Light Hammer Comes Down on Oregon

By Kyle Rowland on June 26, 2013 at 10:32a
Chip Kelly won't be returning to college anytime soon.

The day of reckoning came to Eugene, Ore., and no one really noticed. What some thought could be severe NCAA sanctions placed on the Oregon football program were nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

The Ducks got three years probation, the loss of one scholarship each of the next three seasons, Chip Kelly received an 18-month show-cause penalty and recruiting restrictions were placed on the coaching staff. But the biggest hammer — a bowl ban — was nonexistent. Despite Kelly's departure to the Philadelphia Eagles, Oregon remains a national title contender. With today's ruling, the Ducks know a championship is still a possibility. 

The penalties stem from the years-long Willie Lyles controversy. Lyles, a recruiting service provider, was paid large sums of money ($25,000) by Oregon and, coincidentally, recruits he was involved with ended up playing for the Ducks. The case has dragged on for 27 months. During that time, though, it was learned a majority of the Texas-based players Lyles attempted to steer Oregon's directions were low-level recruits, though he did have connections to LaMichael James and Lachae Seastrunk, who has since transferred to Baylor. The recruiting service material Lyles provided was also of little use. 

A rundown of Oregon's penalties: 

1. Public reprimand and censure.

2. Three years of probation, ending on June 25, 2016.

3. The number of initial athletically related financial aid awards in football that are countable under Bylaw 15.02.3 shall be reduced by one from the maximum allowed (25) during both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. This limits the institution to 24 initial grants those two years under current rules. (Institution imposed)

4. The number of total athletically related financial aid awards in football shall be reduced by one from the maximum allowed (85) during the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. This limits the institution to 84 total scholarships those three years under current rules. (Institution imposed)

5. Official paid [recruiting] visits in the sport of football shall be limited to 37 for each of the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-6 academic years. The institution will not be allowed to retain unused visits for the following year.

6. The permissible number of football [recruiting] evaluation days shall be limited to 36 (of 42) in the fall of 2013, 2014 and 2015. The permissible number of football evaluation days shall be limited to 144 (of 168) in the spring of 2014, 2015 and 2016.

7. A ban on the subscription to recruiting services during the period of probation.

8. The recruiting service provider [Willie Lyles] will be disassociated by the institution's athletics program upon release of this report. (Institution imposed

9. The committee concluded that the former head coach [Kelly] failed in his duty to monitor his program as it related to the recruiting service provider's impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes, the football program's use of the recruiting service provider's business which did not comply with NCAA legislation, and the impermissible telephone calls placed by the former assistant director of operations. The former head coach agreed with these determinations. Therefore, pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 19.5, the committee imposes an 18-month show-cause order upon the former head coach. During this period, which begins on June 26, 2013, and runs through December 25, 2014, if any member institution seeks to hire the former head coach in an athletically related capacity, it and the former head coach shall appear before the Committee on Infractions to consider which, if any, of the show-cause procedures of Bylaw (l) should be imposed upon him.


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Buckeyebrowny919's picture

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

petebuc52's picture

Classic..My exact feelings of the ncaa..

Danify's picture

Can this qualify as an "slap on the wrist" even ... I didn't realize players selling their own stuff was 3x worse then paying a player to come to your school.

Kyle Rowland's picture

That was only part of it. The vast majority of OSU's punishment was due to Tressel lying to the NCAA and playing ineligible players for an entire season. 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Ohio State fired JT, and he got a 5 year show cause penalty. The ban had to do with the fake outrage from the media.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Kyle Rowland's picture

The Bobby D stuff also surfaced when a major investigation was under way. That didn't help matter. I get it is frustrating for fans. But trust me, there isn't some conspiracy out there against Ohio State. Urban Meyer is now the head coach and national title hopes will be realistic every year. Buckeyes won out in the end. One year after the scandal, they went undefeated. Why re-live it whenever there's a ruling that fans don't agree with? 

Earle's picture

Your logic and reason have no place here. Where is my pitchfork?

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

GoBucks713's picture

I'll supply the torches!

-The Aristocrats!

Buckeyeneer's picture

Rabble, rabble, rabble!

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

toad1204's picture

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

Ahh Saturday's picture

Kyle is on the money here.  Without the Bobby D stuff coming up, the penalties would not have been as harsh.  People who say that OSU was punished because of a few players trading their stuff for tats are oversimplifying the matter.  It was JT's failure to report that incident + the Bobby D stuff + some concession to the media feeding frenzy. 
I think Oregon should have been hit harder, but they weren't.  Who cares?  Our Buckeyes are back and ready to chase after a National Championship right now.  Time to let go of Tatgate.

BuckeyeVet's picture

KYLE - My frustration is with the lack of consistency on the part of the NCAA. And, no, I don't think there is a conspiracy out there against OSU. (Except for those basketball refs). 

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

unknownmusketeer's picture

Didn't Chip Kelly contact Lyles to have him send "recruiting" media (video and notes) that were two years old? Does this not count as "lying" to investigators? Did Chip Kelly not sign the same document that Jim Tressel did about having no knowledge of potential violations?

Maestro's picture

Excellent points.

vacuuming sucks

gobucks96's picture

The problem I have is that it was the coaching staff that actually committed the violations.. I get Tressel messed up, but it was not his own decision that started the issue. Oregon's staff chose to do this... Tressel made the mistake after someone else fubar'd.. 

tennbuckeye19's picture

Oregon received this commemorative photo matted and framed from the NCAA.

mh277907's picture

What is wrong with that index finger knuckle?


Oyster's picture

Looks like it was skinned trying to remove a wedding ring quickly while at a bar.  Not that I would know about that type of behavior, but that would be my guess.

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

bodast67's picture

that dude has duck hand....




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

jkrk's picture

I don't understand what Brady Hoke's 3rd-grade yearbook picture has to do with Oregon.

BED's picture

This is outrageous.  The NCAA hammer of arbitrary justice strikes again!

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

mh277907's picture

What really bothers me is that these rulings rarely, if ever, punish those responsible (or in those case don't punish anyone at all). I don't know how it would be done, but these coaches need to be held responsible before jumping ship to the NFL where they face no penalties at all (unless you are Jim Tressel, in which case, you will be suspended by the NFL, because that's only right).


Kyle Rowland's picture

Well, in this case I actually think the only people punished were those involved. Kelly left for Philly, which he probably wouldn't have, because he knew his time at Oregon was limited. 

mh277907's picture

In a way, I guess you are right. They chose not to punish anyone because the culprit was already gone rather than forcing out the culprits and punishing everyone else as well, like they did here. But if my punishment was that I had to leave my college head coaching job for a head coaching job in the NFL, I would probably be more than ok with that.


OSU_ALUM_05's picture

The NCAA may as well have just done this to Oregon:


Yeti's have feelings too.

Riggins's picture

More like this.

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

You're probably right, but they should have at least gotten this:

Yeti's have feelings too.

cplunk's picture

After seeing the results of the UNC and Oregon scandals and comparing them to Ohio State's, it is clear that punishment is directly tied to the amount of media hype relating to your school's scandal. Obviously it isn't tied to the actual scandal itself or the dollar amounts involved.

BED's picture

Totally this.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

NC_Buckeye's picture

Based on the UNC and Oregon penalties, I've got to believe that Miami is going to receive fellatio as their punishment from the NCAA.

biggy84's picture

Everybody, including some in our own fan base, blew the violations at tOSU way out of proportion. The Oregon community rallied around their program and defended it, very few came to the defense of Coach Tressel and the program. Local and national media continued on their moral crusade until there was a frenzy.

kdizzleduzit's picture

No one defended Tressel? That's false

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I think he meant media wise.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

biggy84's picture

I did mean media wise. The local media did just as much to sensationalize the allegations as the national media. In the media, there wasn't anyone defending tOSU. Hell, even the flagship radio station had hosts (hooley) condemning Tress like he was the antichrist. I can't even imagine how bad it would have been if he had paid thousands of dollars to a street agent to buy recruits.

kdizzleduzit's picture

Ahh, ok. Sorry for the misinterpretation. I agree with you there

E2Brutus's picture

At first this made me angry. Then I remembered it's the NCAA - and I already don't care anymore.

BTBuckeye's picture

So....nothing happened?! All that fret, and they lose a scholly and some official visit/evaluation time. LOL

OSUStu's picture

I asked this in the forum as well, but I was hoping someone might know the answer.
Does anyone know if a show-cause has ever been issued against a coach without an associated bowl ban?  Here are the notable show-cause penalties according to Wiki.  I believe all resulted in a bowl ban.
Willie Anderson – Oklahoma State
Claude Bassett – Kentucky
Todd McNair – University of Southern California
Jim Tressel – The Ohio State University
John Blake – North Carolina

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Posterchild's picture


OSUStu's picture

How can we be expected to teach Oregon not to cheat if they can't even....oh F@#* it!

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

mh277907's picture



Buckeyeneer's picture

The Mark Emmert School for Guys Who Can't Handle Compliance Issues Good

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

BROSEPH's picture

"On January 16, 2010, Bylaw 13.14.3 changed to require four reports annually from recruiting/scouting services. Recruiting service 1 did not disseminate to the football program recruiting or scouting information at least four times per calendar year as the legislation requires."
25,000$ for a recruiting service is not an infraction if I read the NCAA bylaws correctly, it is a lot, yes, but 25k is what many schools pay for National recruiting/scouting services.  
The instance of giving cash to recruits did not exceed $100 (for food, my guess), and it only happened a few times according to the report (also helped pay for hotel to All star game).  
"Subsequently, prospect A
traveled to the recruiting service provider's home where, in 2008, prospect A was
provided lodging and training by the recruiting service provider in anticipation of the US
Army All-American Combine (December 2008). Likewise, in 2009, prospect A was
given lodging and training by the recruiting service provider prior to the US Army AllAmerican Game (December 2009). The approximate total value of this lodging and
training was $300. Further, during the course of this relationship, from 2008 through
2010, the recruiting service provider provided prospect A a series of cash gifts totaling
approximately $100."
I still think the penalties should be a tad harsher (more scholarships/visits/calls), but most that are calling for justice need to read the report, it is not as bad as I thought.  Headlines sensationalized this story big time.  

OSUStu's picture

How can Oregon be said to have paid Willie Lyles for recruiting services if he didn't even provide the services?

Recruiting service 1 did not disseminate to the football program recruiting or scouting information at least four times per calendar year as the legislation requires.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Squirrel Master's picture

I don't care! Nothing they will do to Oregon will get back the total injustice given to OSU! They could have gotten a bowl ban and it still wouldn't take back the fact that OSU got what it didn't deserve!
I'm moving on and only care about OSU winning it all this year! that is the only thing that will make me feel better about the past 2 years!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

awwwwwwop's picture

I'm firmly in the "who cares" camp.  OSU played ineligible players for a year.  We got busted. Lied about it. Got busted.  Then those same players had no show jobs. We got a bowl ban. We moved on. I'm done with it.  Nothing the NCAA could have done to Oregon would have changed what we did or the punishment we got.  Moving on.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

Kyle Rowland's picture

The best perspective I've seen about the scandal since it broke. Bravo. 

NC_Buckeye's picture

There were two sets of DiGeronimo infractions, one where Hall, Howard, Brown and Pryor were given money for attending a charity event (thanks TP). And two, the "no-show" jobs where Herron, Posey and Hall worked at DiGeronimo's excavation company. Posey claims it wasn't a "no-show" job and he could prove it with cell phone records. In addition, the NCAA claimed that Posey was over-paid for that job. Posey and DiGeronimo counter that he was paid the same rate as others doing the same job at DiGeronimo's company. I think if Smith would have contested it as Posey wanted, Ohio State would have received a lesser charge from the DiGeronimo infractions. As it stands Smith just wanted the whole thing to go away, so he rolled over.

My problem with the UNC and Oregon sanctions is that they received the benefit of the doubt because of all the shit that is going on with the NCAA right now. And we didn't because of all the media uproar over the Tressel cover-up.
And I think that's a fair assessment of the situation.

Oyster's picture


"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Michael Citro's picture

Oregon fans to the NCAA:

Knarcisi's picture

"You just made the list buddy"

Bucks43201's picture

Gene Smith. He messed up. Fumbled badly.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

GoBucks713's picture

Earnest Byner bad or Leon Lett bad?

-The Aristocrats!

Hovenaut's picture

Closer to Art Modell bad......

Gene's making a comeback though, holding on to hope.

rdubs's picture

What did Gene Smith mess up exactly?  He probably shouldn't have said to the media that we weren't getting a bowl ban, but really that had zero impact on what actually happened.

Nicholas Jervey's picture


There's a former coach who put the university in the situation where Gene Smith could fumble the damage control. Don't forget him.

Ceci n'est pas une signature.

trigg03's picture

I can't say that I am surprised by the completely insignificant consequences handed down on Oregon from the NCAA.  They are a fraud of a "governing body" who picks and chooses who they will go after and for what reasoning.  They have essentially stated that it is O.K. to cheat in recruiting just as long as the kids do not receive any Tattoo's which is a complete joke.    

Hovenaut's picture


theDuke's picture

#markcubanbowlseries NOW!


AndyVance's picture

And now, some deep thoughts (with apologies to Jack Handy):
If some sanctions fall in the forest and no one actually suffers as a result, did they really occur at all?

chitown buckeye's picture

What if C A T really spelled dog?

"I'm having a heart attack!"

Knarcisi's picture

- Ogre ... Revenge of the Nerds II 

SaltyD0gg's picture

If only I were surprised by the NCAA's ineptitude...again...

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

None of us could name another school who could get the hammer like us, go undefeated and lock down 2 top 10 recruiting classes in a row amidst all of it.  We've probably made out better than anyone even though our penalties were more harsh. 
UNC - sucks anyway
Oregon - Chip Kelley is gone, they've got an unproven coach and could never win the big game anyways.  They lost BIG when he left.  One of their commits even pledged Ohio State following that.
Even the almighty Alabama was barely turning out bowl teams while they were on probation and when they did, they lost to Utah.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

kdizzleduzit's picture

I am personally glad Oregon did not get a bowl ban. They are a fun team to watch and have a shot at the national title this year. Sure this may be light punishment in comparison to OSU's, but who cares, that is dead and gone. And we have UFM because of it. College football is more fun when there are more good teams

Grayskullsession's picture

I mean.....

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

BuckeyeChief's picture

Hmmm, so does Chip Kelly get benched for a few games? I love how Mort just said he Goddell acted foolishly by suspending Tressel and Pryor.

"2014 National with it!!!"

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

I think this is also a reflection of the work done by the media. In OSU's case, the Lantern and others really dug up some dirt on the scandal. I think there is more to the Oregon case that wasn't explored by info gathering journalists. On another note, due to the Oregon case, Kelly bolted for the NFL and Dontre Wilson bolted for the Buckeyes. That's a  nice silver lining.

Wayne Woodrow Hayes


^ Bravo. I'll gladly take Dontre, especially when we see him running rampant over everyone. Thanks Chip!

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Nick's picture

I'm actually not surprised with what happened to Ohio State, UNC, USCe or Oregon. That is just the NCAA. I hope they are out of business of "protecting" student-athletes in the next few years with all these lawsuits against them. An agreement between university presidents would be enough don't need a third party paper tiger to try to enforce rules. 

BME_Buckeye's picture

Lol. What a slap on the Nikes.

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


2014nationalchamps's picture

i just cant believe that one of those SEC schools that have sucked for the last 20yrs(Im talking about you OLe Miss) can recruit top 5 recruiting classes and get players that are no where near their home state, yet the NCAA has not started the investigation.  NCAA needs to get the hell out of B1G territory and go where the action is. 

O-H-I-O  for life

gbdawg's picture

Phil Nike bought off the NCAA

tampa buckeye's picture

I just saw the nike jet in Savannah. Knight was no where to be found.

KBonay's picture

I think their self-imposed sanctions were fair enough.....

LadyBuck's picture

Good god, my eyes are bleeding.

Kevbo714's picture

I look at this and for some reason, I think "scotch tape."

Tom Crean listens to Nickelback...

OSUStu's picture

I look at this and for some reason I think "I need a scotch."

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

LadyBuck's picture

And we're surprised, because? This case wasn't as bad as most made it out to be. Now, the real litmus test to me is going to be Da U. I want to see how they fair before calling out the NCAA too much.

cajunbuckeye's picture

The NCAA "Hammer" is exactly as I expected...

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Deadly Nuts's picture

On the upside for Oregon fans- The Supreme court paved the way for them to get married.


Denny's picture



Deadly Nuts's picture

Probation is like telling a teenager to be home by 4AM instead of sunrise.


Knarcisi's picture

Fuck Oregon. We still got Rose Bowl. Remember all their "speed" was supposed to beat us by 50?

Knarcisi's picture

And oh yeah ... 28 months or however long it took them to investigate for this shit?

captain obvious's picture

They should of just made them wear Adidas for 4 years

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

Knarcisi's picture

So sorry for the mistaken downvote. Sure you will get plenty to make up. Hilarious. 

captain obvious's picture

No worries I know you arent the only Reebok guy out there

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

Knarcisi's picture

Evened you out for that one. Had me a pair ... Just not that color!

WiliestBuckeye's picture

Just another example, in a long list, of why I chose this avatar.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

Knarcisi's picture

18 months ... What will Herbie do to keep his burning love for Chip alive?

pjtobin's picture

They got off easy because duck season is out until fall. It is unlawful to harvest a migratory bird out of season. Especially if they are wearing nike airs. 
I guess I don't care what the NCAA does. I think players should sign a contract. If they break the rules they should pay the fines. Kinda like a student loan. Why punish the kids. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

NuttyBuck's picture

I am ashamed of the NCAA. They showed they are truly the Mafia. Despite all the OSU attention, and other national anticipation for their decision, they still let Oregon off without a bowl ban!! And merely 8 months after the Bucks went 12-0 and missed a national championship berth because of a ban! This is unreal. The NCAA stole a page from the federal government here, again. 

Haybucks's picture

Buckeyes 1 - Ducks 0
"Wilson becomes commitment No. 24 for Ohio State in the 2013 recruiting class after a suspenseful month that saw Ohio State and Oregon seemingly go back and forth in the race for his signature."

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Light FOAM Hammer Comes Down on Oregon

^I fixed the title

Class of 2010.

Maestro's picture

Somewhere USC fans are having aneurysms over this.  All good in my book.

vacuuming sucks

lamplighter's picture

Consistency is important in any adjudicatory/disciplinary program.  That is not the ncaa's strong suit, to put it mildly

OurHonorDefend09's picture

I'm kind of happy about these results. The NCAA needs to get rid of the bowl ban punishment BADLY and no, I'm just not a butthurt OSU fan. I realize that was the standard punishment at the time and OSU received what they deserved; however, in all reality, only the innocent players and fans of OSU/USC/Penn State are the ones that suffered because of the bowl bans.
Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor got new, big paying jobs while John Simon got to watch his last game from the sidelines. Stop the bowl bans and hurt the guilty/players where it matters. Eligibility for players, and $$$ or jobs for the school's staff who is responsible. Chip Kelly, while he escaped to the NFL, got a show-clause. If you want, make that penalty 10 years and reassure that coach is out of college football for the next decade.
Overall, this is a win for all college athletes who played by the rules, as well as fans who love to watch their team.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.