Oregon Ducks receive official notice

Updated: September 17, 2011, 6:51 PM ET
By Ted Miller | ESPN.com

Oregon acknowledged Saturday that it has received a notice of inquiry from the NCAA concerning the Ducks' use of a football scouting service run by Willie Lyles, which makes official an investigation that was first reported in March.

The NCAA contacted Oregon president Richard Lariviere this past week by phone, the school's news release said, but no other details were provided to the school.

The notice formalizes the NCAA's inquiry into the recruitment of former Ducks running Lache Seastrunk, who recently transferred to Baylor.

Lyles had a close relationship with Seastrunk and also owned a scouting service, to which the Ducks paid $25,000 in 2010 for a "national recruiting package." When Oregon released what Lyles provided the Ducks for that payment, it was mostly worthless, outdated profiles and information.

Lyles, who has been interviewed twice by the NCAA, according to reports, also has been connected to Ducks running back LaMichael James and other former Oregon players. Lyles also was paid for scouting work by LSU and California.

"This notice has been anticipated and is simply the next stage of the process," Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in the statement. "The University of Oregon football program, from Head Coach Chip Kelly through the entire organization, has tremendous respect for the NCAA's important role in monitoring collegiate athletics and, to this end, continues to fully cooperate with the NCAA's ongoing examination.

The release pledged "full cooperation with the NCAA," but Mullens added that "the NCAA prohibits us from publicly discussing any specifics on this matter."

Oregon has retained outside counsel, Bond, Schoeneck and King, to represent it in the matter, and the law firm is also conducting an independent assessment of the football program's use of outside recruiting services.

Ted Miller covers the Pac-12 for ESPN.com.

Ted Miller | email

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