Documents released by the University of Oregon reveal that the school and the NCAA agree that the Ducks’ football program committed “major” violations.
The ongoing investigation into the Oregon’s recruiting practices centers around Will Lyles, a Texas scout who runs an organization called Complete Scouting Services. According to documents obtained Monday by both the Oregonian newspaper and Portland television station KATU, the NCAA has been investigating Oregon since obtaining reports that the school made a $25,000 payment to Lyles in 2010.
The NCAA claims that the payment isn't their main concern, focusing more on Lyles's role as a "booster" for the school.
"There is no information in the record that Lyles coerced or directed any prospect to ultimately choose Oregon," the NCAA said in documents.
"That said, Lyles did provide a meaningful recruiting advantage by orally providing background information about prospects to the coaching staff and also by serving as a conduit to facilitate communication with prospective student-athletes."
Most of the violations appear to have taken place under Chip Kelly, who was hired as head coach in 2009. Kelly agreed to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in January.
“There were underlying major violations coupled with failure to monitor violations involving the head coach (2009-2011) and the athletics department (2008-2011),” the report said. “While the violations were not intentional in nature, coaches and administrators of a sports program at an NCAA member institution have an obligation to ensure that the activities being engaged in comply with NCAA legislation.”
Despite the school’s missteps, the NCAA acknowledges that they had "no finding of lack of institutional control and no finding of unethical conduct," a fact that will weigh heavily into any punishments levied against the program.
While the school and the NCAA agree that there was wrongdoing, the two sides have reached a stalemate in terms of a suitable punishment. According to the Oregonian, the NCAA seeks to administer punishment for what they consider to be a “major violation,” while the Ducks believe the incident is a “secondary violation.”
Oregon has proposed a penalty of two years of probation for its football program, as well as a loss of one scholarship for each of the next three seasons, the Oregonian reports. The final ruling on the matter will not be reached until next year, after the Oregon officials meet with the NCAA’s committee on recruiting infractions.
Kelly released a statement on Tuesday in which he addressed news of Oregon’s pending violations.
"I am aware of the recent reports and of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the NCAA and the University of Oregon," Kelly said. "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."