Blog Entry

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:32 pm

It appears Oregon and the NCAA could be heading toward summary disposition of the Will Lyles case. Two sources with extensive experience in NCAA investigations told they believe that to be the case after reading documents released by Oregon last week in the Lyles case.

That would be somewhat positive news for a football program concerned about major sanctions surrounding the questionable $25,000 payment to Lyles for his recruiting expertise. Summary disposition essentially means that the NCAA and a school agree on a basic set of facts in a major infractions case.  The school proposes its own penalties. In such an occurrence, Oregon would avoid an appearance before NCAA infractions committee, which would have to agree to summary disposition.

Such a decision would also cut down significantly on the length of the case. Oregon has been under investigation since September.

The fact that Oregon has “agreed” to three of the seven violations released after a public records request last week – the other four are redacted – is a sign that summary disposition could be on the way. Neither the Oregon nor the NCAA would confirm that assertion.

“When I read that [Oregon documents] I said, ‘Hey, it looks like they’re beginning the process of going to summary,” said Michael Buckner, a South Florida-based attorney with 13 years experience assisting schools through NCAA investigations.

His research showed eight cases disposed of by summary disposition in 2011. That includes the notable West Virginia case decided in July. In both the Oregon and West Virginia cases, it was found that the number of football coaches exceeded the permissible limit in various activities.

If nothing else, summary disposition would signal a lack of contentiousness between the NCAA and Oregon.

“Basically what you’re doing, you don’t have to go to [an infractions committee] hearing,” Buckner said. “You’re not spending all the time and money for a hearing. Secondly, you’re trying to predict by putting down on paper and agreeing on sanctions.”

Summary disposition was a tool added a few years ago to streamline the investigative process. From the NCAA website: Summary disposition is a cooperative process between the school, involved individuals and the NCAA enforcement staff.  If these groups agree about the facts and the penalties presented in the report, an in-person hearing may be averted depending on the Committee of Infractions. The COI reviews the report in private and decides to either accept the findings and penalties or conduct an expedited hearing.  A school that would become a repeat-violator cannot use the summary disposition process and must go before the Committee on Infractions.

Oregon is not believed to be a repeat violator which would make the program eligible for enhanced  penalties. To be eligible, a school would have to have a major violation in its athletic department during the past five years.

Since that formal investigation began in September, Oregon has not so much as received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, which would signal the next step of the investigation. But the documents in question could be a draft version of that notice. In fact, the second of two four-page documents is labeled, “Revised Draft for discussion purposes.”

While Oregon could face major penalties from the case, the fact that it has “agreed” to wrongdoing in the documents is different from more combative language where the NCAA would have “alleged” wrongdoing.

“Once the school tells them, ‘Yes, we want to go summary disposition, they change it from, ‘it is alleged’ to , ‘that it is agreed,’ said another source familiar with the NCAA enforcement process. “That’s what the language [in the Oregon documents] would suggest.”

In the documents, Oregon agrees that …

--From 2008-2011 it paid for at least three recruiting subscription services.

--In 2008 and 2009 it paid $6,500 and $10,000 to Elite Scouting Services and received reports from Lyles and partner Charles Fishbein

--In 2009 paid $3,745 for service from New Level Athletics and its rep Baron Flenory.

--In 2010 paid $25,000 for a subscription to Complete Scouting Services and reports from Lyles. The service “did not disseminate” recruiting information at least four times per year in violation of NCAA rules.

--From 2009-2011 the program had one more coach out recruiting than allowed.

--There was a failure to monitor football’s use of recruiting services.

Here are those Oregon proposed findings of violations released last week after Freedom of Information Act requests from media outlets.

The Lyles story was broken almost a year ago by Yahoo! It centered on running back Lache Seastrunk who has since transferred to Baylor. Lyles later told Yahoo! that Oregon coach Chip Kelly “scrambled” urging Lyles to produce retroactive recruiting evaluations to justify the $25,000 expense.

You can find a further definition of summary disposition in the NCAA Manual here on page 401.

The NCAA has stepped its enforcement procedures regarding third-party influences in football recruiting. Last year it established a football investigation arm headed by a former Indianapolis deputy police chief.


Since: Feb 29, 2012
Posted on: February 29, 2012 5:21 pm

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

While you put "agreed" in quotation marks, it's still misleading.  Oregon hasn't agreed to anything (yet), but they very likely will.  The title is PROPOSED findings of violations, address TO oregon, not from oregon to the NCAA, and oregon redacted portions based on privacy laws, not because they didn't agree.  Please report accurately, or let somebody who actually understands what they're writing about do it

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 2:20 pm

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

What happened with the USc investigation?  Is that yet another patented SEC "don't ask, don't tell" exercise in obfuscation? 

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:11 am

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

When was the last time Florida, Alabama, and LSU were hit up with violations? I mean these schools are three of the best college football programs in NCAA history and they have won 6 of the last 10 NCAA titles between them...... No violations huh? The NCAA picks and chooses who they feel like picking on and when they want to do it. 

Don't give me that garbage about how they investigated Cam Newton. He got a free pass. The reason why there is no proof he took money is because he probably got cash and spent it sparatically and not at once like a moron to bring attention to himself. There is no paper trail if you just have cash and don't blow it on stupid things just the essentials.  

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 3:41 am

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

Oh no, you mean that this thing could be settled soon?  Then what is Dodd going to continually write about?  It has taken long enough for the NCAA to reacrt and do something about this, ever since the media broke the story, that something being an investigation.  Meanwhile the media has rushed through its own investigation, which it wastes no chance to replay again and again.  The sum of it all is that Chip Kelly did not take the Tampa Bay job and he will be around to hear the NCAA's judgement...if they ever get around to it.  and the media will have to go find some other story to repeat ad nauseum.

Since: Feb 29, 2012
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:26 am

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

Meanwhile, every other college football program will continue committing these exact "violations" without repercussions because a certain major football institution with the media in their back pocket doesn't have a bone to pick with them at the moment. Infractions increased ten fold in some conferences *cough* SEC *cough*.

This is why this NCAA rules committee crap and the garbage media that reports on such topics is an utter waste of time and does nothing to but serve as fodder for opposing team fanbases.


Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:21 am

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

That is why the likes of LSU and Cal, and many other schools, are not under investigation, but the University of Oregon is.  No conspiracy against the Ducks... just, they crossed the line (albeit perhaps a bit of a gray one).

That is precisely the case. As a Duck fan, it's alarming to think Oregon could get hammered because the NCAA wants to set a precedent for future cases. Hammer a school hard now so it justifies any future sanctions against other teams. 

If you think about it, this is not unlike giving a person connected to the kid a job at the university. I don't know if that's against the rules or any schools have been under scrutiny because of it before, but it should be.

Oregon hasn't been indicated in a major infraction case before. Compared to the other cases that have been going around college football, this is considerably minor. It shouldn't warrant a bowl ban. At the most, a small reduction in scholarships and a year or two probation.

Since: Feb 28, 2012
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:58 pm

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

I don't think they're counting Lyles as the additional coach. The problem with Lyles is strictly that he didn't supply them with the adequate materials as required and that was giving oral reports which is not allowed. I think what a lot opf people don't understand about this is that Lyles was trying to build a business and it was not in his best interest to deliver players to schools for sums of cash. The things he was delivering was the kind of information that went beyond football, like what kind interested or concerns outside of football a kid had. THings that helped coaches relate better to the players. I see a long probation period here but I don't know that Kelly would have come back if they didn't think the penalties would be managable.

Since: Feb 28, 2012
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:11 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 3, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:03 pm

Oregon/NCAA appear headed for summary disposition

Global777 said, "What will happen to the others schools that used Willie Lyle's services, now that his services have been deemed improper?  Schools like LSU and Cal?"

Global, the use of Willie Lyle's services was NOT the issue here, as all schools are allowed to pay for information provided by a licensed information service like Lyle's.    However, in THIS case, Lyle did not provide information of value, or for that matter, ANY information until well after the receipt of payment;  the allegations against Oregon is that this was a bald-faced attempt at paying for delivery of the recruit -- a patent violation of the rules. 

In addition, the size of the payment (25K) in relation to the purported services received (even ignoring the timing problem) were greatly disparate.

That is why the likes of LSU and Cal, and many other schools, are not under investigation, but the University of Oregon is.  No conspiracy against the Ducks... just, they crossed the line (albeit perhaps a bit of a gray one). 

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