Oregon, NCAA agree on ‘major’ violations within Ducks program
By Zac Ellis
Oregon and the NCAA agree that the school committed “major” violations within its recruiting practices, which have been the subject of an ongoing NCAA investigation. In a draft of the summary disposition report obtained by Portland, Ore., TV station KATU, more details have emerged surrounding the Ducks’ activities and use of Will Lyles, a Texas-based scout whose firm Complete Scouting Services allegedly provided Oregon with an illegal recruiting advantage, among other violations.
Through the summary disposition, Oregon offered to self-impose a two-year probation for the football program and a reduction of one scholarship for each of the next three seasons, according to OregonLive.com. The Ducks will meet with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions later this year to determine the school’s ultimate fate.
The report details Lyles’ impermissible contact with student-athletes, which gave Oregon “a meaningful recruiting advantage” by providing the school with background information on prospective recruits. The document also states that Oregon paid at least $35,000 for a number of improper recruiting services, including $25,000 to Lyles and Complete Scouting Services. Oregon also failed to adequately record recruiting information on a quarterly basis, as mandated by the NCAA. The school and the NCAA disagree on the severity of these charges, however; Oregon considers them to be secondary violations, while the NCAA believes they are major violations.
Though the report questions whether Oregon and its coaches, led by former head man and current Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly, maintained an atmosphere of compliance, it notes that the NCAA had “no finding of lack of institutional control and no finding of unethical conduct.” But the school could face penalties under the NCAA’s “repeat violators” clause, since the program’s last major infraction (2004) took place within five years of the first of these reported violations.
The report also details 730 impermissible phone calls to recruits between 2007-11, and it says the Ducks had “one too many coaches working on recruiting activities.” Oregon also reportedly failed to monitor the actions of its recruiting services, which provided prospects and high school coaches with impermissible benefits.