After a two year investigation into the Oregon football program, and its involvement with a Houston based recruiting service run by Willie Lyles, the NCAA finally released their findings and handed down their sanctions.
The problem is, their sanctions were weak and Oregon got off without the severest of penalties: being banned from postseason play.
Probably the biggest reason why Oregon was not handed harsher sanctions from their actions with Lyles and his recruiting service is because the school came clean in February of 2012 and offered up their own self-imposed sanctions. The NCAA sanctions are not much more severe than the sanctions the school imposed on itself and reporting their violations on their own certainly helped. We are talking about a loss of just one scholarship in each of the next three seasons and a slap on the wrist for future recruiting visits and evaluation periods. Basically, it could have been a lot worse.
No bowl ban is huge for Oregon. Missing the postseason always hurts, no matter what the cause, so avoiding even one year of no bowl game is a huge plus for the program. It’s not like Oregon really needed any favors with all of their recent success and new facilities but they were handed a “gift” by not being banned from the postseason. Not being able to pitch bowl games to recruits is a pretty big loss, especially for Oregon who is competing for a national championship these days, but they won’t have to deal with that and can continue to bring in top-tier talent.
What the NCAA sanctions really boil down to is just a slap on the wrist. This is what it says: The NCAA thanks you for disclosing your violation and imposing your own sanctions, just don’t let it happen again.
This will not really have any effect on Oregon football this year or the two years after while they are still on probation. One scholarship loss is nothing compared to the sanctions that other schools like USC or Penn State went through but the main difference between those cases and Oregon’s is the self-reporting.
The sanctions could have been a lot worse for Oregon but the NCAA made an example of them in a good way. Report your own mistakes and you’ll be better off.