EUGENE, Ore. – After years of investigations, uncertainty and speculation, the University of Oregon football program will finally learn its fate from the NCAA on Wednesday morning.
The NCAA announced it will release a report at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday about the Ducks football program’s recruiting violations. A member of the NCAA Committee on Infractions will then hold a news conference at 8 a.m.
An NCAA spokeswoman said the organization will not comment on the case prior to the report being released.
Athletic department spokesman Dave Williford said the school will get a copy of the report just a short time before the media sees is.
"We don't know what the results are," Williford said Tuesday morning.
The Ducks have been under scrutiny by the NCAA because of the actions of a recruiting company run by a man named Will Lyles. During the investigative process, the school admitted that Lyles had a series of “impermissible telephone calls and off-campus contacts” with Oregon recruits.
The school also admitted several other recruiting violations, including having too many coaches involved in recruiting and failing to properly monitor the recruiting process.
In admitting these infractions, the university had hoped to negotiate a plea deal with the NCAA to avoid stiff penalties. In the end, however, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions decided to hear the case and make its own ruling. That is the ruling that will be released Wednesday.
The Committee on Infractions process was not open to the public.
We talked with Michael Buckner, a college sports lawyer who has defended clients in infractions cases, to get his perspective on the Ducks case and the Committee on Infractions.
"Over the last few years the Committee on Infractions has been predictably unpredictable," Buckner said. "They're really taking each case on a case-by-case basis."
Buckner said he expects the committee will accept what Oregon has already admitted and possibly go beyond that. He figures the school could face several years of probation and lose some scholarships.
A bowl ban could be in play, but there's no guarantee.
"The bowl ban would be on the table if the Committee on Infractions determines there were ineligible student athletes who participated on behalf of Oregon in a bowl game when they were ineligible," Buckner said.
KATU will post details of the NCAA decision as soon as we get it at 7:30 Wednesday morning. Check back with KATU.com for a live blog and follow KATU investigative reporter Dan Tilkin on Twitter at @DanTilkinKATU for the latest.
- May: New doc confirms that UO president met with NCAA committee
- May: Documents shed more light on Oregon's NCAA investigation
- April: Ducks, NCAA agree on many 'major' violations; UO proposes probation
- April 2012: Ducks release investigation docs that are almost all redacted
- Feb 2012: University of Oregon formally accused of violating NCAA rules
KATU investigative reporter Dan Tilkin contributed to this report