A drama that has spanned thee years is now going to come to a close.
On April 16th, the school released documents that acknowledged recruiting violations and announced a self-imposed two-year probation period with a reduction of one scholarship for each of the next three seasons. This is only the beginning of the end, as the NCAA itself is going to act eventually…and they will over react to the entire situation. After all, they penalized the entire Boise State AD after Boise State self-reported several major infractions by their non-revenue sports in 2009.
That being said, the violations by the Oregon staff appear to be more severe than anything the non-revenue sports did at Boise State. They paid Complete Scouting Services-Lyle’s company-for their recruiting services in 2010. It seemed like a harmless deposit at the time; after all most schools use recruiting services to help them identify recruits across the country that they might be interested in.
That being said, not all schools use their recruiting services like Oregon used Lyles…and to explain that in better detail, I leave you guys with this quote from Lyle’s interview with Yahoo in July, 2011;
“In a wide-ranging, multi-day interview, Lyles said Kelly “scrambled” in late February and asked Lyles to submit retroactive player profiles to justify the $25,000 payment to his company, just days before the transaction was revealed in a March 3 Yahoo! Sports report. Lyles also provided details of his fledgling company – Complete Scouting Services (CSS) – as well as the extent of his relationship with numerous Texas high school stars and his role in Ducks’ recruitment of certain prospects.
Lyles insists Oregon did not make a direct request or payment to steer recruits to Eugene. However, he now says Oregon did not pay him for his work as a traditional scout, but for his influence with top recruits and their families and his ability to usher prospects through the signing and eligibility process. That dual role as mentor to prospects and paid contractor to Oregon is believed to be a focus of the NCAA probe.”
After Oregon’s attempt to resolve the NCAA’s investigation via summary disposition, failed; there was really only one thing left for the school to do. That one thing, was to self-report their violation, and self-impose penalties. The thought process behind this is to soften the NCAA’s eventual penalties by showing remorse and admitting what they did is wrong.
Now the question is, how does the NCAA view these infractions by Oregon?
Unfortunately for Duck fans that is going to be really hard to predict. After all, they hammered USC for violations by one player (Reggie Bush); but let Miami off scot-free when one of their boosters was throwing parties for players on his private yacht (the NCAA sited a corrupted and broken investigative process for that reason)!
Honestly, I think that the NCAA is going to hammer the Ducks pretty hard. The reason I think this is because they paid Willie Lyles to influence 17-18 year old teenagers into going to Oregon for the benefit of the football program. It is using an adult that the teenager trusted and turning that into a recruiting tool..and in my opinion that is just wrong.