The NCAA stripped Oregon of a scholarship in each of the next two seasons and placed the 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 on 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 faces three years of scholarship reductions, starting last year and extending through 2014-15. It also faces reductions in paid visits and evaluation days, but avoided some of the harsher penalties handed down to other programs in recent years.
“I accept my share of responsibility for the actions that led to the penalties,” Kelly said in a statement. “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, Complete Scouting Services.
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.
Through self-imposed sanctions, Oregon lost one new scholarship in 2012-13 and its total number of scholarships was reduced by one from the maximum of 85. It also will lose one each year through the 2014-15 academic year.