EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon Ducks are about to hear the NCAA’s decision on possible recruiting violations.
The NCAA has been looking into payments Oregon made to recruiting services, including $25,000 to Willie Lyles and Houston-based Complete Scouting Services.
According to The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, the payment came one month after highly touted running back Lache Seastrunk signed a letter of intent with Oregon in February 2010. Lyles reportedly was a mentor to Seastrunk, who is from Temple, Texas, and has transferred to Baylor.
It was discovered Lyles had a similar relationship with several other Oregon players from Texas. A review of the material Lyles provided Oregon in 2011 “consisted of names of players who had graduated from high school in 2010, thus making the package worthless,” The Oregonian reported.
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In April, Oregon released documents acknowledging at least one major NCAA violation in connection with recruiting. The school also proposed a self-imposed two-year probation with the loss of one scholarship in each of the next three years.
While acknowledging violations from 2008 to 2011, Oregon’s report did not find any unethical conduct or lack of institutional control, typically one of the most severe charges the NCAA can bring after it investigates rules violations at a member school.
The case headed to the infractions committee after Oregon and the NCAA failed to reach an agreement on the matter.
Former Ducks coach Chip Kelly was reportedly among those who appeared before the infractions committee in April.
Mark Helfrich, the Ducks’ former offensive coordinator, took over as coach after the departure of Kelly, who went to the NFL Philadelphia Eagles in January.
Kelly was coach at Oregon for the past four seasons, leading the Ducks to a 46-7 record with appearances in four straight BCS bowl games. The Ducks finished 12-1 last season, capped by a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.
In an April 16 statement, 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.”
Kelly told Philadelphia media the NCAA probe of Oregon “had absolutely no impact on my decision to leave.”