monday night, the school has already proposed two self-imposed sanctions: two-year probation and a reduction of one scholarship for each of the next three seasons.  Following the hearing in front of the COI, sanctions will be handed down on the football program, at which point UO can either accept the punitive measures or appeal all or part of the sanctions.

UPDATED 11:38 a.m. ET: In response to the document dump, former Ducks and current Eagles head coach Chip Kelly released a statement that echoed comments made last December.  For what it’s worth, here it is.

“I am aware of the recent reports and of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the NCAA and the University of Oregon. While at Oregon, I know we were fully cooperative with all aspects of the investigation and I will continue to contribute in any way that I can. But until the NCAA rules on the matter, I will have no further comment.”

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27 Responses to “Documents: Oregon, NCAA agree ‘major violations’ committed”
  1. thraiderskin says: Apr 16, 2013 9:07 AM

    So… How does a school, who wrote the checks for several major violations, not get nailed with lack of institutional control? Or is it if the school actually pays for the “illegal” services, it is in full control?

  2. tigersgeaux says: Apr 16, 2013 9:20 AM

    I am still wondering how coaches and administrators who do these things and then move on the NFL, how they will ever be disciplined? The answer is, they won’t be. The school, the fans, the team will be.

  3. barnesaintnoble says: Apr 16, 2013 9:32 AM

    Ahhh Chip, you son of a bitch. Quacked his way out of Eugene.

  4. delidawg says: Apr 16, 2013 10:03 AM

    So is the NFL going to suspend Chip Kelly like they did Jim Tressel? Tressel’s players sold their own property….Kelly has major recruiting violations. Kelly’s infractions are worse in my book.

  5. pfitz2 says: Apr 16, 2013 10:22 AM

    @delidawg Don’t forget the NFL suspended Terrelle Pryor too.

  6. harleyspoon says: Apr 16, 2013 10:26 AM

    It is obvious that the NCAA is a bought and paid for criminal organization that punishes the private and financially weaker school and lets these high flying, big money state programs like Oregon break every rule and every ethic with wanton abandon with only a pissy hand slap as punishment…It is damned time that the NCAA is gutted and completely rebuilt from top to bottom and bottom to top…There are so many all too obvious instances of inconsistency, mal-governance and mis-management by the NCAA that it would take a week to list them here. I prescribe a million gallon hot vinegar enema for the whole friggin’ organization beginning yesterday…

  7. bertenheim says: Apr 16, 2013 11:06 AM

    Uncle Phil is bigger than the NCAA.

  8. going4iton4th says: Apr 16, 2013 11:09 AM

    It’s hard to take anything the NCAA rules on or does because they are one of the most hypocritical organizations around. They make 6 billion in revenue a year off student athletes and they try to market them like they are just your average college students. There is pressure on the Miami’s and Oregon’s of the world to win so they use whatever tactics necessary. The NCAA has a rule book that they judge everyone by and they themselves don’t even know how to administer nor do they appear competent in any “rulings” they make. I think the conferences need to band together and give the NCAA the collective finger and create their own enforcement committees and rules. The power conferences don’t need the NCAA–should their be rules and redefinition of student athletes in general? Yes. I hope Miami takes the NCAA head on and gets the ball rolling because the future of college athletics is really dark if we have Mark Emmert and his bad of idiots running the show.

  9. delashmit says: Apr 16, 2013 11:12 AM

    So this is what the PAC-12 is about. Pete Carroll has violations under his watch and leaves for the NFL just before the penalties come down on USC. Now Chip Kelly is doing the same thing. What is next? Lame Kiffin?? But he probably is not wanted back by the NFL.

  10. delashmit says: Apr 16, 2013 11:15 AM

    It is a shame that SMU was not a big enough school and as highly rated as other schools and then they would not have received the NCAA Death Penalty.

  11. tombstone7 says: Apr 16, 2013 11:15 AM

    As a Duck, Coach Kelly is gone and I still wish him well in Philly. The NCAA will do what is necesary and the critics will do what they do best.
    Personally, Willie Lyles and Seastrunk weren’t worth the trouble…..”street agent?” Really Chip? MOVE ON! Nothing more to see here folks, except possible meaningless sanctions. If PSU wasn’t given the death sentence after Sandusky’s mess, OREGON will survive & thrive!

  12. granadafan says: Apr 16, 2013 11:33 AM

    “delashmit says: Apr 16, 2013 11:12 AM
    So this is what the PAC-12 is about. ”

    Unlike the SEC, the Pac-12 comes clean. The SEC is hands-down the dirtiest conference in the country starting with Auburn.

  13. uscatjerseyshore says: Apr 16, 2013 11:40 AM

    This investigation and potential action extends beyond Seastrunk. Here’s another incident involving Lyles influence for which he was paid $25K by Oregon:

    In 2007, Lyles counseled the family of LaMichael James on how to avoid a Texas standardized test required for high school graduation. James was unable to pass the math portion, putting his college eligibility in jeopardy. Lyles orchestrated James’ transfer for the final semester of his senior year to a high school in Arkansas where no standardized test is required. James did and later signed with Oregon. Head Coach Chip Kelly, then the Ducks’ offensive coordinator, praised the transfer as a great idea.

  14. maddog111 says: Apr 16, 2013 11:45 AM

    Tressel was not suspended because his players sold their own property. Tressel was suspended because when he found out about the violations, he did not report them. And when the violations became public, and he was questioned about them by the Athletic Director, he denied any knowledge And finally, when interviewed by the NCAA investigators, he again denied any knowledge.

    Kelly’s dirty, and I think we’ve all suspected that for years, and I hope, though I doubt, he gets what’s coming to him. But just because Tressel wears a cute little sweater vest and looks like a Sunday school teacher, don’t think he didn’t deserve what he got.

  15. packerbadger says: Apr 16, 2013 11:46 AM

    LOL! I said this numerous times here several months ago and last yr. Chip Kelly pulling a Pete Carroll. I guess Wisconsin will get that Rose Bowl win afterall! Wheres all the whining crybaby Duck fans now? Just put USC and Oregon in the SEC; they’ll fit right in!

  16. 1990tiger says: Apr 16, 2013 11:50 AM

    granadafan says: Apr 16, 2013 11:33 AM

    Unlike the SEC, the Pac-12 comes clean. The SEC is hands-down the dirtiest conference in the country starting with Auburn.
    And your proof of that comes from where (other than your lowermost orifice)?

  17. oldforester says: Apr 16, 2013 11:55 AM

    How can the NCAA quickly dispose of Cam Newton & his fathers little adventure asking for dollars for Cam’s services, then speedily clear him in time for the national title game while 3 years later Oregon still awaits a decision on an alleged crooked recruiter?
    What constitutes an “investigation” by the NCAA? The NCAA has failed in one of the most important aspects required of a governing body, it totally has lost the trust and respect of those who look to it to keep games from being corrupted. Their inconsistency and apparent random application of enforcement is disturbing in the least.

  18. pfitz2 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:09 PM


    Why should Tressel get suspended by the NFL for NCAA violations? Two separate entities. That is like you being on probation at your job, quitting and finding another and the new company puts you on probation for violations you committed at your former job.

  19. packerbadger says: Apr 16, 2013 12:29 PM

    Comparing Ohio States violations to Oregons is like comparing a canoe to a oil barge. Tressel was forced out over misdemeanor infractions where Kelley made tracks out of town for Grade A violations. Hope Oregon fans are just ducky with not having to worry about playing in bowl games for the next couple yrs or so.

  20. bucrightoff says: Apr 16, 2013 12:30 PM

    2011 BCS National Championship

    #1 Ranked SEC Champions “Vacated” versus
    #2 Ranked Pac-10 Champions “Vacated”

    We all remember that one right?

  21. atxcane says: Apr 16, 2013 12:38 PM

    Funny how LSU had a similar involvement with Lyles and…*crickets*.

    Where was Emmert chancellor again? Oh yeah…

  22. palmbeachbuckeye says: Apr 16, 2013 12:42 PM

    Tressel should have contacted a memorabilia company, arranged for the sale of items directly, and had the University sign off on it. Then he would have gotten a slap on the wrist and alot of sympathy like Kelly.

    Oregon systematically circumvented recruiting rules FOR YEARS, paid someone for recruiting referrals, repackaged it as “professional advice”, initially lied about it, continued the practice, and then the coach took a higher paying job in the NFL (ala Pete Carrol). Noooooo….. that doesnt sound like lack of institutional control to me at all…. nah, what was I thinking???

  23. mogogo1 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:53 PM

    I think everybody saw this coming. Kelly wasn’t waffling about whether he wanted to coach in the NFL, he was waiting around just long enough to see if major sanctions were going to be coming down.

    And, really, a masterful move on his part. Even if he totally bombs as an NFL coach, it’ll still be a good 2-3 years before he gets canned. By that time enough time will have passed since the Oregon scandal for him to be an A-list candidate again for all the big college openings. He’s never going to pay for his misdeeds in this. And there’ll always be a school desperate enough to win to hire even the dirtiest coach.

  24. arrogantnation says: Apr 16, 2013 2:03 PM

    Classless that they released this last night with all that was going on with the Boston Bombings, hoping that it would get swept under the rug.

  25. BrownsTown says: Apr 16, 2013 7:28 PM

    Exactly, atxcane……LSU used this same service and not a thing is done about it.

  26. xcler8n says: Apr 16, 2013 8:20 PM

    Yet another big time coach to leave the college ranks for the NFL only to have major allegations cripple his former school for the next couple years. USC still hasn’t recovered from what Carrol did to it.

  27. jjsooner says: Apr 20, 2013 10:08 AM

    Yep he joined the Pete Carroll club of elite crooked coaches who bolt for the NFL. Ummmm no lack of institutional control?? Surrrrrre

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