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Ducks are business as usual awaiting NCAA decision

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Now that spring football is all wrapped up, the Oregon Ducks wait to hear what the NCAA will decide about possible recruiting violations.

New coach Mark Helfrich said earlier this week that it's ``business as usual'' as the Ducks head into the summer. His comments came following published reports that Oregon appeared last month before the NCAA infractions committee over possible recruiting violations.

``Our general feeling has been to go about our business and not comment on the ongoing deal, as we've been requested to. Our guys have done a great job focusing on what they can control, and that's not one of those things,'' he said on a Pac-12 coaches conference call.

The NCAA has been looking into payments Oregon made to recruiting services, including a $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles and Houston-based Complete Scouting Services in 2011. Lyles had a connection with an Oregon recruit.

Oregon would not comment about whether the meeting had taken place.

``Regardless of when or where the hearing occurs, review is ongoing until the NCAA Committee on Infractions issues its final report. The integrity of the process and our continued full cooperation with the NCAA prohibits us from publicly discussing the specifics of this matter,'' according to a statement sent via email on Friday.

In April, Oregon released documents acknowledging at least one major NCAA violation in connection with recruiting. The documents, made available because of public records requests made by the media, included a draft summary disposition report in which Oregon proposed a self-imposed two-year probation with the loss of one scholarship in each of the next three years.

Oregon and the NCAA have failed to come to an agreement on the matter and the case headed to the infractions committee. The NCAA does not comment on ongoing investigations.

Former Ducks coach Chip Kelly was reportedly among those who appeared before the infractions committee on April 19 in Dallas. The meeting was first reported by Sports Illustrated, which cited an unnamed source.

Helfrich has taken over as the Ducks' coach following the departure of Kelly, who went to the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

Kelly was head coach at Oregon for the past four seasons, leading the Ducks to a 46-7 record with appearances in four straight BCS bowl games - including a bid for the national championship against Auburn in 2011.

The Ducks finished 12-1 last season, capped by a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Oregon was previously penalized by the NCAA in 2004 for a major violation involving the improper recruitment of a junior college player by an assistant coach. The university was put on probation for two years and the unidentified assistant coach was suspended without pay for a week and restricted from some recruiting activities.

The Ducks remained eligible for postseason play and did not lose any scholarships because of that violation, which occurred in 2003. The case was resolved without a formal hearing after the NCAA's governing body agreed with the university's proposed penalties.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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