The NCAA stripped Oregon of a scholarship in each of the next three seasons and placed the football program on probation for three years, opting against stiffer penalties like a bowl ban despite issuing a show-cause order against former coach Chip Kelly, who apologized to the school, its fans and it players.
The NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions released a report Wednesday that said Kelly failed to monitor the program for its improper involvement with Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service.
Kelly was hit with an 18-month show-cause order, a sanction that likely will have limited impact now that he’s coaching the Philadelphia Eagles.
The program he left behind was stripped of scholarships, paid visits and evaluation days, but avoided some of the harsher penalties handed down to other programs in recent years.
Now that the NCAA has concluded their investigation and penalized the University of Oregon and its football program, I want to apologize to the University of Oregon, all of its current and former players and their fans, Kelly said in a statement. I accept my share of responsibility for the actions that led to the penalties. As I have I stated before, the NCAA investigation and subsequent ruling had no impact on my decision to leave Oregon for Philadelphia.
The NCAA had been looking into Oregon’s program for more than two years after learning Oregon had paid $25,000 to Lyles and his recruiting service.
The NCAA’s infractions committee found that Lyles provided cash and free lodging to a prospect, and engaged in impermissible calls and off-campus contact with prospects, their families and high school coaches.
It also said the football program exceeded coaching limits by allowing staff members to engage in recruiting activity.
Oregon lost one scholarship in 2012-13 and will lose another during the next academic year through self-imposed sanctions. It also will have its number of scholarships reduced by one from a maximum of 85 each of the next three seasons.