Friday, March 4, 2011

NCAA Investigates Possible Oregon Recruiting Violations

Oregon's 2010 top recruit Lache Seastrunk is in the center of
a NCAA probe for recruiting violations.
Oregon faces a NCAA probe into recruiting violations.

The NCAA is investigating the involvement of trainer Willie Lyles in the recruitment of Oregon's 2010 top recruit Lache Seastrunk.  So far Oregon has maintained that the NCAA has had no communication with the school about any violations.

The probe centers around the implication that the trainer was payed $25,000 after Lache signed with the Ducks, choosing them over other Pac-10 rivals Cal, and USC.  Joe Schad is reporting that the Ducks admit to paying Lyles for his recruiting services, but they claim they have not broken any of the NCAA's recruiting laws.

Lyles was personally connected to Seastrunk, he was Lache's personal trainer and mentor in Temple, Texas.  Lyles also has a history of recruiting for the Ducks, but  this scenario seems to be different.  In Schad's report he sites a source which contends that the $25,000 dollars which was paid to Lyles was more than had been paid in previous recruiting jobs.  He was usually paid $16,500.  $9000 is a pretty big jump in salary.  One source said that the average price of high school film and recruiting is around $5000.

The NCAA will also investigate the relationship between Lyles and heisman candidate LeMichael James.  He has been quoted as calling himself James' trainer and advisor.

It should be noted that Lyles is not only a scout for Oregon.  He has ties to players that have signed with many Big-12 teams and SEC teams, along with Oregon's rival USC.

In Schad's story, he quotes Chip Kelly as saying, "Most programs purchase recruiting services, our compliance office is aware of it. Will has a recruiting service that met NCAA rules and we used him in 2010." Oregon has also maintained their stance of innocence and remain confident that they have not broken any recruiting laws.  So far Oregon's athletic department has not withheld any information when asked.  They have records of the payment made, and as Chip Kelly said, they believe this payment was reasonable within the NCAA guidelines.  

So far this investigation is in the preliminary stages, and there is nothing to suggest that these investigations will negatively effect the Ducks' football program.  

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