The NCAA handed the University of Oregon three years of probation and former Ducks coach Chip Kelly received an 18-month show cause penalty for their role in questionable recruiting practices involving a recruiting service.
Not included in the 30-page NCAA Committee on Infractions report was any mention of a postseason bowl ban for the Ducks. A possibility when you consider the NCAA’s recent history with similar programs like Ohio State.
It was by far one of the biggest wins for a program looking to move forward from a recruiting scandal that has hung over the school for the past 27-months. Sure, the NCAA handed down scholarship reductions – one per season over the next three seasons – but that’s a small price to pay in the big picture.
While the school appeared to get out of this mess unscathed, Chip Kelly wasn’t as lucky.
The former Ducks coach was found to have “failed in his duty to monitor his program” and was hit with the dreaded show-cause order. For the next 18-months, if Kelly has any interest in returning to college coaching, he must go before the COI to determine, if any, penalties would be levied against him.
Tough talk, but something tells me Kelly isn’t exactly worried about the sanction.
Not when the 49-year-old signed a $32.5 million deal to be the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles back in January. So in the end, the only thing Kelly gets is a little-bit of bruised ego when it comes to his coaching reputation.
It appears the only real loser in this case was the NCAA.
The COI spent more than two years building its case against Oregon that centered around Willie Lyles, the head of the scouting service that allegedly provided the program with recruiting help. It was the Yahoo! Sports story back in March 2011 in which Lyles claims that Kelly paid him $25,000 for recruiting information that turned out to be out-of-date.
Back then, the allegation seemed troubling.
A program like Oregon – which was coming off a spot in the BCS national championship game – allegedly paying thousands of dollars for recruiting help was another example of college athletics out of control.
As time went by though, the outrage surrounding those allegations died down to a point that few expected the NCAA to hand down stiff penalties for the Ducks. Where the COI could have made a big statement, it instead made nothing more than a footnote in the case.
How would you rate the NCAA's sanctions against Oregon?
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