Blog Entry

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

Posted on: September 27, 2011 2:16 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi

USC fans wondering why former assistant Willie Mack Garza resigned so abruptly two days before the start of this season now have an answer -- and that answer has a paper trail. According to a report by Yahoo Sports, Willie Lyles informed NCAA investigators that Garza had wired him $1,500 in 2009 to get coveted tailback Lache Seastrunk onto the Tennessee campus for an unofficial visit; Garza had been an assistant of Lane Kiffin at UT at that point, before Kiffin brought Garza with him to USC's staff in 2010.

On unofficial visits, recruits and their families are responsible for all costs incurred, so if Garza supplied that money to Lyles for the purposes of getting Seastrunk to campus, that's a serious violation of NCAA rules. Whether Garza gave money to Lyles is not in question, though; Yahoo Sports has a copy of the Moneygram record of that transaction, and sure enough, there's $1,500 going from Garza to Lyles. Being that Lyles himself told the NCAA that the money was to pay for Seastrunk's plane tickets, which totaled $1,446.80 in a purchase two weeks prior to the Moneygram transaction, there doesn't appear to be much wiggle room for Garza. first reported that Garza's departure from USC was related to an NCAA probe of Tennessee's recruiting practices on the day that Garza resigned, on September 1. That report has now been proven accurate by this Yahoo story. 

For Garza's efforts above and beyond the NCAA guidelines, Tennessee didn't get much; not only did Seastrunk not commit to the Volunteers, of course, he didn't even take an official visit to Knoxville once it was time to make those choices. Seastrunk famously chose Oregon over Auburn in a recruiting process that still leaves a sour taste in Tigers fans' mouths to this day, and once the reports surfaced of Lyles maintaining close relationship with recruits even while getting paid large sums of money by the schools recruiting them, Seastrunk ended up transferring to Baylor.

For as bad as this report makes Garza look in the eyes of the NCAA, however, the real entity in danger here is Tennessee; that athletic department was hit with a failure to monitor charge in August among various major infractions perpetrated by then-head basketball coach Bruce Pearl, and the program is nowhere near completing its two years of probation handed down by the NCAA. If the NCAA finds this to be another egregious flouting of recruiting regulations, Tennessee is liable to be considered a "repeat offender" by the Committee on Infractions, and that easily could mean serious, long-lasting consequences for the entire athletic department.

Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: September 28, 2011 9:32 am

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

I agree, Lane is the one who hired him. Also Lane has the top dog, so with being the head guy in charge, it's reflected on him what his assist. coaches does. I also agree with being excitied the new blood was brought in, after Phil Fulmer left. Change was needed at that time and Lane and his father had NFL experince. But as you guys know things didn't workout as well as we all wanted, so in comes Derek Dooley. Dooley is doing a great job, and I do believe he will guide the Vols back to where this team needs and wants to be. But it will take time.....GO Vols!

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 8:31 am

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

And it is clear you can relate to education being secondary from looking at your hideous spelling and grammar. When you get off the clock at Mickey D's, try going back for your GED.

The athlete is guilty, of course. But anyone around Lame Kitten is clearly as dirty as he is, a fact proven once again. If holier-than-thou Pat Haden doesn't can that loser, then he is also a hypocrite. (Sorry to use such a big word, orangeloser... maybe you'll see that when you get back to middle school.) Except he won't do it, because the University of Spoiled Children has a history of playing by their own rules, all the way back to giving a scholarship in the late 60's to a guy who could not read or write. He was a great slasher thought.... right Orenthal?

Trojans burst under pressure!   Cool

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2011 7:35 am

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

I have NEVER been a member of "Team SEC" for just this reason, dead oaks, $180,000 Heisman Trophy winners, Alabama RBs with $50,000 SUVs, et al.  

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 6:39 am

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

Why is it wherever Lane Kiffin goes, bad news follows him? I have enormous repsect for his father Monte, but even he has been tarnished with the same brush by working with his own son. That must be embarrasing. I love the Vols, and alll their history, but this is a dark patch, and in retrospect, USC did them a favour taking Kiffin off their hands. It would seem Coach Kiffin isn't deterred from his unscrupulous ways with minor personal or even heavy team sanctions. Maybe a suspension is needed to get this guy to understand that CHEATING IS NOT ALLOWED. There is a fine line between aggressive and illegal recruiting, and it seems to me this guy doesn't know or doesn't care where that line is...

Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:48 am

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

It seems like some UT fans have selective memory when it comes to Lane Kiffin.  It was your AD that hired the guy, and most UT fans were thrilled with the hire.
Yeah...that's kinda how that works, we all know who hired him and yes most of us inlcuding me, were excited about it.  He was a young and fired up head coach.  That in itself was a big change from what Vols fans had been used to, no offense Coach Fulmer.  BUT no one was expecting him and his entire d-bag staff to committ the infractions they did or to bounce to USC so quickly.  During which time they were trying to steal the recruits they had brought to Tennessee and push them towards USC.  Lame Kiffin should pay for his actions, not the school that was left in the wake of the disaster also known as his coaching career.  Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron should get their fair share of punishment.  The NCAA has already used a Tennessee coach as their example, time to follow through and use it on the next set of clowns.  Go Vols!

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: September 27, 2011 11:25 pm

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

Coach Lane had nothing to do with this!!!  Absolutely nothing!!  Why are you guys always picking on him?

The money was to get some tatoos....what's wrong with that??   You want him to fit in on campus.   Or maybe it was to get some food....You know those kids get hungry on those trips.  You wouldn't want him to come onto campus and not be coherent. 

Coach Lane had nothing to do with this!!!  Absolutely nothing!!    

Since: Apr 10, 2011
Posted on: September 27, 2011 9:54 pm

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

I agree, what a loser!

Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: September 27, 2011 9:36 pm

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

IMO why I think Willie Lyles, is putting all this info out because he wants to stay in the public eye (media attention). When he was doing his dirt he didn't care to blow the whistle, so why now. This guy is trying to stay relevant, no matter if it's infamous. As for Willie Garza, it's all on him and you can add Lane (shame) Kiffin to the mix. Those guys are long gone from UT so the only thing the NCAA should do is give the Vols a warning. I don't think nothing too much will come of this.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: September 27, 2011 9:35 pm

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

Again, why is Lane Kiffin coaching... ANYTHING. He has never accomplished a damn thing as a head coach, unless I don't know about some Kiwanis League team somewhere he guided to a Church League title.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: September 27, 2011 6:54 pm

Report: Former Vols assistant wired cash to Lyles

The guilty party is teh athlete.. He knew it was wrong... Mama said sonny boy we need to move on from here... he should have said mama.. we need to be moral and do the right thing... moma then beat the dodo out of sonny... any report of the boy knowing how to read or write,... maybe math....nah... baylor said no problem... education is secondary...

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