- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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While Willie Lyles provided Oregon comically worthless recruiting material for $25,000 -- at least as far as what Oregon has made public -- what he gave California for $5,000 in 2010 appears to be of legitimate value, according to multiple reports.
Writes Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News:
Monday, [California] made available a prospect list provided by Lyles entitled “2010 Texas recruits.”
All of the 49 prospects were found to be members of the class of 2010 – the list includes Oregon signee Lache Seastrunk, whose relationship with Lyles is part of the NCAA probe — and all but one is from Texas. The exception, Trovon Reed, is a receiver from Thibodaux, La., whose recruitment by Auburn is reportedly under examination by the NCAA.
The prospect list includes contact information such as street address, email address and home and cell numbers, all of which has been redacted by Cal, which cited federal privacy laws.
From The Oregonian:
Seastrunk's relationship with Lyles is at the heart of the NCAA’s investigation into Oregon’s dealings with Lyles, who was paid $25,000 for a recruiting package that, based on what has been released, pales in comparison to the one Cal received for 80 percent less money.
LSU also received poor value for its $6,000 payment to Lyles.
This doesn't have much to do with the NCAA's inquiry at Oregon, though it does answer one issue: Lyles did provide a legitimate service at least once and wasn't only an alleged street agent/influence peddler. Seeing that all of the previously released material from him was worthless, that's new information. Though it's notable that it appears he gathered much of his information while working for another recruiting service: “That’s their problem," Cal coach Jeff Tedford told Wilner.
Also, California fans who were worried that the Bears might get nipped by the NCAA here can probably relax. We now better understand why Tedford and athletic director Sandy Barbour seemed so confident in their position, and Barbour told Wilner they haven't heard anything else from the NCAA since they handed over information pertaining to the Bears work with Lyles.