I thought the sanctions would be heavier, basically more loss of schollies.
I didn't think a bowl ban was likely.
The NCAA lost its nerve while considering the fact that Willie Lyles' body of work included dealing with numerous other institutions, all of which paid less than Oregon for his "service." In scouring the gray areas of its own rules, the NCAA couldn't find evidence indicating Lyles paid off any of the players he "mentored," or otherwise shared the booty he reaped from Oregon and other schools.
The NCAA is most concerned with keeping the student-athletes poor; they're easier to exploit that way. If Lyles gave any of his kids money, nobody spoke of it. That's a sign of the street cred a "street agent" earns if he is indeed looking out for his guys.
Lyles played everybody expertly, equaling Kelly's tactics of obfuscation and pseudo ignorance.
At the time of the transaction between Kelly and Lyles, a limitation on the amount programs could pay for recruiting services wasn't codified. That'll change, if it hasn't already.
The sum Oregon paid raised flags, but it didn't necessarily prove deliberate malice. That it was done transparently and self-reported reflected well on Oregon--creating a gee-whiz, we-didn't-know-moment.
Oregon had a great team of lawyers. I think the NCAA grasped its own incompetency enough to realize Oregon might sue against more stringent sanctions, and perhaps win, leaving more egg where it is never wanted.
Kelly earned what is, given his present circumstance as a well-paid NFL coach, a minor bitch-slap--essentially a two-year college coaching ban. Weak. I'd have banned him from college ball for five or more years.
In that sense, the NCAA almost did something right. It could have made an example of Kelly, but in the end it wasn't tough enough when it really counted. The billion-dollar coaches need to be reined in.
Here is an enlightened view of the entire fiasco.