Oregon Ducks Entering Uncharted Waters With Regards To NCAA Violations

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Darrion Weems #74 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates after the Ducks 45-38 victory against the Wisconsin Badgers at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

For those who haven't viewed the Oregon document release, click here to view the PDF (courtesy of jtlight of Addicted To Quack). A useful timeline of events is also available here.

Aim at the dartboard and pick a punishment for the Oregon Ducks for their NCAA violations. Your guess is as good as anyone else.

The Ducks have no idea what exactly their punishment will be this weekend because there's no precedent for their violations. Scouting services have never been well-documented because those rules were only recently put in place. Plenty of schools have probably been using multiple subscriptions in the past.

Here's the bylaw* Oregon has the most trouble with: NCAA Bylaw 13.14.3: Recruiting or Scouting Services.

BeaverByte explains why Willie Lyles gets Oregon in trouble here.

An institution may subscribe to a recruiting or scouting service involving prospective student-athletes, provided the institution does not purchase more than one annual subscription to a particular service and the service:

(a) Is made available to all institutions desiring to subscribe and at the same fee rate for all subscribers;

Public records show Lyles’ invoice to Cal for the ’2010 National Package’ at $5,000, with an almost identical invoice to Oregon at $25,000. The invoices came a year apart, but other than the fee, the packages are identical.

(b) Publicly identifies all applicable rates;

Lyles’ Complete Scouting Services website listed no fees back in March. One day after Yahoo’s initial story broke, one fee popped up – $25,000 for a national recruiting package.

(c) Disseminates information (e.g., reports, profiles) about prospective student-athletes at least four times per calendar year;

Public records requests show Oregon received no such documents from Lyles, until a year after the initial $25,000 payment, and that information was mostly of old recruits and useless.

NCAA Bylaw 11.7.2 is also an issue--the number of coaches Oregon apparently placed on staff was over the limit. This is something that the NCAA used to punish USC when Pete Carroll tried to put an extra coach on staff, one Pete Rodriguez, and was mentioned prominently in their infamous Notice of Allegations citing a lack of institutional control.

While Oregon appeared to only use this coach to recruit on the trail, it's not a good sign to have two violations going on in this case rather than only one, and speaks poorly on Oregon compliance. It makes sense for them to present a story as soon as possible to get in front of the story.

Even with the Ducks coming out to meet the story, Oregon can't really breathe easily until they learn their fate. The NCAA has proven they can be pretty arbitrary with the way they dole out punishment, and these bylaw violations have to be of great concern, regardless of how forthcoming Oregon fans might be here. They can only hope that whatever's been left redacted doesn't add to the charges against them, and presents the case of an isolated incident over a short period of time. Otherwise there's a good chance serious punishment awaits them.

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