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.”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 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.”
“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.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."
“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.”
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.