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College Sports, Division I

Infractions Hearing Expected in University of Oregon Enforcement Case

On December 19, 2012, Yahoo! Sports reported the Committee on Infractions failed to approve a summary disposition agreement between the University of Oregon and the NCAA enforcement staff. The case involves an investigation into the institution’s football program and its $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles for “scouting services” in March 2011. Lyles later alleged the money was actually for his ability to influence and deliver prospective football student-athletes to the Oregon football program.

Committee on Infractions Hearing “Cliffs Notes”

  • Prior to the hearing, a pre-hearing conference will take place where the enforcement staff, the institution and involved parties will ensure that no new information is introduced during the hearing. All parties will also submit documents with all pertinent information to both the Committee on Infractions and the other parties at least two weeks prior to the hearing.
  • At the hearing, the institution is usually represented by the institution’s president or chancellor, the faculty athletics representative, the athletics director, any involved coaches, members of the institution’s athletics compliance office, the institution’s general counsel and the institution’s outside legal counsel. Other parties that may be present include student-athletes whose eligibility may be pending on the hearing, other involved parties or key case witnesses.
  • The enforcement staff is represented at the hearing by the case’s primary investigator, the enforcement director, who oversaw the investigation and the NCAA vice president of enforcement.
  • The hearing is operated by the chair of the committee. The hearing is operated in a similar fashion to a court hearing where the involved parties and the enforcement staff are allowed an opportunity to make an opening statement, present their case in regards to each individual allegation and make a closing statement to conclude the hearing. During the case presentation, the committee members are permitted to ask questions but witnesses cannot be summoned.
  • The committee, who meets six times annually, may take as much or as little time as necessary to decide a case. The committee will deliberate in private and determine the findings and penalties that will be assessed. The committee will release a report to all involved parties, and later the general public, approximately six- to eight weeks following the hearing.

The full Yahoo! Sports article can be found here.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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