When Yahoo! Sports reported last December that Oregon’s bid for a summary disposition with the NCAA failed, it was believed that the Ducks would face a hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions at some point in the spring. The exact date, though, wasn’t clear.
According to Sports Illustrated‘s Thayer Evans, the hearing took place in Dallas last Friday. Among those in attendance was former head coach Chip Kelly, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, who maintained that Willie Lyles’ scouting service was used “the same way other schools do.” A decision on any possible sanctions is said to come within the next 60 to 90 days, per Evans.
The reported date of the hearing would make sense given the timeframe previously given by Yahoo!, but Oregon has been consistent with an elaborate “no comment” statement issued later Wednesday afternoon:
“Regardless of when or where the hearing occurs, review is ongoing until the NCAA Committee in Infractions issues its final report,” the statement reads via the Eugene Register-Guard. “The integrity of the process and our continued full cooperation with the NCAA prohibits us from publicly discussing the specifics of this matter.”
Last week, documents released through freedom of information requests revealed the NCAA and Oregon agreed that “major violations” occurred under Kelly regarding the program’s use of Lyles’ scouting service. However, the documents stated there was “no finding of lack of institutional control and no finding of unethical conduct.” Though UO’s summary disposition fell through and therefore its contents are not necessarily binding, it’s believed any sanctions against the Ducks could be less severe than originally imagined as a result of that statement.
Assuming the COI is already in the process of formulating its decision, of course.
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.
“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”
That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.
In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.
This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.
It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.
The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.