Tag:Oregon investigation
Posted on: February 24, 2012 6:53 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 6:54 pm
 

Oregon acknowledges NCAA violations in documents

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oregon is dealing with several NCAA issues stemming from former scout Will Lyles and certainly knows when to dump release information regarding the case. The school released two heavily redacted documents late Friday afternoon to local papers as part of an open records request, detailing proposed findings of violations and shining a little light on an investigation that has been going on for several months following a Yahoo! Sports investigative report released last March.

According to the Eugene Register-Guard, the Oregon athletic department agreed that the football program did not follow NCAA bylaws and was not adequately monitored regarding use of recruiting/scouting services. The "proposed findings of violations" were sent from the NCAA enforcement staff to the school but is not a formal Notice of Allegations, which the report noted had not been received as of Friday.

At least three services did not conform to NCAA rules according to the documents and the program exceeded the number of permitted coaches recruiting by one between 2009 and 2011. Head coach Chip Kelly is believed to be near the center of the probe regarding his involvement. The school has retained attorney Michael Glazier, a partner in the firm Bond, Schoeneck & King, for his expertise in dealing with NCAA cases.

Oregon received a notice of inquiry in September to mark the formal start of the NCAA investigation into the Ducks' recruiting and use of scouting services. Lyles has claimed, among other things, that the school paid him $25,000 for influence with recruits in the state of Texas.

Posted on: January 23, 2012 2:59 am
Edited on: January 23, 2012 1:52 pm
 

Chip Kelly jumps from Oregon to the NFL and back


Posted by Bryan Fischer

UPDATE: Oregon released an official statement from Chip Kelly on Monday, confirming both Kelly's contact with the Tampa Bay Buccanneers and his plans to remain as the Ducks' head coach.

“I am flattered by the interest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organization," Kelly explained.  "I enjoyed meeting with the Glazer family and General Manager Mark Dominik but after numerous discussions, I concluded that I have some unfinished business to complete at the University of Oregon.”

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers asked for permission to engage in conversation with Coach Kelly, which was granted,” Oregon Athletics Director Rob Mullens said. “The University of Oregon is one of the nation's preeminent college football programs and, as such, it comes as no surprise the NFL is interested in our personnel. We are pleased with Coach Kelly’s decision to remain as our head coach. Coach Kelly has provided great leadership and remains committed to building on our position among the elite college football programs in the country.”



Two sources with direct knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com that Oregon head coach Chip Kelly had agreed in principle to take the same position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was in the process of finalizing details of a multi-year contract but has changed is mind and will stay at Oregon. The Register-Guard first reported the news of Kelly's departure and that he would be staying in Eugene Sunday night.

"I don't know what to say... he changed his mind," one source said via text message.

News of the possible departure first surfaced during the middle of Sunday's NFC Championship Game with a report from Portland TV station KGW sports reporter Michael Berk. Tampa Bay fired head coach Raheem Morris in January after 10 straight losses to cap a 17-31 mark over three seasons.

Kelly, 48, is coming off the most successful three-year stretch in Oregon history, capped off with the program's first Rose Bowl victory in 95 years at the beginning of this year. The Ducks are 34-6 in three seasons with Kelly as head coach, including three straight BCS bowls and an appearance in the national championship game in 2011. He came to Eugene as offensive coordinator in 2007 after spending eight seasons at New Hampshire and promptly set a host of school and conference records on the offensive side of the ball.

Numerous questions surround the timing of the move to Tampa Bay, beginning with Oregon's still-open NCAA investigation into recruiting violations surrounding supposed scout Willie Lyles. Kelly is believed to be at the center of the probe regarding, among other things, a $25,000 payment to Lyles for scouting services and any improprieties surrounding former Ducks running back Lache Seastrunk. The school has retained attorney Michael Glazier, a partner in the firm Bond, Schoeneck & King with the nickname 'The Cleaner' for his expertise in dealing with NCAA cases. Oregon received a notice of inquiry in September.

There is also the issue as to whether Kelly's fast-paced spread option offense can translate to the NFL. The Ducks have finished in the top 12 in the country in scoring offense since he took over the reigns and he's terrorized Pac-12 defensive coordinators with an explosive run game and quick passing game. Kelly has zero NFL experience but has not exactly been shy about jumping up a level, telling multiple people that he's wanted to coach in the league at some point in his career. According to The Oregonian he was making around $2.8 million per year under a recently re-worked contract with a buyout in the neighborhood of $3.5 million.

Multiple reports said Kelly was pulled off the road and did not make scheduled in-home visits on Sunday as his contract was being negotiated with the Bucs.



Posted on: September 17, 2011 1:09 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Oregon receives notice of inquiry from NCAA

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So much for just being able to enjoy a Saturday of college football. Along with the latest in conference expansion from CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, Oregon also released a statement on Saturday morning saying that it has received a Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA.

“This notice has been anticipated and is simply the next stage of the process,” said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens in the statement. “The University of Oregon football program, from Head Coach Chip Kelly through the entire organization, has tremendous respect for the NCAA’s important role in monitoring collegiate athletics and, to this end, continues to fully cooperate with the NCAA ‘s ongoing examination.
 
“The Athletic Department, Coach Kelly and the entire staff remain committed to operating the athletics program consistent with the highest standards and ensuring our program follows best practices.” 

While Oregon wouldn't get into details in the release, this is related to the school's connection to Willie Lyles and his scouting service. Oregon originally paid Lyles $25,000 for scouting reports on high school recruits that was reportedly two years old at the time. Some have speculated that rather than pay for Lyles' scouting reports, Oregon was paying Lyles for his influence with recruits like LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk.

In fact, Lyles himself has said that was the case.

As for what this Letter of Inquiry means for Oregon at the moment, the truth is not much. At least, not yet. It's merely the NCAA's way of letting a school know that it has begun investigating the school.
Posted on: August 24, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 3:41 pm
 

Seastrunk: 'Something was about to go down' at UO

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Oregon running back Lache Seastrunk has signed the financial aid papers and started the process necessary to join the Baylor football team. The former five-star recruit and Texas-native is thrilled to be back in his home state, and discussed the decision to leave Oregon in an interview with 1660 ESPN Radio in Waco.

"I felt like God wanted me to be [at Oregon]," Seastrunk said. "But God will also pull you out of the storm before it happens. I felt like something was about to go down, and God wanted me to get up out of there."

That "storm" that could go down at Oregon started with the NCAA's interest in Seastrunk's relationship with Texas businessman Will Lyles. Lyles, who has offered recruiting services to multiple FBS schools including LSU, Cal, and the Ducks, received $25,000 from Oregon for a recruiting package. Lyles, himself, claims that Oregon was really paying for access and influence to highly recruited Texas-natives like Seastrunk and current Oregon running back LaMichael James.

In fairness to Seastrunk, a big part of him wanting to return to his home state is the health of his grandparents. Later in the interview (you can listen to it HERE) Seastrunk credits his grandparents for a being a big part of his current success. But his decision to leave Oregon before any NCAA allegations ("something was about to go down") have been made does seem rather convenient.

There is also the issue of Seastrunk's eligibility. In the interview, the redshirt freshman said he would plead the case of his grandparents health in order to receive immediate eligibility with the Bears. But there may be another option. As CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer suggested, the NCAA may choose to use the same "limited immunity" tool with Seastrunk that was likely used with the former Miami players like Purdue's Robert Marve and Kansas State's Arthur Brown, among others. Seastrunk could offer the NCAA information on his relationship with Lyles, and in return possibly obtain the eligibility he is looking for at Baylor.

Regardless of the process, Seastrunk's comments suggest that the NCAA is closing in on Oregon/Lyles. He saw the warning signs in the sky, and decided it was a good time to skip town. Something tells me the intermission is coming to a close and the next act in this particular NCAA-related scandal is about to begin.

Getcha popcorn ready.
Posted on: July 23, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 3:12 pm
 

Oregon AD's email addresses Lyles investigation

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Oregon hasn't made many public comments on the NCAA investigation into the school and its relationship with scout Will Lyles, athletic director Rob Mullen did send an email to a number of trustees, the alumni association board of directors and boosters this week. In the email, which The Register-Guard got its hands on, Mullen describes what the school is doing to cooperate with the investigation.

In the email Mullens wrote:
“The University of Oregon football program, from Coach Chip Kelly through the entire organization, has tremendous respect for the NCAA’s important role in monitoring collegiate athletics and, to this end, continues to fully cooperate with the NCAA’s ongoing review.”

“The University of Oregon is committed to holding itself and the individuals associated with the University accountable to the highest standards.”

“As part of the University’s commitment to accountability, we want to reiterate that the institution takes this matter very seriously and remains dedicated to an open and transparent approach with the NCAA.”
Mullen also explained the school's decision to seek outside counsel from the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King, a firm that specializes in NCAA compliance issues -- a firm that could end up costing the school around $150,000.
“The firm has been charged with making an independent assessment of the football program’s use of outside recruiting services. In addition, they have been asked to provide the University with recommendations for areas of improvement within the football program and athletics department in order to meet best practices.

“We look forward to making the recommendations public at the conclusion of the process. The University, our Head Coach and the entire Athletic Department are fully committed to ensuring our program is following best practices.”
Mullen sent the email out in part because Pac-12 media days will be taking place next week, and coach Chip Kelly is scheduled to face the media on Tuesday. While we don't know if Kelly is going to discuss the matter, you can bet your life savings that he's going to be asked about the situation frequently. Mullen also warned in the email that the recipients "are likely to see another round of media reports on the NCAA matter."

It's hard to predict what, if anything, will come of this investigation at Oregon. Many were predicting that Ohio State would be sanctioned back to the Stone Age thanks to the investigation taking place in Columbus, Ohio. But after Friday's announcement that the school wouldn't be hit with a "failure to monitor" charge, it looks as if Ohio State will escape the NCAA investigation relatively unscathed.

It's an outcome Oregon is no doubt hoping for itself.
Posted on: July 9, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Cal, LSU paid less for Lyles' packages

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Oregon is not the only school that has paid Complete Scouting Services director Willie Lyles in recent years, though it appears the school was paying much more than the others that Lyles worked with.

According to a report in The Oregonian, Lyles sold similar packages to both Cal and LSU, though neither school paid nearly as much.

Lyles billed California $5,000 for what is described on the invoice as the Complete Scouting Services' "2010 National Package."

On the invoice, it appears nearly identical to the CSS "2011 National Package" for which Oregon paid Lyles $25,000.

The invoices indicate that both the 2010 and 2011 packages include game film and highlight film from the same 22 states.

LSU paid Lyles $6,000 for what the invoice detailed as the "2010 JUCO perState Package" that included game film from California and Kansas junior colleges.

Obviously, this is yet another revelation that doesn't look very good for Oregon. Lyles has already said that what Oregon was paying him for was his access and influence with highly recruited players like LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk, two players Lyles claims to have helped steer toward Oregon. The fact that Oregon paid five times as much as fellow Pac-12 school Cal did for essentially the same package gives Lyles claims a bit more weight behind them.

That is, unless we're supposed to believe that Oregon just tips really well. 

Posted on: July 8, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Report: Oregon's Josh Gibson relieved of duties

Posted by Tom Fornelli

UPDATE: Oregon has since denied the report that Gibson is no longer the school's assistant director of fooball operations.

It looks like the fallout at Oregon has begun.

Josh Gibson, Oregon's assistant director of football operations, was named in a Yahoo report last week detailing the relationship between the school and Complete Scouting Service director Will Lyles. In that report, Lyles said Gibson knew about and helped him petition the grandmother of running back Lache Seastrunk to sign off on Seastrunk's letter of intent to attend Oregon. There were concerns that Seastrunk's mother wouldn't want him to attend the school.

Now, according to DuckTerritory.com, it seems that Gibson is no longer employed by the school as its assistant director of football operations.

Multiple sources close to the Oregon football program tell DuckTerritory.com that Assistant Director of Football Operations Josh Gibson is no longer working in the football office. It is unclear if Gibson has been fired, if he resigned or if he has been reassigned.

Multiple messages left on Gibson’s cell phone have not been returned.

When contacted by phone Wednesday afternoon by DuckTerritory’s Matt Prehm, Oregon spokesman Dave Williford said. "I can't confirm or deny that."

This could be the first of many dominoes to fall at Oregon in the coming months as the NCAA continues to investigate the school's relationship with Lyles -- especially considering that Lyles said recently he plans on cooperating with the NCAA investigation. 

Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Will Lyles could cost Oregon a lot more than 25K

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Oregon has already paid Will Lyles $25,000 for his scouting services, the school's relationship with Lyles could end up costing a lot more than that. And I don't just mean the possible scholarships lost or the probation that the school might find itself on once the NCAA is done with this case. I mean the lawyer fees the school will have to pay to fight this case.

Oregon has hired Mike Glazier and three other attorneys from the law firm of Bond, Shoeneck and King to represent the school. Glazier is referred to as "The Cleaner" thanks to his work with schools in NCAA investigations, as Glazier is a former NCAA investigator. The man doesn't just help clean up the situation at your school, but he tends to clean out your wallet while he's at it.

It's estimated that hiring Glazier and company could end up costing Oregon upwards of $150,000, and that's just for the first seven months.

According to records obtained by The Register-Guard, maximum compensation for Bond, Schoeneck & King is capped at $150,000 during the initial period of the contract. The contract, which began March 7, is scheduled to conclude September 30. If it is extended, the maximum compensation could increase.

Glazier is making $330 an hour. Three other attorneys will bill amounts ranging from $205 to $300. Travel expenses are included in the maximum compensation.

That's six outdated recruiting reports that Oregon is going to end up paying Glazier and company, and he can't even help bring a blue chip running back or two to Eugene. 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com