Tag:NCAA Investigations
Posted on: March 15, 2011 1:08 pm
 

NCAA looking at LSU's connection to Lyles

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Oregon has recently come under fire for their connection to Will Lyles, who runs Complete Scouting Services. The NCAA sees Lyles as a "street agent" who steer players to certain schools, and began looking at Oregon after the school paid Lyles $24,000. The NCAA wants to know if LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk chose Oregon on their own, or whether Lyles helped push them there, which would make him a booster.

And we all know that you can't pay boosters.

Still, as we've gone over on the blog before, Oregon is not the only school who has paid Lyles for his services. Another school that has used Lyles recently is LSU, paying him $6,000 this past December, and now it seems that the NCAA is looking at the Tigers as well.
Last week, two NCAA investigators interviewed Trevon Randle, who signed with LSU last month, about his contact with Lyles, according to a source familiar with the situation. In addition to Randle, an outside linebacker at Clear Springs High School in League City, Texas, investigators interviewed his coach, Clint Hartman, and Randle’s father, Raymond Edwards.
Hartman declined comment last week about his meeting with the NCAA investigators. But in January he told FOXSports.com that LSU defensive line coach Brick Haley accompanied Lyles to Clear Springs High last spring in a visit about Randle.
If Lyles assisted in or was involved in the recruitment of any player to LSU, the NCAA would consider him a booster and any payment to him would be considered a violation of Bylaw 13. The rule prohibits boosters from directing a recruit to a school.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn declined comment Monday about investigators conducting interviews about Lyles. She cited the NCAA’s policy of not commenting on current, pending or potential investigations.
According to Hartman, when he saw Lyles and Haley show up to one of his practices last spring, he told Lyles to go to the parking lot away from his players. He then would call Haley and tell him he didn't want Lyles anywhere near his team. Which didn't do much to keep LSU from landing Trevon Randle, as he'd announce his commitment to LSU in February 2010 after visiting the school for a junior day.

Randle says he consulted his parents before making the decision, and that Lyles is close to his father Raymond Edwards, and Haley who helped recruit him to the school.
Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Luke Fickell may fill in for Jim Tressel

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While we don't know what the NCAA and the Big Ten are going to do with Ohio State and Jim Tressel, we do know that the school itself has suspended Tressel for the first two games of the 2011 season against Akron and Toledo. Which means that Ohio State needs to figure out who will take over the role of head coach during those two games.

While there isn't exactly a rush to make a decision, and there's some uncertainty as to who would make the decision, the consensus in Columbus is that it will likely be co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
With Tressel suspended for a major violation of NCAA rules, the Buckeyes will need to designate an acting coach for games in September against Akron and Toledo. The buzz has been building that the nod will go to co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
Tressel used to have an assistant head coach, but that person, Darrell Hazell, left in December to become head coach at Kent State. Since then, speculation has been that Tressel would recommend Fickell for the position this spring. Fickell coaches linebackers and works with fellow coordinator Jim Heacock on the defensive game plan.
As is only natural at this point, the Columbus Dispatch also did a quick background check on Fickell and found that he's had only four minor rules violations in 10 years at Ohio State, and none since 2005. Which, in case you aren't completely aware of how many violations actually occur, is pretty good. Minor violations happen all the time as the NCAA has a whole lot of rules. Some make sense, and some are ridiculous, and plenty of coaches violate the rules without realizing it at the time.

What Fickell really has going for him, though, is that of the four minor rules violations he committed, he didn't wait eight months to report them.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:13 pm
 

Brady Hoke calls Tressel 'a good man'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been nearly 48 hours since Yahoo's story about Jim Tressel covering up Ohio State violations first broke, and I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed with the reaction of Michigan fans everywhere. I've found that when you have no dog in the fight, watching two fan bases go at each other, particularly ones in a rivalry as fierce as that of Ohio State and Michigan, is some of the finest entertainment on this series of tubes we call the internet.

As I scour the internet today, though, there's a surprising lack of "LOL" coming from the Michigan side of the rivalry. I mean, considering all the fun Ohio State fans had with Rich Rodriguez, who only made his players practice more than they should, and was labeled a cheater, isn't this when Michigan fans should be unleashing hell upon Buckeyes everywhere?

Making matters worse, there's this quote from new Michigan head coach Brady Hoke.

"[Jim Tressel's] a good man, and I have a lot of respect for him, and they'll fight through that situation, and it will have no effects on the rivalry," Hoke told the Detroit Free Press. "I've known Jim Tressel a long time. He's a quality guy, a doggone good football coach, and I don't know that situation," Hoke said. "I know what we're focused on at Michigan."
More on Ohio State investigation

He's a good man and a doggone good football coach? That's the best you have, Michigan? I know that Jim Tressel publicly supported Rich Rodriguez during his NCAA investigation, but I think we now know why The Sweatervest did that. Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones and what not.

I mean, this is supposed to be one of the greatest rivalries in college sports, if not sport itself. You guys are slipping. This love-fest is giving the rivalry more of an Iowa-Purdue "we needed a rival for both these teams, so we gave them each other" feel.

Step it up, Big Blue.
Posted on: March 5, 2011 2:09 pm
 

Oregon complying with NCAA request

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Following a report on Thursday that Oregon had paid nearly $30,000 to two different scouting services, including $25,000 to Will Lyles, the NCAA requested documents from the school related to the services acquired. On Friday evening, the school released a statement saying it would compy with the NCAA's request.
The University of Oregon contacted the Pacific-10 Conference Friday morning regarding scouting services that specialize in the identification of potential student-athletes, according to the Ducks' Director of Athletics Rob Mullens Friday.
As a result, the athletics department has been asked by the NCAA to provide documents related to the purchase of services provided by scouting agencies contracted by the school's football program.
Mullens said the athletics department first called the Pac-10 office Friday morning and the NCAA contacted the University's compliance office to request the documents later that same day.
"We have been asked to provide a series of documents by the NCAA and intend to fully cooperate," Mullens said. "I reiterate that it is our belief that the purchase of such services is within the allowable NCAA guidelines."
Of course, what the NCAA is interested in is the purpose of the money the school paid Lyles, not the practice of using recruiting services. Schools use them all the time to help find talent that may have slipped beneath the radar, but the NCAA is more interested in the role Lyles may have played in bringing running back Lache Seastrunk to Oregon.

Lyles has a mentoring relationship with Seastrunk, and he was also tied to LaMichael James. Two running backs from the state of Texas who ended up going to Oregon.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 2:34 pm
 

Report: NCAA talking to Auburn recruit

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Here's some more good news for Auburn today. Earlier on Wednesday we wrote about a report saying that the NCAA's investigation of Cam Newton is ongoing, but the good news for Auburn fans is that the NCAA hasn't found anything yet that could jeopardize its championship season. The problem for Auburn is that it seems that the recruitment of Cam Newton isn't the only investigation the NCAA is currently running involving Auburn.

According to a report on SportsByBrooks.com, the NCAA was in Louisiana to meet with Auburn recruit Greg Robinson and discuss his recruitment to the school.
Monday NCAA investigators descended on Thibodaux, Louisiana, to meet individually with Auburn football recruit Greg Robinson, Robinson’s mother Lydia, Robinson associate Sean Nelson and Robinson’s former Thibodaux High School Coach Dennis Lorio.
At issue in those meetings was Robinson’s recruitment by Auburn, which raised red flags after an investigative piece by Thayer Evans at FOXSports.com in early January.
In a private meeting held at Thibodaux high school on Monday, Lorio met with an NCAA investigator and a Thibodaux high school official.
The original article by Thayer Evans can be found here.

According to the report, during the talk, Lorio was asked about the recruitment of Robinson and his Thibodaux teammate Trovon Reed. The NCAA also wanted to know about the role Sean Nelson played with the recruitment of the players to Auburn and his relationship with the Auburn coaching staff. While the NCAA was investigating the recruitment of these players, it seems its larger focus is on "street agents" like Nelson, and these investigations are "taking place around the country."

Whatever the case is, this certainly isn't another headache that Auburn wants to be dealing with right now.
Posted on: November 18, 2010 2:17 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2010 2:18 pm
 

VIDEO: Cam Newton song parody

Posted by Tom Fornelli

This video is popping up just about everywhere, so I guess we might as well post it here.  To be honest, I'm kind of surprised it took so long for something like this to pop up on the internet.  I guess since this whole Cam Newton story keeps developing with new plot twists just about everyday, everyone has been too busy trying to figure out what's going on to take the time to make fun of it.

Though if people have enough time to come up with insane yet enthralling conspiracy theories on message boards, you'd think someone would find the time to put on a Halloween pimp costume hat, grab an acoustic guitar, a camcorder and get to work.  So, without further ado, I present to you, some dude named Moonpie.




Courtesy of EDSBS
Posted on: November 17, 2010 4:18 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2010 4:19 pm
 

Report: FBI probe connected to Auburn booster

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Cam Newton saga continues at Auburn, as the NCAA continues to investigate the circumstances of the Heisman front-runner's recruitment after he left Florida.  Things have gotten so serious that the FBI is now involved, and that is never a good thing for anybody.  For the FBI to be involved there has to be something going on behind all this that isn't just limited to college football.

And now we may have an idea in why the FBI cares about Cam Newton.

According to a report on TMZ, the FBI's investigation has now branched out towards an Auburn booster who has given over $1 million to the school and was recently arrested in a bribery sting.
According to sources connected to the probe ... FBI agents looking into the Newton recruiting controversy are also asking about Milton McGregor -- a dog track owner arrested last month for allegedly bribing Alabama politicians to vote pro gambling.

We're told agents asked someone connected to the Newton case if he was familiar with McGregor or the bribery scandal. 

It's unclear what, if any, direct connection McGregor has to Newton. Back in 2008, McGregor did donate a million bucks toward construction of a new arena at Auburn.

While it's unclear what connection that McGregor could have to Newton, it's not exactly all that difficult to do the math.  McGregor has given money to Auburn in the past.  Cecil Newton allegedly was trying to sell his son to the highest bidder.  I'm not saying, but I'm just saying.

Whatever the case, this isn't good news for Auburn or Cam Newton.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:49 am
 

Kiffin says Newton never asked UT for money

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember the good old days of the SEC when the only "controversy" was what Lane Kiffin had done or said?  Then Kiffin left Knoxville for USC, which has had its own issues with the NCAA lately, but not before he made an attempt to recruit Cam Newton while Newton was at Blinn Junior College after leaving Florida.   So, naturally, now that the college football world is one of Newton, Newton, Newton and more Newton, it only makes sense that somebody would ask Kiffin if anything unseemly took place during Newton's recruitment.

When asked directly if Newton or anyone claiming to represent Newton ever asked for money during the recruitment, Kiffin said "no."  Though he also said that Tennessee wasn't that actively involved in recruiting him, because he wasn't a great fit for the Tennessee system.  Newton was never offered a scholarship by Tennessee, something Kiffin said "doesn't make me look very smart."

Kiffin also went on to say that his time spent in the SEC gave him a unique perspective on the situation, because "you hear so many things down there."

"I remember so many things said about me that weren't accurate," Kiffin said. "It was a good lesson learned. If something comes on the radio or in print, I don't think there are any facts to it at all until someone shows some proof. This is a perfect example."

Kiffin is the second head coach to recruit Newton, along with Bob Stoops, who has come out and said that money was never involved during the process.  Which is a good sign for all those Auburn fans hoping Newton is cleared of all this, but it doesn't prove anything.  All it means is that Newton is either innocent, or that Oklahoma and Tennessee were never really in the running for his services.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com