Take a deep breath Duck fans, the worry is over. The University of Oregon has had a week to digest its fate at the hands of the NCAA in relation to the football team and possible recruiting violations that were handed out last Wednesday.
The investigation handled by the NCAA took over 27 months and the following punishments were given: no bowl ban, three lost scholarships, three years probation, and an 18-month show-cause penalty aimed at former coach Chip Kelly. Some call it a “slap on the wrist.” I say it reminds me of being sent to your room after dinner without having dessert.
The biggest question I have to the NCAA is why in the world did this take 27 months? For all the uncertainty that Duck fans had to sit through and to still be able to contend for the BCS crystal leaves me wondering if the NCAA could have wrapped this sooner.
The sanctions won’t do much damage, with the biggest penalty coming against former head coach Chip Kelly. As the NCAA claimed Kelly “failed to monitor” recruitment details, the eighteen month show-cause means if another school wants to hire him, they have to wait. But Kelly is away at the big leagues and won’t be bothered by the NCAA.
This long delay and loss in scholarships indicates Oregon might have recruiting problems down the road. But this is Oregon. With a brand-new football athletic building and the appeal of snazzy jerseys, recruits will still flock to Eugene. Did athletes commit to another program strictly because of the investigation? Probably, but I don’t believe it’ll come back to bite us.
The NCAA chose to hit those most responsible rather than the university. But the NCAA shouldn’t have needed over two years to arrive at that place.
We the Oregon faithful can breathe a sigh of relief. Even while we had to sweat out two years of “what if,” we can now just go back to counting down the days till kickoff.
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