|Willie Lyles/Courtesy: oregonlive.com|
In this era of schools bending and in some cases just flat-out breaking the NCAA rules on recruiting, this story of Oregon allegedly "Buying" Lyles's services smells...kind of badly, but it also explains some things.
As you may know, Oregon coach Chip Kelly paid Lyles for his "Scouting Service". He allegedly sent information and videos of recruits to Oregon. The problem is, there is some question of Lyles "Scouting Service".
John Canzano of the Oregonian tracked Lyles down at his "Day Job" at a Houston grocery store.
And yes, the obvious question if that's Lyles day job, how exactly does he compile his "Scouting" reports? Lyles told Canzano about wanting to "Help" Houston area kids do "Better" for themselves.
In a Yahoo Sports interview, Lyles admitted he wasn't "Paid" for the "Scouting" service by Oregon, the payment was for "Access" or it was implied that it would be for that. The question is, considering Lyles ties to LaMichael James and the assumption he'd steer star recruit Lache Sistrunk to Oregon; were the Ducks trying to buy influence? It's a cloudy parallel, but one that raised many of the current questions today.
Read the Canzano story RIGHT HERE
And, this gets better. Kelly, on the day Yahoo broke the story about payments from Oregon and its head coach, told Canzano he'd never heard of Lyles.
Read that story from the Oregonian RIGHT HERE
Lyles has also admitted to escorting potential recruits to LSU. And while LSU hasn't been implicated in anything...yet, keep your ears open.
We don't begrudge Lyles, he's doing...or did what many are or have done in the past few years. Become street agents and make a tidy profit from it.
So here is essentially where we are at:
Someone is flat out lying here. Chip Kelly has more or less been caught lying to a writer. The question is: did he lie to the NCAA?
Oregon hasn't been above board in recruiting. We aren't saying this is connected, but how is it they went from Pac-10 also-ran for pretty much the history of the program to being a national powerhouse? We aren't alleging they cheated, but the circumstantial evidence is starting to pile up.
Despite the school saying they've done nothing wrong and they are cooperating with the NCAA, we wonder how serious that this is being taken. No, it hasn't caught on with the furor and headlines the Ohio State scandal did, but we are wondering if this is just as bad?
We also think that Darth Knight (Phil Knight) of Nike is somewhat complicit in all of this too. Having the CEO of the worlds largest Sporting Goods company as your primary benefactor and supplier doesn't hurt. There are starting to be questions about what they do for recruits...such as provide limited edition sneakers for said recruits, to really make you wonder.
Either way, we along with many other Sports reporting outlets will be watching. Because if it looks like a Duck, smells like a Duck and tastes like a Duck, it probably is going to get you in trouble.
Couldn't think of a more appropriate video than this: