Friday, July 1, 2011

UofO Footbal Could Be In Big Trouble

As some of you may be aware, I am a fan of the University of Oregon. Last year, they played for the National Championship and lost to Auburn on a last minute field goal. Well, it seems the Ducks might be running afoul of the NCAA for paying someone to improperly influence the decision of a recruit.

As violations go, this is not really a big one, at least in my mind. It certainly doesn’t come close to shenanigans that have gone at schools like Ohio State and Southern Cal. But it could do some damage. Oregon has only recently risen to national prominence. The Ducks do not have the long-running tradition that schools like Michigan, Nebraska and Alabama enjoy. For this reason, it could wind up a big deal. Recruiting violations and other less than “legal” actions are not something that Oregon has a ton of experience with. Couple that with the NCAA may wish to teach the young upstart a lesson, and trouble could be brewing.

Reading through the story linked above, it appears that Oregon might have played a little fast and loose with the rules. I don’t even begin to confess that I have knowledge of how the NCAA governs over college football and recruiting. There are violations that are clearly wrong, such as paying a player or players selling their allotment of tickets. Other rules are not so clear cut, at least to a layman such as myself. The rules that Oregon might have violated fall under this cloudy area. Oregon did pay someone to help facilitate the recruitment of a player, but is that really a violation? Only the NCAA really knows.

The person who helped recruit players to Oregon is named Will Lyles and he has provided much information to the writer of the story linked above. Items such as phone records to back up his assertions and hand written notes from the Ducks football coaches are discussed. Taken individually, these phone records and notes don’t amount to a hill of beans. But when added with testimony from Lyles (and others?), a picture begins to emerge.

Where this is going to end up is anybody’s guess. The NCAA could view all of this as a serious violation and start to dig even further in the Ducks football program, unearthing other violations. Or the NCAA could see this and tell the Ducks they might have bent the rules to near the breaking point then turn tighten up those rules. Obviously, I am hoping for the latter outcome but I think we won’t know for at least a year.

The Oregonian has a lot of stories on this, including audio of an interview done by John Canzano (Sports Columnist) with Brooks of This guy thinks Oregon could be in deep trouble.

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