Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE
The Oregon Ducks could be in serious trouble if they have to appear in front of the NCAA Committee of Infractions, and it could mean Chip Kelly will depart to the NFL soon.
The University of Oregon's attempt to resolve an NCAA investigation through summary disposition has failed, two sources with knowledge of the Ducks' discussions told Yahoo! Sports.
The sources said Oregon is now anticipating an appearance before the NCAA's committee on infractions (COI) this spring – something the school was hoping to avoid following an investigation into the football program's financial relationship with prep adviser Will Lyles.
The simple reason for that was Oregon was going to be able to escape severe penalties mostly based on a technicality: The Ducks -- and the rest of college football -- were operating under vague rules about the use of recruiting services. If you have a lawyer write up a disposition about how and why Oregon paid a shyster $25,000 for nothing -- other than his "mentorships" with top recruits -- you can bury what it actually looks like in verbiage that can split a single hair 1,000 times.
In a hearing, however, you answer questions. You talk spontaneously. When people talk spontaneously, stupid things get said. Stupid things that might make Oregon's position look weaker.
I swear the Committee Of Infractions is like the Ministry of Truth, only richer, stuffier and far more 19th century backdoor dealsie than 21st century dystopian.
According to Robinson, one sticking point seems to be who was to blame for the lack of physical scouting reports. Oregon claims that they received oral reports, and that Lyles is at fault for not providing written reports. The NCAA disagreed with that assessment. Additionally, four other charges have been redacted in public reports. Other known charges against Oregon are failure to monitor use of scouting services, and having an extra coach on the recruiting trail.
This is not good news for Oregon, as a summary disposition would have ended the case. Given the two sides' inability to agree on proposed infractions and consequences, it certainly has to make Duck fans more nervous that serious sanctions could occur. The Committee on Infractions is highly unpredictable.
Obviously, there are two big questions:
1) How will Oregon be punished? Will they be punished? This is an unusual case with no previous cases to draw upon for guidance. No clue at all at how Oregon handles this.
2) Does this mean Chip Kelly is as good as gone? The speculation has been rampant that he'll be moving on next year to the NFL to test out whether his offense will actually work at the next level. At least whiny boosters will finally have something real to complain about other than Kelly not taking them out to dinner and a movie.
A lot to discuss, so discuss!