Tag:Dan Wetzel
Posted on: July 1, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 1:24 pm
 

Lyles talks about his relationship with Oregon

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you're an Oregon fan you may want to pour yourself a drink and sit down before you continue reading any further.

In a report released by Yahoo on Friday, Will Lyles -- the "street agent" who has been the subject of an NCAA investigation at Oregon in recent months -- detailed his relationship with Oregon in helping the school land recruits like LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk amongst others with Yahoo's Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel. Amongst the things talked about is the $25,000 the school paid Lyles for recruiting reports that eventually turned out to be a few years old, and things don't look good for Oregon if Lyles' side of the story is true.
Embattled scouting service owner Will Lyles told Yahoo! Sports that University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly personally approved a controversial $25,000 fee that sparked an ongoing NCAA investigation and was in constant contact as Lyles provided the Ducks with recruiting assistance that may have violated NCAA rules.

In a wide-ranging, multi-day interview, Lyles said Kelly "scrambled" in late February and asked Lyles to submit retroactive player profiles to justify the $25,000 payment to his company, just days before the transaction was revealed in a March 3 Yahoo! Sports report. Lyles also provided details of his fledgling company – Complete Scouting Services (CSS) – as well as the extent of his relationship with numerous Texas high school stars and his role in Ducks' recruitment of certain prospects.

Lyles insists Oregon did not make a direct request or payment to steer recruits to Eugene. However, he now says Oregon did not pay him for his work as a traditional scout, but for his influence with top recruits and their families and his ability to usher prospects through the signing and eligibility process. That dual role as mentor to prospects and paid contractor to Oregon is believed to be a focus of the NCAA probe.

"I look back at it now and they paid for what they saw as my access and influence with recruits," Lyles said. "The service I provided went beyond what a scouting service should … I made a mistake and I'm big enough of a man to admit I was wrong."
While Chip Kelly declined to comment on the story, Oregon spokesman Dave Williford said that the school's stance "hasn't changed from our original statement" and the the school believes "it did nothing wrong." A statement that is contradicted by Lyles saying that Oregon's assistant director of football operations Josh Gibson played a role in bringing Lache Seastrunk to Eugene.
Lyles said Oregon's assistant director of football operations, Josh Gibson, had direct knowledge – and played an ancillary role – in Lyles helping Temple (Texas) High School star Lache Seastrunk petition to have his grandmother, rather than his mother, sign his national letter of intent with the Ducks in February 2010. Seastrunk's mother, who expressed opposition to her son about attending Oregon, otherwise could have blocked the signing.

"Indirectly I played a pivotal role in [Seastrunk signing with Oregon]," Lyles said.
The report then goes on to detail how Lyles helped a number of players make their way to Oregon, including having LaMichael James transfer to a school in Arkansas during his final semester of high school so that he wouldn't have to take a standardized test that could have affected his eligibility to play college football. Lyles also said that Chip Kelly, who was then Oregon's offensive coordinator, believed the transfer was a "great idea."

All in all, there's a whole lot in the Yahoo report that does not shine a good light on Oregon and it's relationship with Lyles. I recommend heading over there to read the entire thing. That is, unless you're an Oregon fan. If that's the case you should probably just pour yourself another drink. 

As for the school's reaction to the story, athletic director Rob Mullens released a statement on Friday night.

“The University of Oregon athletic department has and will continue to fully cooperate with the NCAA inquiry,” said Mullens. “Our department is committed to helping the NCAA in any way possible and until their work is complete, we are unable to comment further.

“Oregon athletics remains committed to operating a program of integrity.” 
Posted on: March 28, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Gene Chizik won't succumb to 'energy vampires'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Gene Chizik is coming off of the longest, most memorable season of his coaching career. The Auburn head coach led the Tigers to a national title, but he also had to spend just about the entire season dealing with the Cam Newton saga. In fact, since the NCAA hasn't officially concluded its investigation into Cam Newton's recruitment at Auburn, there's a good chance he'll have to deal with more questions about him in 2011 even though Newton has moved on to the NFL.

Not that Chizik plans on letting any of it be a distraction, or to let it all drag him and his team down. No, Chizik has no time for those "energy vampires."

“Whatever people want to say or whatever somebody is comfortable talking about in terms of talk radio or other places, we have absolutely no control over that,” Chizik told ESPN.com. “But here’s what we know: We are the national champions, and we were the best football team in the United States last year. There’s nothing I have to do to defend our honor for that. 

“They’re going to say what they’re going to say and discuss what they’re going to discuss, and you have absolutely no control over that. I call those energy vampires. They’re not going to suck my energy out worrying about that. That’s how we work.” 

This is where I wish I had Photoshop so I could produce a Twilight poster with Gene Chizik surrounded by Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans. Since there are werewolves in Twilight, as well, I'd have Dan Wetzel and Charles Robinson in the background in wolf form. I tried to do this in Paint, but frankly, I just don't have the talent to pull it off.

Which is a shame for all of us, really.

As for Chizik, while dealing with the energy vampires for another season may be a problem, I don't think it's going to be as big a problem as trying to replace Cam Newton.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 11:24 am
 

PODCAST: 'Death To The BCS' with Dan Wetzel

(Will Brinson, our NFL blogging bro here at CBSSports.com, sat down to chat with Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel about his new book, Death To The BCS.  The book goes on sale October 14 and is a must read for any fan of college football.)


Posted by Will Brinson
Special to the College Football Blog

I always say that our podcasts are good (and they are), but this one is particularly awesome, even if it's not totally "NFL-centric" (the plan was to chat some NFL with our guest, but, well, you'll see), as it features Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports columnist and one of the authors of "Death to the BCS," a book which becomes available to the public starting 10/14 (which is probably tomorrow if you're a regular here).

I've read the book, it's fantastic, and I've got a review coming soon, but if you've got a spare 25 minutes today, you should absolutely listen to this podcast -- Wetzel and I talk about the ridiculousness of the BCS' spending on bowl games, the fabrications the "Cartel" keeps going in order to stop the promulgation of a playoff, the various ways confusion and corruption are used in pro-BCS arguments, why even the guys who do the math for the BCS don't like it and much, much more.

Enjoy below, buy the book at Amazon here, and don't forget to SUBSCRIBE VIA ITUNES.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com