This morning I linked up Lyles' hour-long interview with the Oregonian's John Canzano.
Well, it would appear that Lyles enjoyed being on the radio so much that he has been hitting the airwaves a lot today. So much so that Jason Whitlock is hammering Lyles today as an attention whore.
In the era of the $5-million-a-year coach, busting schools, coaches, athletes, administrators, parents, office agents and "street agents" for violating NCAA rules is one of the easier tricks in sports journalism.
Willie Lyles is the lowest-hanging fruit, an imbecile who desires fame.
OK, I can see where he is coming from...it does appear that Lyles is telling his story to anyone who is willing to listen, fanning the flames that keep the hyperbole going, but keep in mind that Whitlock is the same person who spoke glowingly of Lyles a few months back when he interviewed him on his podcast.
My how the tables have turned...go figure.
At this point who knows what Lyles' motivation is. I know we have heard Lyles say that he wanted to set the record straight because he felt that Oregon ruined his good name.
Fine...That is his right.
I know many are calling into question Lyles credibility...even me.
I mean, how does a guy say that he really doesn't know the NCAA's rules but knows how to get LaMichael James to transfer out of the state of Texas so he won't have to take a mandatory test and then find a way to cut Seastrunk's mom out of the loop in regards to who would sign the LOI.
In the end all those minor details really don't matter, people are talking about this situation...a lot.
There are a million possibilities and opinions. But in the end the only thing that matters is what the NCAA believes. If they want to nail you they will pull things out of thin air to cobble a story together...that is what Oregon fans need to understand and worry about. The NCAA is going to get a second bite at the apple because they have asked to speak with Lyles a second time.
They have egg on their face for spending six hours with Lyles and allegedly not asking anything about Oregon. Lyles singing like a canary forces their hand and they may now have their own axe to grind with Oregon because Lyles exposed the NCAA as incompetent.
This whole situation may be all in the gray area of the NCAA handbook, Ducks fans like to point that out...."nothing to see here". But if you have to rationalize these types of things as being in the gray area and not a big deal then you have already lost in the court of public opinion. Even if Kelly is in the clear in his original dealings with Lyles, the supposed "cover-up" is always the thing that brings you down.
Ducks fans can't be happy that Chip Kelly, even if not guilty of breaking the rules, has put the up and coming Oregon football program on the radar screen of scrutiny for cutting corners.
Do all programs do some form of cutting corners, bending the rules or outright cheating? Probably, but it only matters if you get caught. Nobody will care if they don't know. Oregon, guilty or not, is now seen as suspicious and instead of celebrating their achievements that they now have they instead have to answer questions of just how they reached that level of achievement.
That's too bad, because in strictly football terms the Ducks have been fun to watch. I am certainly not passing judgement...obviously, USC has their own issues.But because we went through our own NCAA mess we can speak on it with authority...
I just find it peculiar that some Ducks fans sound a lot like USC fans when we were waiting for the NCAA to make their ruling. It is a completely different tone than when they called us cheaters...the shoe is on the other foot now.
Logic doesn't work when your are dealing with the NCAA...you can try and parse or read into the bylaws all you want. USC fans know this first hand. Being paranoid or expecting the worst is not a bad thing in a situation like this....it's a heck of a lot better to be worried now, expecting the worst, then to whistle past the graveyard and be blindsided later.
We know that only too well.
I don't know where this Oregon situation ends up. It has been interesting to watch but I really don't have a dog in this hunt.
Willie Lyles has an axe to grind just like Lloyd Lake...and when a guy like Lake or Lyles start talking you have no idea which way it will go because you don't know what will come out of his mouth next.
The anxiety of the unknown is the real kick in the pants here.
Ducks fans should not be surprised if the NCAA decides it's their turn in the barrel.