Oregon Basketball

Explaining the NCAA Penalties

December 5, 2018

Some major news came across the eyes of Oregon fans this morning, as the NCAA has handed out some penalties for violations committed by the Men’s Basketball Program, the Women’s Basketball Program, the Women’s Track and Field Program and the Football Program. Now, before I dive into them, I’ll let you know that I’m covering this from the Women’s Basketball prospective, and there are already some articles up on Scoop Duck right now covering it, and if you’d like to read the official NCAA statement, the link is right here.

So what happened exactly? Well, before anyone jumps into a frenzy, what happened wasn’t that bad, but we’re dealing with the NCAA here. According to the official reports, “The assistant strength coach also participated in voluntary student-athlete workouts. The head women’s coach was not specifically aware of the assistant strength coaches participation in the workouts but acknowledged that he ‘kind of assumed’ it was happening, according to the committee. The participation by the assistant strength coach caused the women’s basketball program to exceed the number of allowable coaches and gave the program a competitive advantage of an extra coach, the committee said.” Yes, this is a real NCAA violation.

The NCAA is upset with Oregon’s assistant strength coach stepping in during workouts and helping with the team during on court drills. As ludicrous as this sounds, this is against the rules, and Oregon will be penalized for it. Now, I’m not blaming anyone personally, because it sounds like no one knew this was an issue.

Kelly Graves mentioned he, “kind of assumed” that the issue had been happening, and inside the investigation, it was clear Kelly Graves actually asked her to step in at points. Now, this may be the case or it may not be, but, from what I can remember the Ducks were pretty injured at points over the last couple of months, and struggled to field enough participants in practice. You may remember during Matt Knight Madness (name needs work on BTW) that Oregon brought back one of it’s players, Justine Hall, in order to have enough players for a 4 on 4 scrimmage. Would it surprise me that at points the strength coach took the role of Justine and hopped into drills? No, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. But, it surprised the NCAA and that’s all it took.

I’ll say one more thing, I appreciate Kelly Graves owning up to what had happened. In the official documents from the NCAA regarding the probation, they state, “...the committee said it appreciated the coach’s candor at the hearing and his admission to lapses of judgement.” Graves could have easily tried to get out of this, but I think he realized it was a nothing incident and manned up.

So, now for the juicy part of the violations. When you do something wrong, consequences soon follow up and they did, in a not-so-big way. For the Women’s Program, a couple things to keep in mind here. There will be a two year probation for all teams listed within the findings, which means we better not let our assistant strength coaches on the floor anymore! Kelly Graves will serve a 2-game suspension at some point during the season, but that has yet to be officially announced.

Lastly, the Women’s Program will have to reduce the number of countable coaches by one at regular practice for 10 hours this season. This will be self imposed, and must occur during this season. But, that’s it. No big violations here, no big penalties, and what seems to be a slap on the wrist for a few very minor mess ups.

If there’s any more news I’ll update through the comment section below and keep everyone in touch. Thanks again.

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