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Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Lots of skepticism about Lyles, Oregon

By Ted Miller

Here's some reaction to Oregon's release of documents on Monday that seem to fall woefully short of $25,000 worth of recruiting information paid to Willie Lyles.
The guess here is many Ducks fans are slapping their foreheads to distract themselves from a sinking feeling in their gut. Others are shaking their fists at the messengers, because they really don't like what the message suggests.

The issue is fairly simple: Can Oregon sit in front of the NCAA and claim it got something of reasonable value from Lyles, who is known as a "street agent" by folks who speak ill of him. It doesn't have to be $25,000 worth of recruiting info. Oregon has a right to get ripped off. But there has to be at least an iota of legitimacy.

Otherwise, the Ducks could face some significant NCAA issues, even if the rules governing scouting services are murky.

There perhaps is space here for an explanation. Maybe Lyles was light on the book evaluations, heavy on the video, which hasn't been made available to the media. And if you don't hear from an Oregon spokesman immediately, that doesn't necessarily mean the Ducks are sunk. The process of an NCAA investigation typically yields information only begrudgingly.

Still, behind the yuck-yucks from reporters over the absurdity of Monday's revelations, there lies the potential for real consequences for a program that had stepped firmly into the void atop the Pac-12 after USC's tumble.