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Ex-Ducks coach Chip Kelly responds to Oregon's NCAA penalties

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

The University of Oregon learned its NCAA fate on Wednesday, when the Committee on Infractions released its findings and handed down penalties that included the loss of one scholarship for two years, three years' probation and an 18-month show-cause penalty for former head coach Chip Kelly.

The penalties are similar to the ones proposed by Oregon, with a few additional restrictions on the Ducks' recruiting practices and the show-cause penalty for Kelly.

In a statement to CSNPhilly.com, the current Philadelphia Eagles coach apologized for his role in the penalties handed down by the NCAA.

"Now that the NCAA has concluded their investigation and penalized the University of Oregon and its football program, I want to apologize to the University of Oregon, all of its current and former players and their fans," Kelly said in his statement. "I accept my share of responsibility for the actions that led to the penalties. As I have I stated before, the NCAA investigation and subsequent ruling had no impact on my decision to leave Oregon for Philadelphia.

"I have also maintained throughout that I had every intention to cooperate with the NCAA's investigation, which I did. I do expect the University of Oregon and its football program to continue to thrive at a high level. They are a talented and resilient group of coaches and players and I'm sure they will attempt to put today's news behind them very quickly and move forward as they prepare for the 2013 season."

Had Kelly still been employed by Oregon, it is possible he would face a suspension and/or recruiting restrictions for his involvement in the improper recruiting practices. Instead, Mark Helfrich's staff will be limited in the number of official visits and evaluation days during the three-year probation, which runs until June 26, 2016.

It was Oregon's relationship with Willie Lyles -- identified in the report as the "recruiting service provider" -- that triggered many of the violations that led to the punishment. Lyles has been disassociated by the Oregon athletic program, and the school has been banned from subscribing to recruiting services during the probation period.

Click here to read the full report from the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

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