Oregon lawyers up, just in case

Oregon has retained lawyer Mike Glazier to watch out for its interests as the NCAA looks into the Ducks football program and its business with Willie Lyles, reported George Schroeder of the Eugene Register-Guard.

Schroeder notes that some call Glazier “the Cleaner,” so this decision by Oregon "signaled that this NCAA inquiry is a very significant matter," and "Oregon is taking this thing very, very seriously -- and has been from the start." Glazier has, in fact, been working for the Ducks since March.

Again, there is some distance here, during a preliminary investigation by the NCAA, between the present undefined situation, a formal letter inquiry and then a potential fight in front of the infractions committee. Months. And it may not even happen. But its clear the Ducks are covering their proverbial bases.

Writes Schroeder:

The party line remains that the Ducks operated within the rules. The confident chatter is that the Ducks have nothing to worry about.

The reality is when you retain the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, you’re plenty concerned.

After that unpleasant call from the NCAA, an athletic director hangs up the phone and immediately punches in Glazier’s number. Some probably have him on speed-dial. All of them know what he does, which is not so much defending against NCAA charges as responding to them.

Schroeder points out that by going this route, Oregon will be penalized for the football program's relationship with Lyles. How so? Billable hours. This is a "prudent" decision -- to use athletic director Rob Mullens' term -- but it's also an expensive one.

Even if Oregon gets off scot-free, that $25,000 payment to Lyles is going to wind up costing much more. In recent years Kansas and Ohio State paid around $500,000 to Bond, Schoeneck & King.

But Oregon's got money. What it wants to preserve and protect is a highly functioning football program unburdened by NCAA sanctions.