Oregon gets official notice of NCAA investigation

Oregon gets official notice of NCAA investigation »Play Video
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon has received formal notice of the NCAA investigation into its program's use of recruiting services.

The NCAA relayed the official "Notice of Inquiry" in a telephone call to Oregon President Richard Lariviere this week, the Ducks announced Saturday before Oregon's game against Missouri State.

The inquiry is the result of reports that surfaced this spring concerning payments Oregon made to recruiting services, including a $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles and Houston-based Complete Scouting Services.

When Oregon released some of what it said Lyles had provided for the fee, the material was largely outdated.

The NCAA is investigating whether Lyles steered star running back Lache Seastrunk to Oregon, which would be a violation of NCAA rules. Lyles has said his services went beyond the normal scope of a scouting service, acknowledging he "made a mistake."

Seastrunk has since left the Oregon football program and transferred to Baylor.

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens says the notice was anticipated and part of the next stage of the investigation.

“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," Mullens said.

“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," he added.

The University of Oregon has retained outside counsel to conduct an independent assessment of the football program’s use of outside recruiting services. Once completed, that report will be made public.

“As with any NCAA inquiry, our full cooperation with the NCAA prohibits us from publicly discussing any specifics on this matter,” Mullens said.