University of Oregon responds to NCAA infraction allegations inv - KPTV - FOX 12

University of Oregon responds to NCAA infraction allegations involving track, basketball programs

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The University of Oregon has responded to a notice of allegations from the NCAA regarding possible infractions involving the school’s track and field and men’s and women’s basketball programs.

The university received the notice this week. On Thursday, administrators released a statement acknowledging that infractions occurred, but disagreed with the level of infraction that NCAA enforcement staff assigned to some of the charges.

In each case, the NCAA stated the incidents could be concluded to be a “significant breach of conduct.”

That includes a faculty member changing the grade of a former track and field student-athlete from failing to passing. The University of Oregon stated the situation was caught internally, the student was immediately removed from competition and the incident was reported to the NCAA.

“As recent Committee on Infractions rulings have made clear, the NCAA gives sole power to the university in determining what constitutes academic misconduct. In this case, the university’s internal controls worked; there was no academic misconduct. The violation should be charged as an impermissible academic benefit,” according to a university statement.

Other allegations involve the basketball programs.

The NCAA notice of allegations states, “Dana Altman (Altman), head men's basketball coach, and Kelly Graves (Graves), head women's basketball coach, permitted noncoaching staff members to participate in practice and/or conduct,” which is “intentional, willful or blatant disregard for the NCAA constitution and bylaws” and represents “a pattern of noncompliance within the sport program(s) involved.”

The university stated these incidents should be considered “impermissible coaching activities infractions.”

“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,” said UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens. “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.”

MORE: The NCAA notice of allegations and the University of Oregon’s full response

In an unrelated matter, according to administrators, in fall 2016, as a result of a misinterpretation by the university’s compliance staff in advising then-football staff members, the football program improperly utilized an electronic reader board in the Casanova Center for recruiting purposes. The university of Oregon will not contest the charge in that case.

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