Like much of Duck Nation, I too was hoping no news about the NCAA’s investigation into the Oregon Football program was good news. Well, according to Yahoo Sports, Oregon and the NCAA have reached an impasse in the case. Don’t worry, I’m not about to get all technical about it, but it is pretty big (not good) news, and as a Duck fan you should know what it all means.
Several months ago, I wrote a post explaining the basis for the investigation into the program and the possible outcomes. To recap: Nearly two years ago, the NCAA began investigating the program after learning that UO paid Will Lyles, a recruiter, $25,000 for his services, despite the fact they received very limited information from him. This raised suspicion due to the fact he reportedly had mentor-like relationships with several players including Lamichael James and the now-Baylor star, Lache Seastrunk. Mr. Lyles later reported he believed UO was paying him for his influence (several of these players soon committed to Oregon after that$ 25, 000 payment). This type of activity is obviously considered an NCAA no no. For more detailed information, feel free to read the earlier post, but the moral of the story is that UO has been working hard to avoid harsh penalties/sanctions that could be handed down by the NCAA.
For quite a while now, we have all held our breath hoping we don’t become the PAC 12’s next USC- enduring the much dreaded “S word. It’s a pretty complicated and tedious process, but at this point the Ducks are likely headed to a hearing they had tried to avoid. They had submitted paperwork to the NCAA Sanctions stating what they felt they had done wrong and what they felt would be a fair punishment. Ultimately, sources are now saying the NCAA did not accept this request for a “summary disposition” (a plea agreement so- to- speak) which would have resolved the case. Since they didn’t accept it, the case will essentially now “go to trial”, which could force Chip Kelly, and many others to answer a lot of questions. As noted in the previous post, this hearing could result in a wide variety of sanctions for the programs from loss of scholarships to dreadful ban on post-season play.
As a Duck Football fanatic, I’m now a little worried…OK a lot worried. The hearing will likely be held in the Spring, so for now we’ll continue in a more anxious limbo mode. I cannot imagine this is a good sign, but I’m going to pray there’s something about this I don’t know- perhaps a loophole, technicality… SOMETHING. Obviously people have to be held accountable when breaking rules, but I’m holdin’ out hope this all clears up soon and my beloved Ducks aren’t wounded too badly.