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Friday, February 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Oregon Ducks admit to rules violations, including some by Kelly Graves, Dana Altman

The NCAA contends that Oregon women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves, kneeling, and men’s basketball coach Dana Altman committed NCAA violations by allowing staff members too much access to team activities during practice sessions. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
The NCAA contends that Oregon women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves, kneeling, and men’s basketball coach Dana Altman committed NCAA violations by allowing staff members too much access to team activities during practice sessions. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Eugene Register-Guard

The University of Oregon has admitted to seven rules violations in four athletic programs, but the athletic department said it will contest the severity of those infractions with the NCAA. The governing body of college athletics has informed the school it considers the violations as major.

Oregon self-reported three violations in men’s basketball, two in women’s basketball and one apiece in track and field and football.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions labeled each as Level II violations, indicating “a significant breach of conduct,” and Oregon officials say they will dispute each case with the exception of the recruiting violation in football. Level II is a step below Level I, which is the most severe, while Level III and Level IV are considered secondary and incidental in nature.

Oregon received an official notice of allegations from the NCAA on Monday and has 90 days to respond to the committee. Athletic department officials are expected to meet with the infractions committee at a later date and any penalties will be announced following that meeting.

Oregon basketball coaches Kelly Graves and Dana Altman are both listed as responsible for the violations in their programs. Track and field coach Robert Johnson is not mentioned in the case that featured a professor changing a failing grade to allow an athlete to pass a class and continue competing in the sport.

“Coach Altman and coach Graves are committed to compliance with NCAA bylaws, they have the highest ethical standards on and off the court, and each acknowledges the infractions that took place within their programs,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. “In both cases, our monitoring program identified the issues and they were reported to the NCAA. We have addressed the matters with the responsible employees and enhanced compliance training within the department. These cases do not merit the level of charges against the coaches sought by the NCAA.”

Altman and Graves, who formerly coached the Gonzaga women’s team, were both alleged to have exceeded the NCAA limit of four coaches by allowing other staff members to participate in team activities during practice. The allegations against the men’s basketball team date back to 2013 while the women’s program committed similar violations beginning in December 2016.

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