Assistant Mark Campbell will be acting head coach for Air Force, UC Irvine games this week
Kelly Graves will have some extra time to savor one of the most significant wins in Oregon women’s basketball program history.
A day after the seventh-ranked Ducks’ 82-74 win over No. 4 Mississippi State, the school announced that Graves will not appeal the two-game suspension the NCAA imposed on him for rules infractions.
Assistant Mark Campbell will be the acting head coach while Graves serves the suspension during Oregon’s games against Air Force on Thursday and UC Irvine on Friday at Matthew Knight Arena.
Graves will be back on the bench for the Pac-12 opener against Washington on Jan. 4, but that doesn’t mean this punishment is sitting well with his boss.
“Yes, I did think it was unfair and I am disappointed,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said during an interview with The Register-Guard. “I’m probably most disappointed because every infraction that existed was discovered by our monitoring systems and self-reported.”
On Dec. 5, the NCAA slapped Oregon with two years of probation after finding the men’s and women’s basketball programs and the track and field program violated rules.
Graves was cited for failing to “monitor and promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.”
The NCAA sin Graves is suspended for: an assistant strength coach— believed to be Xavi Lopez, now a full-time assistant on the women’s staff — participated in on-court activities during and after practices, which caused the team to exceed the number of allowable coaches.
After self-reporting the infractions and acknowledging that they occurred, Oregon received the notice of allegations last December.
Graves took full responsibility for the violations in his program.
“He was 100 percent forthright in every interview that he had,” Mullens said of Graves. “I think that’s kind of where the disappointment comes from.
“And when you look at case precedent, we don’t think that this fits with what was intended when all this started.”
Graves coached the Ducks to the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles last season. Oregon, which has made back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, has the experience and talent to make a run at the program’s first Final Four appearance.
“(The NCAA report) referenced our robust education and our robust monitoring systems,” Mullens noted. “We were able to go, in painstaking detail, to identify exactly the number of minutes that these violations occurred.
“So we were fully cooperative, fully engaged, and I think it’s unfair that (Graves) was given a two-game suspension.”
The NCAA also found men’s coach Dana Altman failed to properly monitor his director of basketball operations, Josh Jamieson, who took part in or observed at least 64 individual workouts in violation of NCAA rules.
Jamieson was suspended by Altman for one month and must also attend NCAA rules seminars for the next two years.
In addition to the probation and Graves' suspension, the NCAA said the men's team must reduce the number of coaches at a regular practice by five hours this season, which the women's team must do the same for 10 hours this season.
The school was also fined $5,000 plus 1 percent of the men's and women's basketball budgets. The combined budget of the two programs for fiscal year 2019 is nearly $11 million, and 1 percent is about $110,000.
Also, in track and field, the NCAA upheld a finding of academic misconduct involving former sprinter and long jumper Jasmine Todd, who was the subject of a grade-changing allegation involving an adjunct instructor in 2016.
Oregon is appealing the track and field punishments, which included two years probation and vacating records from any events in which Todd competed while ineligible, though no NCAA championships are believed to be affected.
NO. 7 OREGON VS. AIR FORCE
Sabrina Ionescu, 5-11, Jr. (21.0 ppg, 7.9 apg)
Maite Cazorla, 5-10, Sr. (11.5 ppg, 5.0 apg)
Satou Sabally, 6-4, So. (14.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
Erin Boley, 6-2, So. (13.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
Ruthy Hebard, 6-4, Jr. (15.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg)
Air Force (4-6)
Alexis Springfield, 5-6, So. (2.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg)
Kaelin Immel, 5-9, So. (12.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
Vennessannah Itugbu, 5-9, Sr. (2.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
Riley Snyder, 6-0, Fr. (8.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
Haley Jones, 6-0, Fr. (5.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
Time: 11 a.m. Thursday
Radio/TV: KUGN (590-AM)/None