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Oregon Basketball Hit With Two-Year Probation After NCAA Investigation

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 12/5/2018 Emily Caron
a man holding a ball © Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Oregon's athletic department has been put on a two-year probation after a Division I NCAA Committee on Infractions panel ruled that the Ducks' women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves failed to monitor and promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program while men’s basketball coach Dana Altman failed to monitor his director of basketball operations, Josh Jamieson.

"Although occurring in different contexts, the men's and women's basketball violations share a common thread: impermissible staff participation in coaching activities that gave their programs the advantage of an extra coach," the committee said in its ruling. "In both programs, non-coaching staff members were careless in their interactions with student-athletes and crossed the line between permissible logistical and conditioning activities and impermissible substantive coaching activities."

The two year probation runs from Dec. 5, 2018 through Dec. 4, 2020 and is accompanied by several other penalties including a two-game suspension for the head women’s basketball coach during the 2018-19 season.

The NCAA also ruled on allegations involving the track and field program and determined that an adjunct instructor changed a course grade from an F to a B-minus for a women’s track and field student-athlete to allow her to maintain her eligibility. 

Any records in which the track and field student-athlete participated in while ineligible will be vacated and a self-imposed restriction on the the men’s basketball program that mandates a reduction of the number of countable coaches by one at regular practice for five hours during the current season.

A similar self-imposed penalty was placed on the women's program, who must reduce the number of countable coaches by one at regular practice for 10 hours from 2018-19. The athletics department will also be fined $5,000 plus 1 percent of each of the men’s and women’s basketball budgets.

Additionally, Jamieson, who participated in and observed voluntary workouts “at least 64 times,” according to the ruling, has a two-year show-cause requiring him to attend the 2019 and 2020 NCAA rules seminars. Jamieson described his involvement in the voluntary workouts as a “very poor lapse in judgement,” per the NCAA's report, but Oregon disciplined Jamieson and thus no other restrictions are being imposed.

Altman has been at the helm of Oregon's men's team since 2010 and has led the team to a 214–84 record. Graves has overseen the Ducks' women's program for four seasons after taking over in 2014.

The NCAA committee did note that Oregon self-reported the violations, and the committee on infractions recognized Altman specifically for "promoting an atmosphere of compliance."

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