Some reactions to the Oregon sanctions


There was a lot going on yesterday. From some major rulings in gay marriage and one very bad knock-knock joke in the George Zimmerman trial to Aaron Hernandez being charged with murder, the long-awaited Oregon verdict was more thud than thunder.

But that didn't stop folks from weighing in on the web and via the twittersphere. Here's a sampling of what folks had to say:

George Schroeder, USA Today

Chip Kelly can't coach in college again until Christmas Day 2014 – but considering what was possible, his former school unwrapped a nice gift Wednesday.

Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com

For the past few years, NCAA officials have promised to clean up the recruiting world and eliminate the influence of shady third parties like Willie Lyles, a middleman from Texas, who helped steer former star running back LaMichael James and current Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk to Oregon. Presented with the chance to do it on Wednesday, the NCAA balked.

John Canzano, The Oregonian

Kelly took the program to four straight Bowl Championship Series games, and played for a national title. But those who followed the program closely will recall that he only started talking about doing things the right way off the field after Oregon had endured a series of troubling and embarrassing off-field incidents. The investigation into the suspect relationship with Lyles was just another symptom of a program that wanted to win a national title.

Under new coach Mark Helfrich, the Ducks have an opportunity to do what Kelly couldn't: reach a BCS game without shady characters on the payroll and a cloud of NCAA investigative dust overhead.

Brian Bennett, ESPN.com

The penalties Oregon received are probably about right, given the murkiness of that case. But schools like Ohio State, Penn State and especially USC have every right to wonder why they were treated so much differently.

Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com

As the NCAA made clear, Kelly committed none of the violations himself. His résumé may be smudged, but his hands are clean. Any athletic director who reads the infractions case will be able to go to his president and trustees and make a case for Kelly.

Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News

Singling out Kelly is the right thing to do: He cheated, and he’s getting punished — from an official, if not practical standpoint — in a manner that doesn’t undermine the athletic experience for the innocent players still in the program. Expect the NCAA to use that approach more frequently with coaches going forward.

Rob Moseley, The Register-Guard

Under Chip Kelly, the Ducks preferred a narrow recruiting focus, honing in on top targets and only widening their umbrella when necessary. Thus, Oregon for the past few years was already signing fewer players — 19 this year — and offering fewer official visits — 41 on average under Kelly — than the NCAA allowed. The 37 official visits the next three years is a 10 percent reduction from that average.

By doing extensive background checks on recruits, the Ducks have avoided major mistakes in recruiting; as of this week, all 19 players in this year’s signing class are on campus for summer school, making it 83-of-83 the past four years to at least enroll initially. With the new sanctions adding further limits on the number of players Oregon can seriously recruit, that track record will have to continue for an additional three years, as UO coaches can ill afford to use a precious official visit or scholarship on a player who isn’t seriously considering the Ducks, or who may have academic or other character concerns.

Kent Sterling, Kentsterling.com

Anyone looking for morality in college football or the organization founded to oversee it should feel quite stupid today.

Stewart Mandel, Sports Illustrated

If Wednesday's NCAA sanctions announcement against Oregon were a scene from a movie, it would be the one where Ferris Bueller turns to the camera after convincing his parents he's too sick to go to school and proudly proclaims: "They bought it!"

Scott J. Adams, The Daily Camera

The Penn State, Ohio State and USC faithful have plenty of reasons to be upset. The one time the NCAA is fair and lenient only magnifies how rash and unfair it was in previous cases.

Twitter responses ranged from critical to comical to some bitterness.