Saturdays are normally sacred, but today it was announced that Oregon has received an NCAA Notice of Inquiry. This is the next step in formally investigating the university in the wake of the controversial use of Willie Lyles, the owner of a scouting service.
In case you've forgotten, Lyles was paid $25,000 by the University of Oregon for scouting information. The NCAA has reason to believe that the school was actually paying for assistance in bringing top recruits to Eugene, an accusation that both Oregon and Lyles deny.
From CBS Sports:
"This notice has been anticipated and is simply the next stage of the process," said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens in the statement. "The University of Oregon football program, from Head Coach Chip Kelly through the entire organization, has tremendous respect for the NCAA's important role in monitoring collegiate athletics and, to this end, continues to fully cooperate with the NCAA ‘s ongoing examination.
"The Athletic Department, Coach Kelly and the entire staff remain committed to operating the athletics program consistent with the highest standards and ensuring our program follows best practices."
This is a logical step in the process, and if Oregon did anything out of compliance, the NCAA will certainly discover it. We are a long way from sanctions or punishment in this matter, though this is a public relations nightmare for an up-and-coming program like Oregon.