In recent years, the NCAA's erratic punishment policies have done anything but provide a way to accurately gauge what Oregon could be facing when it goes in front of the committee. However, Oregon's cooperation and a report that the NCAA did not find unethical conduct or a lack of institutional control is promising.
As ESPN's Ted Miller noted today in a blog post, even doubling the punishment the program has proposed would have little to no effect on what happens on the football field or recruiting. During Chip Kelly's era at Oregon, none of his recruiting classes reached the maximum of 25 scholarship offers by signing day.
Though Kelly's system relied heavily on a rotation of players that had the talent and stamina to push the pace, the players had to fit a role within the system.
Everybody was a spoke on the wheel. The system was designed so that one player would not make or break the system. Similarly, one or two recruits will not make or break a certain class if that system stays in place.
What will be intriguing is how this could alter new head coach Mark Helfrich's recruiting plans, if at all.
Oregon is fast becoming a program that athletes nationwide want to be a part of as evidenced by the fact that over one-third of their offer list are to athletes in "SEC country". The Ducks already have two verbal commits attached to the Class of 2014 and a healthy offer list of interested players from every corner of the country.
Just like they do when a player goes down to injury during the season, the Ducks will continue to carry on. While the investigation continues to cast a shadow, they've established that they are a well oiled machine on the recruiting trail thus far under Helfrich. And even with sanctions, that's unlikely to change.