NCAA swings and misses again, this time with Oregon and Chip Kelly
Oregon, which had paid a scout close to $25,000 to sway recruits into committing to the Ducks and then covered the tracks, escaped a bowl ban—which seemed almost inevitable.
It's quite puzzling how Oregon was handed such a inconsequential slap on the wrist, only having to endure three years probation and a loss of two scholarships over as many years (the total dropping from 85 to 84).
What's even more laughable is the 18-month show-cause penalty Kelly has to serve, which means he can't coach collegiate sports for the next year and a half. His $6.5 million-per-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles tells me he won't be itching to get back to the college level anytime soon, so this sanction is nearly pointless.
Actually, the penalty as a whole is a joke. It's like the NCAA held Oregon's hand while giving it a shot on the arm, and then kissed it and told it that everything was going to be alright. AND the Ducks got a lolipop to take home.
Let's take a look at some of the NCAA's most recent work and compare it to its investigation with Oregon:
Ohio State got hit with a bowl ban over players pawning off memorabilia for tattoos, in addition to loss of three scholarships per year for three years and a three-year probation period.
Pac-12 Conference rival USC had a two-year bowl ban for the Reggie Bush scandal that was never directly tied to the university or football program. The Trojans lost 10 scholarships per year for three years (a crippling amount), received a four-year probation period and was forced to vacate its 2004 BCS National Championship win.
Whether Oregon deserved a postseason ban or not, the biggest swing-and-miss here is with Kelly. He was the ringleader of the football program and had full control over this scandal, meaning he should have to deal with the repercussions—not everyone he left behind to clean up his mess.
Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was given a five-year show-cause penalty for covering up his findings on the Buckeyes' scandal, which revolved around a couple star players. He also was forced to serve a five-game suspension in the NFL after accepting an advisory position with the Indianapolis Colts.
Kelly fled Eugene just a few months before the NCAA released its findings, and it's arguable that his wrong-doings were much worse than that of Tressel's, who was just trying to protect his players. Kelly deliberately broke rules and won't suffer any consequence—and is making a couple extra million in the process.
NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Committee on Infractions have been walking on thin ice after their last few cases, and the ground beneath them is beginning to crack.
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