With the success of Oregon’s football program last year came a lot of national attention and it’s not all pleasant. The NCAA is out in force lately and a spotlight was turned to Eugene with curiosity about a payment to Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services. Currently USC is feeling the wrath of NCAA investigations – they were investigated over Reggie Bush possibly receiving improper benefits. USC’s appeal has been denied and they are still possibly looking at even more trouble with alleged recruiting violations by head coach Lane Kiffin during his time at the University of Tennessee. The biggest news surrounding this issue came out of Ohio State when head coach Jim Tressel resigned recently amid an investigation involving players trading memorabilia for tattoos. Tressel had admitted that he had received information about this scandal but did not share that information with his bosses or the NCAA. Now the NCAA could be investigating up to 50 “vehicle purchases” surrounding Ohio State’s athletes and their families. The trend seems to be that once the NCAA has their hooks in a program they dig deep and what can seem like the worst becomes only the beginning. So now we Duck fans have to start hearing about what could happen to the Oregon program. There has been some recent talk about possible NCAA investigations on the Duck’s program – so far the most concerning speculation is all based in rumors.
The NCAA was asking Oregon questions about its use of two recruiting services, including one run by a man with connections to Oregon running backs LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk. There are documents that show Oregon paid $25,000 to Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services in Houston. Apparently the payment was given to Lyles shortly after Seastrunk committed to Oregon. The timing made this payment look like a reward for Seastrunk rather than a payment for “recruiting services.” For Oregon this all started in March and nothing scathing has come from it but the concern is that typically when the NCAA starts investigating, something seems to emerge. The hope is that this all goes away and fizzles out as an annoying side effect of national success. Hopefully this isn’t the tangled trap that causes more questions – so we’ll have to wait and see if any damage will be done. As a Duck fan I can only hope
there is nothing substantial to be concerned about.