The $Duck Stops Here

Oregon (and the college football world) will learn of the NCAA's decision about what to do about the Will Lyles saga tomorrow morning. - Jonathan Ferrey

Addicted to Quack and Rob Moseley of the Eugene Register-Guard are both reporting that the University of Oregon will receive notice tomorrow morning of the NCAA's decision on resolution of the infamous Will Lyles scouting service/recruiting saga, and related events.

Which may or may not signal an actual turning of the page, depending on the NCAA's decisions, and Oregon's reactions. Which could include a decision at some point to appeal, further protracting the matter.

If the outcome is relatively dire, a strategic decision would be called for by the Oregon administration. Lawyers and administrators some times have some fore-warning of the nature of these things, and other times they just guess well based on the information at hand, but indications are the folks down the road don't have that much more insight into what's coming than the rest of us.

The one thing that's guaranteed to follow the announcement will be considerable indignation by someone, whether they are located in Eugene, Seattle, LA, Berkeley, and quite a few other locations.

But regardless of what comes out in the report, no one should find it totally surprising; after all, we are talking about the NCAA here, where the timing and nature of their next decision is always highly unpredictable.

Assuming there's any semblance of moderation in the decision, as in something Oregon feels they can live with OR are unlikely to substantially change, it will also provide guidance going forward to the rest of the Pac-12, and a lot of other players nationally in the college football world.

That applies to both how to handle gray areas, but also what the landscape will look like over the next 5 years as far as what it will take to win the Pac-12, a National Title, and even what the next TV payout may or may not amount too.

Therefore, this decision, regardless of anyone's personal opinion of anything Duck, has repercussions on every member of every sport and activity at not only every Pac-12 school, but quite a few others, and the ripples will be felt at other levels, and other parts of the country. That's the scale of the Oregon brand in the economy.

Especially for those with a Golden stadium debt.

Should make for some interesting conversation over morning coffee tomorrow.

With full understanding that predicting the NCAA is even more perilous than calling the timing and severity of the next earthquake, I expect the sanctions to be significant, but not crushing.

Something on the order of a reduction of 3-5 scholarships (Oregon's offer of 3 over 3 years, or 1 a year, was probably a guarantee the NCAA wouldn't accept the proposed settlement) for 3 years (something that barring a major bus wreck, the attractive Oregon recruiting machine can withstand), 5 years probation (which is next to nothing as long as there isn't another incident; Mark Helfrich will have no wiggle room), and some reduction on off-campus recruiting (which can be mitigated by sending a link to video of Oregon facilities).

A likelihood of a bowl ban seems low; the business case for this doesn't exist, and that shouldn't be dismissed.

Note that this prediction has NOTHING to do with what I would like to see, but Oregon St. fans, as well as Husky, Duck, Cougar, Trojan, Bruin, Bear, and other fans, would do well to not waste energy on outrage, and focus on what they are faced with in the next 5 years.

At least we might know a little better what that is in the morning.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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