It probably was a nervous weekend for Oregon fans. The NCAA is taking a hard look at the football program and whether a Texas man, whom the school paid $25,000 in the spring of 2010 for recruiting services, helped steer high school football prospects to Eugene.
Some links on the matter.
John Canzano of The Oregonian finds there's a lot to be suspicious about concerning a "street agent" named Willie Lyles and his operation.
George Schroeder of the Eugene Register-Guard arrived at the same conclusion.
Not all recruiting services are dubious: They actually provide information and have little contact with athletes.
More on Oregon's release of documents to the NCAA.
A view from the state of Washington.
If you missed Bruce Feldman's insights, you should check them out here.
Here are some notable details.
Lyles' business, according to Canzano, "is run out of Lyles' two-bedroom condominium with no evidence that it's registered as a business with the state of Texas."
Also per Canzano, "Lyles has mentor-like connections with a line of Ducks recruits that includes redshirt freshman running back Lache Seastrunk and Heisman finalist LaMichael James. A high-ranking UO athletic department source said Thursday that coach Chip Kelly, and others, became aware as they recruited Seastrunk that Lyles was involved in a personal relationship with the running back's mother."
Per Schroeder: "The domain name for the new company’s website -- a necessity to comply with NCAA rules for scouting services -- was registered March 16, 2010, three weeks after Lyles’ invoice to Oregon (Feb. 22) and 13 days before Oregon’s payment (March 29)."
And there is this from Rob Moseley of the Register-Guard: "The website for Complete Scouting Services on Friday evening listed just such a “national package” of high school recruiting information at a price of $25,000. Earlier in the day, however, there was no reference to prices for high school information, only junior colleges, at a cost of $15,000 for a national package."
Fair to say that NCAA will ask a lot of questions.
The key issue is whether investigators find that any third parties -- Lyles -- specifically recruited for Oregon and then got paid for their services. That would violate NCAA rules.