Tag:Recruiting Violations
Posted on: July 19, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 11:50 am
 

NCAA to discuss COI decision on LSU today

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yesterday LSU head coach Les Miles talked about how important it is to cooperate with the NCAA in any investigation, saying that it was "fundamental" and "necessary." Miles said that when asked about LSU's recent discussion with the NCAA regarding its relationship with Will Lyles. While that's a situation that likely won't be resolved for some time, LSU may find out shortly how cooperating with the NCAA can be beneficial to a program when it comes to possible penalties.

In 2010 LSU self-reported recruiting violations that took place in 2009 to the NCAA and had a hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions this past April. Now, according to a tweet from Yahoo's Charles Robinson, the NCAA has a conference call this afternoon to discuss the committee's decision in regards to LSU's case.



The violations LSU reported stem from the recruitment of former defensive tackle signee Akiem Hicks and former assistant coach D.J. McCarthy.  LSU found that McCarthy's recruitment of Hicks included improper phone contact, transportation and housing. Hicks never attended LSU and McCarthy was relieved of his duties after the violations were found. LSU also self-imposed recruiting sanctions on the program by docking two scholarships in its 2011 recruiting class along with its 2012 class.

Whether the NCAA will impose any further sanctions against LSU, well, we'll find out soon enough it seems. Though since LSU self-reported the issue, imposed its own sanctions and cooperated with the NCAA, I wouldn't expect any possible further punishment to be too severe.
Posted on: July 2, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Oregon releases statement regarding Lyles

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Oregon football program took a beating on Friday when a Yahoo! report carpet bombed the entire program with allegations by scouting service owner Willie Lyles. Lyles went into detail about his relationship with the school and recruits he helped Oregon land, such as Lache Seastrunk and Heisman finalist LaMichael James. Lyles even addressed the infamous outdated scouting report that Oregon paid him $25,000 for. That report brought all this attention to the school and to Lyles.

As you'd expect, the school issued a statement about the story on Friday evening, though it didn't say much of anything.

“The University of Oregon athletic department has and will continue to fully cooperate with the NCAA inquiry,” athletic director Rob Mullens said in the statement. “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.”

If Mullens and Oregon are really committed to operating a "program of integrity," well, I know of at least one step they can take.
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.” 
 
 
 
 
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