Well over two years after it started, Oregon’s NCAA case is coming to an end. Maybe.
The NCAA announced today that the Committee on Infractions will release its findings on the investigation into the Ducks football program at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday. The findings, which come after a 28-month probe into alleged recruiting improprieties, will include the penalties proposed by the committee.
UO can either accept the penalties or, depending on the severity of the sanctions, appeal and further extend the process out another couple of months. The school has proposed self-imposed sanctions that consist of a two-year probation period and a reduction of one scholarship for each of the next three seasons as a result of the alleged violations; the COI can accept those sanctions or add to them.
In April, it was reported that the university and the NCAA had agreed that major violations had been committed during Chip Kelly‘s time in Eugene, although the former believed one of the violations considered major by the latter to be secondary in nature. UO reportedly received its Notice of Allegations last December, and appeared in front of the COI this spring after attempts on the school’s part at a summary disposition failed.
The COI’s findings would be one of the last steps in what’s been a lengthy journey for the football program.
In March of 2011, both Yahoo! and ESPN.com 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.”