EUGENE OR - OCTOBER 21: Head Coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks watches the game against the UCLA Bruins on October 21 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
By now you have all seen or heard about Wille Lyles supposedly coming to clean to Yahoos! Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel.
It is no secret that I am not a fan of Robinson. He and Jason Cole still haven't proved that former USC Basketball Coach Tim Floyd paid off Rodney Guillory. So, obviously I always take what Robinson writes with a grain of salt. Wetzel has his own journalistic integrity issues dating back to when he was pulled off the Reggie Bush story.
That being said...
Willie Lyles opens up about his relationship with Oregon and Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly.
You can read the rest for yourself but two things stand out...
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 said he spoke with NCAA enforcement staffers for six hours in early May as part of their ongoing investigation. He said he didn’t reveal the stories concerning Kelly, James and Seastrunk to investigators because the specific topics never came up in questioning.
I wonder what they talked about? It would not surprise me if some of Lyles' "other" clients were part of that discussion.
But this is the odd thing to me...
That said, Lyles also insisted he didn't steer prospects to Oregon, or any other school.
According to Yahoo!:"There was no quid pro quo," Lyles said, claiming no school, including Oregon, ever asked him to direct a player. "Never. It wouldn’t make sense for me to help one school. I was trying to get every school to buy my service. That was my business."
Lyles is trying to portray that he was snookered by Oregon...
"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."
Meanwhile if you peruse the Oregon boards over the last few months more than a few UO fans have said it was Oregon that was defrauded. That doesn't appear to be the case for two obvious reasons.
1) UO never asked for their money back or publicly called out Lyles as being a fraud. If I wwas defrauded of 25K you can gaurantee that I would be demanding my money back in a very public way and I would tell every other collegue in the business that Lyles was bad news. Oregon has kept quiet.
2) It is right there in the Yahoo! report...Kelly and his staff "scrambled" to get the national package that Lyles should have had readily available if he was a legit service.
So who is the disgruntled party in this?
Who knows where this ends up. Even if the NCAA considers this minor Kelly still comes off looking pretty dirty.
I am sure Oregon fans are thrilled with that image.
Welcome to the club Ducks!
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Here are some other links on all of this...
Will Lyles Opens Up, Implicating Oregon Scandal - Burnt Orange Nation
Will Lyles reveals his relationship with Chip Kelly and Oregon football, as a scandal rapidly unfolds.
Chip Kelly clearly isn't doing things 'the right way' at Oregon - Stewart Mandel
Oregon coach Chip Kelly is known as a master tactician, a guy who employs a unique offensive attack and frenetic pace to give his teams an edge over opponents. It turns out Kelly was using a far more ethically questionable approach to give his program an edge in recruiting. Following Friday's explosive Yahoo! Sports interview with controversial middleman Will Lyles, Kelly may soon be known more for the latter than the former.
Duck and Cover - KansasCity.com
The late, great Notorious B.I.G. once said, "Mo money, Mo problems."
Scout Will Lyles: Villain or victim? - Yahoo!
The ex-recruiting service operator, whose dealings with Oregon have prompted an NCAA probe, tries to move on after his world and business crashes.
Graphic: Phone calls and texts between Oregon coaches and Willie Lyles | OregonLive.com
A graphical representation of phone calls and text messages between Ducks coaches and Willie Lyles from December 2007 to March 2011.