The NCAA placed the Oregon Ducks football program on probation for three years for recruiting violations under former head coach Chip Kelly.
In addition, a scholarship will be taken away for each of those three seasons, according to ESPN. The Division I Committee on Infractions released a report Wednesday that found Kelly and the university failed to monitor the program.
Oregon has lost an initial scholarship and had its total number of scholarships reduced by one from a maximum of 85 in 2012-13 through self-imposed sanctions.
It will lose another initial scholarship in 2013-14 and have its total scholarships reduced by one each of the next two years, also self-imposed.
The NCAA has been looking into Oregon’s recruiting practices since questions arose over a 2010 payment of $25,000 to Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service, Complete Scouting Services. Lyles had a connection with an Oregon recruit.
According to a report released Wednesday, the Committe on Infractions found that Lyles helped recruit players by cultivating relationships and “giving the football staff valuable information that would not typically be included in the recruiting/scouting service’s written reports,” per USA Today Sports’ George Schroeder and Daniel Uthman.
In a teleconference, Greg Sankey, executive associate commissioner of the SEC and a member of the Committee on Infractions, said “There were advantages gained” from Oregon’s relationship with Lyles.
Schroeder and Uthman report Kelly worked directly with Lyles in the Ducks’ recruiting efforts. In a statement released by the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly apologized to the school, current and former players and fans, and said, “I accept my share of responsibility for the actions that led to the penalties.”
Kelly also said the NCAA investigation “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.”
Under Kelly’s leadership, the Ducks appeared in four straight BCS bowl games — including a bid for the national championship against Auburn in 2011. Oregon finished 12-1 last season, capped by a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said the outcome was not what the university desired but nonetheless, it is pleased the process has come to an end.
“No one wants to be in this position, so I don’t think anyone is happy. We’re pleased to be at the end of the process.”
Two months ago, the University of Oregon acknowledged major NCAA violations in connection with football recruiting and proposed a self-imposed two-year probation together with the aforementioned loss of scholarships.