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Oregon gets off relatively easy in NCAA ruling

Oregon v USC Getty Images

Following an investigation that spanned over two years, the NCAA finally released its findings in the Oregon case on Wednesday.

And what had the formula for a hefty blow from the Committee on Infraction — the case included allegations of, among other things, Oregon paying recruiting service provider Willie Lyles $25,000 for his access and influence on recruits rather than a legitimate recruiting package — turned out to be a relatively painless result for the Ducks. Some of the sanctions handed down earlier today were self-imposed (minimal scholarship reductions, disassociation from Lyles), and while the NCAA’s additional reductions of official paid visits and permissible evaluation days are stiffer than many will care to pay attention to, it’s not a terrible outcome.

A bigger sanction would have been limiting the Ducks to 60 plays a game.

Oregon also cannot subscribe to recruiting services while on probation for the next three years (hello, YouTube!), but perhaps the best news is there’s no bowl ban for new coach Mark Helfrich to inherit.

UO hasn’t released a statement yet, but don’t expect them to appeal these sanction. Once again, being cooperative with the NCAA during the process helps significantly. For all the inconsistencies the NCAA has exhibited in handing down sanctions — the NCAA’s enforcement arm is aiming for more consistency beginning in August with a new penalty matrix — that seems to be among the few constants.

Chip Kelly was cooperative too even though he was hit with a failure to monitor charge. He gets an 18-month show-cause penalty that, incidentally enough, ends on Christmas Day, 2014. As the NCAA’s gift to him, Kelly becomes practically unemployable at a NCAA member program until then. Not that Kelly has to worry too much about that; he’s with the Philadelphia Eagles now and will be making a cool $9 million not to coach at the college level during the length of that penalty. It’s possible, in the loosest definition of the word, that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could take it upon himself to punish Kelly, but there are no specific penalties in Kelly’s show-cause.

But what if Kelly was still at Oregon? How would that have affected the penalties? NCAA guru John Infante speculates that Kelly could have faced a suspension, perhaps 2-4 games, and a recruiting ban over the length of the show-cause. Of course, that’s not happening now and the NCAA did what it could to punish the person responsible for violations taking place on his watch rather than athletes who had nothing to do with them.

Consider Oregon thankful. Now it can go forward with its new coach as a possible national title contender in 2013.

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28 Responses to “Oregon gets off relatively easy in NCAA ruling”
  1. Walk says: Jun 26, 2013 12:35 PM

    I always did hate coaches being able to duck out of a program and the program would get stuck with the sanctions. If the ncaa is starting to take that into account then I am all for it.

  2. tampabayirish says: Jun 26, 2013 12:42 PM

    Why not cheat? The NCAA is toothless. Oregon was paying a street agent to direct players to them. This ruling clearly shows who has the real power in college football. 1.) Television 2.) Nike. The NCAA must be replaced. They can not govern college football anymore. College presidents need to retake power from the athletic department. Right now the tail is wagging the dog.

  3. olskool711 says: Jun 26, 2013 12:50 PM

    He, he, he, he, he….

    Wow Phil Knight is even more powerful than I thought.

    What an incredible joke.

    Wonder what the coaching staff at Boise State is saying behind closed doors right now? Are they still in scholarship and infraction hell for having that kid sleep on those players living room couch?

    Wonder what the administration at USC really thinks about this.

    Seems like nothing makes sense anymore.

    …. incredible

  4. bucrightoff says: Jun 26, 2013 12:51 PM

    This ruling only encourages rule violations if this is the penalty. 1 scholarship? I’m sure Oregon is devastated and will never commit any violations ever again, or God forbid the NCAA might take away TWO scholarships.

  5. tttrojan4life says: Jun 26, 2013 12:54 PM

    Unreal! Why bother with the scholarship loss? I wonder what Thug U is going to get for all of their “indiscretions”? Probably a stern warning, a promise to tone down the prostitutes, drugs, and player payments to more acceptable levels.

  6. 10kmp says: Jun 26, 2013 1:11 PM

    The NCAA is a clown show run exclusively by ass clowns… Unfathomable ineptitude.

  7. mondzy805 says: Jun 26, 2013 1:15 PM

    I guess the infraction committee are Oregon grads. Or, also work for Nike.

  8. dumbpollack says: Jun 26, 2013 1:15 PM

    They should have said that the Ducks can only wear one set of uniforms all year!!!

  9. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Jun 26, 2013 1:22 PM

    Unbelievable!!! Boise gets nailed because a few freshmen slept on a coach. tOSU gets hammered because some idiots traded their own memorabilia for tattoos (yes, Tressell tried to cover it up). What Oregon did was every bit as severe as USC and USC is severally punished. It looks like you can get away with anything if you say enough mea culpas. The NCAA needs to adopt a system that clearly defines the punishment for each type of infraction.

  10. swcoach says: Jun 26, 2013 1:40 PM

    Wow, this is ridiculous. The NCAA is a joke anymore. A couple Ohio State players get some free tattoos and a couple hundred dollars for some gear and gets much worse sanctions then Oregon who actually paid someone to help them win. Heck, Chip even sent a thank you card to Willie. Kinda hard to raise good kids when almost everything in this world is corrupt anymore.

  11. uschawk says: Jun 26, 2013 2:26 PM

    Once again USC got royally screwed.

    I hope Todd McNair takes the NCAA to the cleaners.

  12. necr0philia says: Jun 26, 2013 2:33 PM

    @tttrojan4life

    A little Butt hurt are you! I love that song “Cry me a River”!

  13. tttrojan4life says: Jun 26, 2013 2:53 PM

    Unbelievable!!! Boise gets nailed because a few freshmen slept on a coach. tOSU gets hammered because some idiots traded their own memorabilia for tattoos (yes, Tressell tried to cover it up). What Oregon did was every bit as severe as USC and USC is severally punished. It looks like you can get away with anything if you say enough mea culpas. The NCAA needs to adopt a system that clearly defines the punishment for each type of infraction.

    Yes tOSU got “hammered”! They got off just like Oregon did. The “idiots” you refer to include a guy by the name of Pryor- and the only name tOSU was calling him before was “Heisman candidate”.

    Nice try though.

  14. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Jun 26, 2013 3:35 PM

    @tttrojan4life:
    Why are you slamming tOSU? I was actually sticking up for USC. I fail to see how tOSU “got off just like Oregon.” tOSU received triple the scholarship reductions than Oregon, a bowl ban, Tresell is out of college coaching for at least 5 years and several players were suspended for multiple games.

  15. barnesaintnoble says: Jun 26, 2013 3:42 PM

    What legal right does the NCAA have to the management of college athletics anyway? I really think it will take all the student athletes of men’s football and basketball suddenly going “on strike” the first college football Saturday of the year and staying that way until the NCAA is replaced by something more fair, which actually pays out to everyone and serves as a legitimate watchdog for cheating.

    And seriously, all of you idiots arguing over this school and that school need to take a step back and realize that is exactly what the NCAA wants you to do. Attack each other and stay away from them.

  16. barkleyblows says: Jun 26, 2013 4:38 PM

    Wow. Unreal.

    Next the NCAA will say Thugami won’t be punished.

    Atleast the NCAA is good at something.. Being utterly inconsistent with punishments.

  17. canetic says: Jun 26, 2013 7:22 PM

    Miami overdid it by taking a couple of bowl bans and skipping the ACC championship game. How is the NCAA going to justify doing more when they didn’t do anything to Oregon?

  18. helladonks says: Jun 26, 2013 7:38 PM

    And they say SEC schools get off easy

  19. thraiderskin says: Jun 26, 2013 7:48 PM

    This is the second most rediculous thing I’ve heard in the past year. I’m not sure where to go from here as a college football fan.

    Miami fans should be excited… USC, OSU and Penn State fans should be livid (that word doesn’t even do the anger justice).

  20. swu32733 says: Jun 26, 2013 8:23 PM

    CHEATERS

  21. auburntigers34 says: Jun 26, 2013 8:36 PM

    of course they got off easy. this always happens with the SEC….oh wait. nevermind.

  22. tuscaloosaguy says: Jun 26, 2013 8:44 PM

    I’m not going to hold my breath with the NCAA investigating awfu-barn (The University of Auburn).

  23. auburntigers34 says: Jun 26, 2013 9:23 PM

    the NCAA spent several months investigating Auburn and came away with nothing at all. bama’s still on probation , right? how long has bama been in the 5 year repeater window, now? 20 years? seriously, i’m pretty sure that it’s been about two straight decades that bama has either been on NCAA probabtion or in the five year window. keep throwing stones, though. dickwad.

  24. BigBeachBall says: Jun 27, 2013 12:55 AM

    Penn state deserved the electric chair… They arent in this discussion.

  25. thraiderskin says: Jun 27, 2013 8:34 AM

    @BigBeachBall

    But not from the organization that deals with competitive balance… so yeah, I got your point, but it isn’t valid to what the NCAA’s sanctions are meant for.

  26. dkhhuey says: Jun 27, 2013 9:01 AM

    I guess the NCAA was just still too fat from digesting the hunks of flesh they got from OSU, USC, Boise State, and PSU to do anything about the Ducks! I’m wondering who much Nike sh!t they now possess! What a f@#$ing joke!

  27. nflofficeadmin says: Jun 27, 2013 3:22 PM

    NCAA should make it obligatory that coaches agree to claw backs and wage garnishments if caught cheating and duck out, leaving the mess for others to deal with. If you hit them in the wallet, then it shows you’re serious.

  28. e5003 says: Jul 3, 2013 12:28 PM

    “The NCAA did what it could to punish the person responsible for violations taking place on his watch rather than athletes who had nothing to do with them.”

    It’s good to see that the NCAA is able to adapt and learn (sic sarcasm) from previous punishments it’s dished out to offenders such as Penn State, Ohio State, USC, and Miami. Still haven’t heard much ado about Rutgers. I guess Mark Emmert was on vacation for this one.

    Thereby proving there is NO structure or parity when it comes to levying fines and punishments by the NCAA; they must draw straws or flip a coin as willy-nilly as their decisions have been.

    College programs should really consider of what use the NCAA really is.

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