Wednesday night Yahoo! reporter Charles Robinson broke the news that the Oregon Ducks would be called before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. Originally, as Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported back in February, it was thought that Oregon would skip the COI thanks to a summary disposition.
For some folks this is a great day. The folks who have been hoping Oregon goes down, the teams who have been getting bludgeoned by the Ducks or the bitter people who want other teams to go down like their's did. Perhaps even the people who think they will benefit from the Ducks getting into some trouble.
The reality of this situation is that this is one where we are all about to lose. The NCAA, with their ax to grind, is going to the mattresses with one witness and odds are Oregon is fighting a battle they cannot win.
As Robinson details in his report, the Ducks and the NCAA were not exactly seeing eye to eye when it came to Oregon's infractions. The gang in Indianapolis wanted to bang the Ducks hard, meanwhile, Oregon sought to minimize their role:
In a response to the NCAA's draft, Oregon altered the language in a fashion that lessened its role in some of the proposed infractions. Those changes included one key edit that appeared to focus blame on Lyles for not providing the written scouting services for which Oregon said it paid the $25,000.
Which means they are now heading to Indianapolis to take on the big, bad NCAA. A group that has a new, more devastating punishment structure plus a reason to go full force against the Ducks thanks to their lack of total cooperation, or better stated, full on appeasement.
Now, with Oregon set to have their pants pulled down by Mark Emmert's henchmen, we will get yet another example of NCAA justice. Over the summer we saw the NCAA swoop in, do no investigation of their own and act with some contrived "moral authority" in the Penn State situation. That was merely the game's governing body capitalizing on a situation where they would come down on the side of "right."
With Oregon, we're going to get to truly hear the NCAA talk out of both sides of their mouth.
Out of the left side we'll hear all about street agents and runners and how people like this are the worst part of sports. The term gets kicked around so often it has become commonplace in college football; and there is no positive connotation to it. The third party dealers that the NCAA is pushing to gain control over.
Whether the guys are good or not, people do not have anything positive to say about these guys. They are called hustlers and pimps. Handlers and runners. Street agents and marketing representatives. Call them what you want, the fact of the matter is guys like Will Lyles are treated like they are scum and, in some cases, sub-human animals invading the sport.
Which brings us to the other side of the NCAA's mouth. The right side if you will. Here is where they will gladly use Will Lyles to make their case when it comes to screwing Oregon to the floor. Nevermind how terrible they are attempting to tell us he is, or how bad he is for the game; if you can use him to drop the hammer, then he's as trustworthy as they come.
Do you like that the NCAA uses the good word of people they often tell athletes, coaches and the public not to trust?
Look, we are already watching the NCAA take the word of a convicted liar and swindler in the case of Miami. They are so thirsty for a chance to punish the Hurricanes that they have resulted to an ultimatum where guilt is assumed if you do not do their job for them.
Now, in the case of Oregon we will see a he said-he said battle. Oregon's players have already mentioned not being steered to the school by handlers in an article by The Sporting News. The school already disputed the claims of Lyles and the NCAA. All that's left is waiting to see who the NCAA believes.
With the opportunity to nail a sizable fish you better believe that odds are the Ducks players' and coaches' words count a lot less than Lyles'. Yes, Lyles the guy who the NCAA would have us believe is the worst part of sports.
This is not a good thing. Whether you root for the Ducks or not, this is a slippery slope that only ends in the NCAA assuming more power and delivering more guilty verdicts with less evidence; and with the new penalty structure schools will certainly be getting hit hard.