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EXAMINING SPORTS: Ducking punishment

matt examiningsports

Even when on a family vacation, I try to sneak in some time to keep up on what is going on in the sports world.

So, while vacationing in Myrtle Beach last week, I used the moments away from the pool and beach to catch some Sports Center on television and to also to peak at my favorite sports sites on the Web.

Coverage of the Aaron Hernandez story was everywhere I looked, and it deserved the headlines. But pushed away to the background was another puzzling move by the NCAA.

This time, it involved the Oregon/Chip Kelly mess in which the football program was found to be using a shady recruiting service that helped steer recruits to sign with the Ducks.

Under Kelly’s direction, Oregon paid $25,000 to a man by the name of Willie Lyles. The money was supposed to be for information and data about recruits (which is a legal practice), but instead it was found that it was used to entice Lyles to get high school players that he worked with in his home state of Texas to go to Oregon.

In the past, the NCAA has often levied punishment to an entire program for the transgressions of a few. In the Ohio State tattoo scandal, a team full of innocent players had to suffer through a bowl ban last season.

But in the Oregon case, it was clear that the NCAA tried to shift its focus to the direct violator of the rules. It did little to the school, issuing a minor scholarship cut and some probation. No bowl ban was issued.

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