NCAA determines Oregon, Kelly failed to monitor football program
INDIANAPOLIS -- Oregon used a recruiting service provider, who became a representative of the university’s athletics interests, to assist the school with the recruitment of multiple prospective student-athletes, according to findings by the Division I Committee on Infractions.
The representative, Complete Scouting Service director Will Lyles, provided cash and free lodging to a prospect and engaged in impermissible calls and off-campus contacts with football prospects, their families and high school coaches. Additionally, the football program allowed staff members to engage in recruiting activity, which resulted in the football program exceeding coaching limits. Both Chip Kelly, the former head football coach, and the university agreed they failed to monitor the football program.
Penalties in this case, many of which were self-imposed, include a three-year probation period, a ban on the use of recruiting services, a disassociation of the recruiting service provider and a reduction of scholarships and evaluation days. Additionally, Kelly received an 18-month show-cause order and Josh Gibson, the former assistant director of operations, received a one-year show-cause order. If these individuals seek employment at an NCAA member school during the show-cause periods, they and the schools wishing to hire them must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine if the school should be subject to the show-cause procedures.
|PUBLIC INFRACTIONS REPORT|
The NCAA enforcement staff first learned of possible violations involving Oregon from a confidential source on Feb. 28, 2011.
Kelly was hired as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 16. Gibson also now works for the Eagles, as part of the football operations staff.
In May 2008, Lyles began assisting the Oregon football program in recruiting prospects. Through the relationships he cultivated, Lyles gave the football staff valuable information that would not typically be included in the recruiting service’s written reports. Gibson was aware of the representative’s involvement in the recruiting of prospects and it was common for him to ask the representative to tell a prospect to contact the football staff. Further, Gibson and an assistant football coach sought and obtained Lyle's assistance in facilitating a prospect’s taking of the SAT.
On two occasions, Lyles provided a prospect with lodging and training in advance of US Army All-American events. Lyles also gave the prospect cash.
After a rule change requiring four reports annually from recruiting/scouting services, the university paid $25,000 for a subscription to the recruiting service but did not receive the necessary reports. The compliance office provided the football staff with rules education about the rule change, but it did not follow up or monitor the staff to ensure the reports were received.
While Kelly was unaware that the involvement of the representative in the recruiting process, the staff’s recruiting calls and the lack of recruiting service reports all violated NCAA rules.The committee noted that it is the head coach’s responsibility to know NCAA rules and ensure that every coach and staff member complies with those rules. Because of this, Kelly agreed that he failed to monitor the football program.
Additionally, three noncoaching staff members placed or received approximately 730 recruiting-related phone calls during a four-year period. The staff members stated they were not aware the calls would be considered recruiting telephone calls and claimed they were administrative in nature. The athletics department did not have a rules education session tailored for the football operations staff and did not have a monitoring system in place for the staff’s phone calls.
From 2009 through 2011, Gibson engaged in recruiting activities, resulting in the program exceeding the number of allowable coaches. Gibson knew and communicated with Lyles, asked Lyles to have prospects contact the staff and made recruiting-related telephone calls.
The university also agreed that it failed to monitor the football program’s use of a recruiting service, the provision of athletics apparel and telephone calls made by noncoaching staff members with sport-specific responsibilities.
The penalties include:
• Public reprimand and censure.
• Three years of probation from June 26, 2013, through June 25, 2016.
• An 18-month show cause order for former head coach Chip Kelly. The public report contains further details.
• A one-year show-cause order for former assistant director of operations Josh Gibson. The public report contains further details.
• A reduction of initial football scholarships by one from the maximum allowed (25) during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years (imposed by the university).
• A reduction of total football scholarships by one from the maximum allowed (85) during the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years (imposed by the university).
• A reduction of official paid football visits to from 56 to 37 for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years.
• A reduction of permissible football evaluation days from 42 to 36 in the fall of 2013, 2014 and 2015 and permissible football evaluation days from 168 to 144 in the spring of 2014, 2015 and 2016.
• A ban on the subscription to recruiting services during the probation period.
• A disassociation of Will Lyles, the recruiting service provider. Details of the disassociation are included in the public report (imposed by the university).