The NCAA enforcement staff has recommended the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions review seven self-reported NCAA rules violations involving Oregon's men's and women's basketball, football and women's track and field programs.
In a notice of allegations the NCAA delivered to Oregon on Monday, it alleged the violations represent a significant breach of conduct. However, in a response released Thursday, Oregon said it disagrees with the level of infraction that the NCAA assigned some of the violations and took issue with accusations that men's basketball coach Dana Altman and women's basketball coach Kelly Graves did not foster atmospheres of compliance.
Oregon said it plans to defend both coaches and the university where it disagrees with the enforcement staff's findings.
The school will not contest a charge that in the fall of 2016, its football program "arranged personalized recruiting aids for 36 football prospective student-athletes during unofficial and official paid visits." According to the notice of allegations, Oregon created electronic presentations that included potential recruits' names, likenesses and high school highlight videos and showed them in the football facility.
From 2013 to '17, a member of the men's basketball staff who was employed in a noncoaching position performed several duties prohibited by someone in that role. Those allegations include serving as an on-court referee 10-20 times a year, providing technical or tactical instruction during voluntary workouts at least 64 times, and observing voluntary athletic activities at a local high school track.
An assistant strength and conditioning coach for the men's basketball program is also alleged to have provided prohibited technical or tactical basketball instruction and participated in on-court basketball-related activities with players of the team at least 12 times during voluntary workouts, and to have committed similar violations at least eight times before or during regular practices and three times before games.
The women's basketball program faces a similar charge related to an assistant strength and conditioning coach's participation in on-court basketball-related activities.
In these instances, the notice of allegations said Oregon exceeded the limit of four basketball coaches allowed to provide such instruction and, as a result, determined both Altman and Graves did not provide the proper oversight.
"Coach Altman and coach Graves are committed to compliance with NCAA bylaws, they have the highest ethical standards on and off the court, and each acknowledges the infractions that took place within their programs," Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. "In both cases, our monitoring program identified the issues and they were reported to the NCAA. We have addressed the matters with the responsible employees and enhanced compliance training within the department. These cases do not merit the level of charges against the coaches sought by the NCAA."
Oregon suspended one of the staff members who committed an impermissible workout violation.
"I fully acknowledge that some members of our staff made mistakes when it comes to refereeing practice games and working out some players," Altman said in a statement. "We have taken steps to correct these issues with our staff, and we are committed to complying with NCAA rules."
Additionally, in March 2016, an adjunct anthropology professor is said to have changed the grade for a women's track and field athlete from an "F" to a "B-minus" after learning the initial grade resulted in her becoming ineligible to compete for the Ducks. The grade change also allowed a degree to be awarded by mistake. When the school learned of the altered grade, it said it immediately removed the athlete from competition, reported it to the NCAA and rescinded the change and the degree.
Each charge is a Level II violation on scale that ranges from Level I (severe breach of conduct) to Level IV (incidental issues).
The NCAA defines Level II violations as those that "provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws."
Oregon will provide a detailed response in its official response to the notice to the committee on infractions within 90 days.