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Oregon Paid $25,000 to Willie Lyles for Scouting Services, Appears Guilty

If you look back at programs that lacked tradition but gained instant success in collegiate athletics, you’ll often find a trace of violations committed during recruitment. Just look at Baylor and Tennessee basketball recently — neither program had success, yet both have done well the last few years, and both programs also have been involved in recruiting violations. Oregon is in a similar spot in football — they’ve enjoyed some success over the years, but they’ve never been a consistent national power until the last two years. They’ve also never really been a program that could pry top-level recruits on a national level. But lately they’ve been able to do it, and the recent investigation of the school’s relationship with Willie Lyles leaves a trail indicating why that may have been possible.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Oregon had paid Lyles’ Houston-based Complete Scouting Services $25,000 a few weeks after highly-touted Texas running back recruit Lache Seastrunk (pronounced Lake) signed with the school. Though it’s completely ordinary for schools like Oregon to pay national scouting services for video and contact information of players, it usually doesn’t cost more than $5,000 or so. A $25,000 payment seems exorbitant, and it looks like the scouting service Lyles was a part of is a business front for steering players to the school.

Now here’s the kicker from The Oregonian as pointed out by Sports by Brooks “if you ask [football coach Chip] Kelly what was provided he’ll tell you the Ducks received contact information for players — ‘names and phone numbers.'”

That doesn’t really match up with what was listed on the invoice regarding services rendered by Lyles’ scouting service:

Nobody denies that Oregon has had immense success lately and that they’ve built a strong program. Nobody denies that recruiting on a national level is vital to their success. But the question is whether or not they paid people close to valuable recruits to try and send players to their college.

Lyles is said to be a street agent who has a personal relationship with Lache’s mother. A $25,000 payment to his scouting company certainly raises questions and makes Oregon appear guilty, even if the payment is legitimate in the eyes of the NCAA.



Around The Web

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2GZDMOW6MEOFEBYYQRLN2T62LM Just

    Really? The “$5000 or so” garbage was blown out of the water within 12 hours of this “story” breaking. Apparently you have missed the follow-up stories that exposed that other PAC10 schools pay tens of thousands of dollars to recruiting services yearly and at least two other PAC schools in the NW have paid as much as $25k for national packages from individual services. Keep drinking the kool-aid there slick. That is the beauty of a free press. You can actually ask a few more questions before you chose to opine. Or you can just choose to regurgitate the crap you have been spoon fed and appear to be too dumb to know the difference.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2GZDMOW6MEOFEBYYQRLN2T62LM Just

    Oh, and by the way, the last 25 years Oregon (.642) is 21st in winning percentage out of all FBS schools. That puts them right behind Alabama (.643) and LSU (.647) and well ahead of schools like Washington, Arkansas, UCLA, and Wisconsin. Oregon also has wins over a third of the schools that have better winning percentages in that same time frame… so much for your “instant success” outright LIE.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Alabama’s been on probation half that span and had David Shula as coach. LSU was nothing until they hired Nick Saban. How can you even add Arkansas to this debate? Oregon never saw a double digit win season until they got Joey Harrington. And like I said, the last three years has been the best and longest stretch of success Oregon has had in their history. Don’t eff with me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2GZDMOW6MEOFEBYYQRLN2T62LM Just

    Okay, so LSU and Bama should be under suspicion for their “instant success” now too? Or is Nick Saban just that good? Harrington graduated a decade ago, but you bring up a point that is worth examining a bit further. From ’08-’10 Oregon went 32-7, won two PAC10 titles and went 1-2 in bowls finishing a consensus #3 last year after losing the BCS championship. From ’99-’01 the Ducks went 30-6, won or shared two PAC10 titles, went 3-0 in bowls and finished a consensus #2 in the final ’01 polls after a Fiesta (BCS) Bowl win over the BCS #3. Which 3 year span was more successful? Since ’94 Oregon has won 4 PAC10 titles outright and shared another. That is 5 conference titles in a 17 year span. The only PAC10 school to surpass the Ducks in that 17 season span is USC with 4 outright and 4 shared titles. No other PAC10 school even comes close. Oregon began building a winning tradition in the late 80’s and slowly progressed to where they are now. There is absolutely NOTHING to support the idea that Oregon suddenly appeared out of nowhere. So enough with the “instant success” garbage. It is BUNK.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2GZDMOW6MEOFEBYYQRLN2T62LM Just

    Does Elite Scouting Service mean anything to you? That is the third party recruiting service Lyles worked for when he sold the recruiting package he later build for from his own company. Here is a link to their “clients” page.

    http://elitescoutingservices.com/about/meet-the-team/

    It took me less than 5 minutes to find that information online. Oh, and here is a nice picture I found of Lyles and one of his “friends”.

    http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/5348/willlyles.jpg

    So much for he idea that Lyles is a “street agent” with no legitimate ties to CFB. That is he photo being used FoxSports.com. Although, FoxSports is using a heavily altered version. It seems something is missing from their copy of the picture.