The NCAA stripped Oregon of a scholarship in each of the next two seasons and placed the program on probation for three years, opting against stiffer penalties such as a bowl ban despite issuing a show-cause order against former coach Chip Kelly, who apologized for his actions.
The NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions released a report Wednesday that said Kelly failed to monitor the program for its improper involvement with Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service. Kelly was hit with an 18-month show-cause order, a sanction that likely will have limited impact because he’s coaching the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.
The program he left behind faces three years of scholarship reductions, starting last year and extending through 2014-15. It also faces reductions in paid visits and evaluation days, but avoided some of the harsher penalties handed down to other programs in recent years.
“I accept my share of responsibility for the actions that led to the penalties,” Kelly said in a statement.
The NCAA had been looking into Oregon’s program for more than two years after learning Oregon had paid $25,000 to Lyles and his recruiting service, Complete Scouting Services.
The NCAA’s infractions committee also said the football program exceeded coaching limits by allowing staff members to engage in recruiting activity.
Through self-imposed sanctions, Oregon lost one new scholarship in 2012-13 and its total number of scholarships was reduced by one from the maximum of 85. It also will lose a scholarship in 2013-14 and have the total reduced by one each year through the 2014-15 academic year.
The NCAA cut Oregon’s official paid visits from 56 to 37 for the next three academic years, reduced its spring and fall evaluation days for each of the next three seasons and banned the program from using recruiting services during the probation period. Oregon must also disassociate itself from Lyles and his recruiting service.