The early reaction to NCAA scrutiny from Oregon? Bring it on.
ESPN.com's Joe Schad and Mark Schlabach reported Thursday night that NCAA officials are examining whether a Texas man helped steer high school football prospects to Oregon. Ducks officials admitted in a statement the school paid the man $25,000 in the spring of 2010 for recruiting services.
Oregon also claimed it was within NCAA rules. Consider this from The Oregonian:
Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said he is confident that Oregon's actions pass the smell test.
"Our compliance office signed off on it," Mullens said. "So, yes."
The NCAA is specifically reviewing the recruitment of running back Lache Seastrunk, a redshirt freshman from Temple, Texas, sources told ESPN.com, and what role Texas-based trainer Willie Lyles played in Seastrunk's decision to attend Oregon.
The NCAA has been focused of late on the spread of "street agents" in college football -- third parties who insinuate themselves into the recruiting process, either as trainers, camp coaches or employees of recruiting services -- which is far more widespread in basketball but has been growing in football.
Oregon's position is that neither Lyles nor any other "recruiting service" acted as an Oregon representative in recruiting and was paid to steer prospects to the Ducks, which is a clear rules violation. Instead, the school paid -- and kept formal record of those payments -- for scouting and recruiting services.
At issue for Oregon: Is the NCAA hungry to bite the street agent or the program? Or both?
No matter what happens with the NCAA, "the connection with Lyles is a disgrace to the university," John Canzano writes.
Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples on the matter.
George Schroeder writes that whatever the endgame, Oregon did something stupid.
The good folks at Addicted to Quack: "At this point, I'm not worried."