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Oregon Football Sanctions Indistinguishable From Mild Breeze

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Don't call it a slap on the wrist. A slap on the wrist stings for a second.

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Today, the NCAA announced the punishment for Oregon Football's infractions, mostly stemming from payments to Will Lyles and Baron Flenory (two arbitrageurs we've written about extensively in the past) to influence recruits to Eugene.

Chip Kelly fled to the Philadelphia Eagles from Oregon in the face of those NCAA sanctions just as Pete Carroll fled USC to the Seattle Seahawks before him.

Sorry, I mean, they left for the unique challenge of the NFL.

It proved to be a smart move for Pete. He built Seattle into a Super Bowl contender as the Trojans lost 30 scholarships over three years and received a two year postseason bowl ban. Since then, and with the help of Kiffinness, the Trojans have managed a 25-13 record (17-10 in the conference). A program that was once the subject of weekly orgasmic frenzy from ESPN is now covered about as frequently as North Carolina State.

Since becoming head coach in 2009, Chip Kelly went 46-7 at Oregon (33-3 in conference) and played in four BCS games, including a last second loss in the 2010 National Championship to street agent mirror image Auburn. Was Kelly's harried flight from the Ducks - which fooled a lot of experts - as auspiciously timed as Pete's?

Nope. Chip might've just rode this one out.

The NCAA's crippling penalties are:

• Public reprimand and censure.
• Three years of probation from June 26, 2013 through June 25, 2016.
• An 18-month show cause order for the former head coach.
• A one-year show-cause order for the former assistant director of operations.
A reduction of initial football scholarships by one from the maximum allowed (25) during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years (imposed by the university).
• A reduction of total football scholarships by one from the maximum allowed (85) during the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years (imposed by the university).
• A reduction of official paid football visits to from 56 to 37 for the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
• A reduction of permissible football evaluation days from 42 to 36 in the fall of 2013, 2014 and 2015 and permissible football evaluation days from 168 to 144 in the spring of 2014, 2015 and 2016.
A ban on the subscription to recruiting services during the probation period.
• A disassociation of the recruiting service provider. (imposed by the university).

OH NO! PUBLIC REPRIMAND! And they have to get their Rivals account under the name of a Graduate Assistant and have him share his password. And they lose a scholarship, which most programs are shy of anyway during the season and award the extra to a walk-on. Incredible. Oregon is caught red-handed buying recruits through admitted street agents and the NCAA offers penalties that can be interpreted as nothing less than tacit approval.

This is comedy. If you're an ambitious football program unconcerned about your reputation (a street agent's leverage is precisely related to how much you care about your own reputation) and you're not cheating right now, you're missing out on a golden window of opportunity.