Oregon Admits NCAA Rules Violations in Deposition
In a 515-page summary deposition, Oregon admitted committing several NCAA recruiting rules infractions, some of which are major in nature.
The Oregonian reported that in a summary deposition from October 30, 2012, the university claimed that its "enforcement staff, institutions and involved individuals agree that the findings constitute a major infractions case."
The deposition, thoroughly reviewed by the Oregonian, was signed by Oregon president Michael Gottfredson and athletic director Rob Mullen.
"The review is ongoing until the NCAA Committee on Infractions issues its final report. The integrity of the process and our continued full cooperation with the NCAA prohibits us from publicly discussing the specifics of this matter," the university said in a statement.
According to the deposition, the NCAA and Oregon disagree over the severity of one key violation involving Oregon's use of Willie Lyles, a Texas-based "talent scout" whom Oregon paid $25,000 from 2008-11 to assist in its recruiting efforts.
Oregon agreed that its connection with Lyles and other recruiting services broke NCAA regulations but said the payments to Lyles constitute a secondary violation. The NCAA, on the other hand, believes Oregon's move to be a "major violation."
Most of the Ducks' violations happened under former coach Chip Kelly, who led the team to a 45-7 record from 2009-12 before leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles in January.
"I am aware of the recent reports and of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the NCAA and the University of Oregon," Kelly said in a statement.
"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," he added.
Oregon's recruiting violations stems from the "oral reports" the school would receive from recruiting companies like Lyles' Complete Scouting Services (CSS), and two other companies, New Level Athletics and Elite Scouting Services.
NCAA bylaws state that recruiting services like those in question are required to provide written quarterly updates. While video is also permitted, it is a violation of NCAA rules to accept only oral reports.
In a late attempt to avoid investigation, Lyles gave Oregon outdated recruiting material beginning on Feb. 22, 2011 to cover up the oral reports he had been sending to the university over the last several years.
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