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NCAA digs deeper, looks for connection between Lyles and LSU

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Alice is going deeper into the rabbit hole.

Two weeks ago, in what seemed to be the connection to radio host Colin Cowherd‘s cryptic prediction that the NCAA was about to drop the hammer on yet another top-25 program, Yahoo! and ESPN reported that the financial ties between Oregon and a Texas-based scouting service were being called into question.

The investigation centers around Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services and his connection to Oregon running backs Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James. Oregon has a history with Lyles’ scouting service, and although the Ducks’ athletic department has been upfront with presenting financial records to the NCAA, Oregon did pay Lyles an eyebrow-raising $16,500 more for his services last year after Seastrunk signed his LOI to Oregon in 2010. 

With that investigation ongoing, the NCAA is now apparently looking into a possible connection between Lyles and new LSU signee Trevon Randle, a linebacker from League City, Texas. The NCAA has reportedly interviewed Randle about the situation.

LSU, like Oregon, has admitted to paying for scouting services — which, for the record, is allowed by NCAA bylaws. Associate athletic director Herb Vincent said LSU paid $6,000 for different scouting services this past year, including Complete Scouting Services, and that the practice is “a normal course of business.”

Vincent also said he has not been contacted from the NCAA about Lyles.

Not to paint a bad picture of Lyles (but we’re going to anyway — or, at least, Thayer Evans will), but in a recent FOX Sports report on the recruitment of Seastrunk, Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite even went so far as to call Lyles “bad news” and “a street agent”.

Suffice it to say, things are gaining momentum in a bad way for Lyles, and potentially, any school connected with him. If evidence is found that Lyles influenced a recruit to sign with a particular school, that could be seen as impermissible contact with an agent in the eyes of the NCAA.

The NCAA will continue to look down the rabbit hole. It’ll be interesting to see what they find on the other side.

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21 Responses to “NCAA digs deeper, looks for connection between Lyles and LSU”
  1. tigersgeaux says: Mar 15, 2011 11:16 AM

    The NCAA should look. LSU should be transparent and helpful, as we hope that Oregon was transparent and helpful. If these recruiting services are expressly allowable by NCAA by-laws, then what is the possible violation? If their investigation is centering on Lyles, and and his activities as a “street agent” and the NCAA will make new regs on “street agents” which may bend or break NCAA rules, that is fine.

    Don’t think there would be any major violations connected with universities and Lyles or recruiting services since that is a permissible but some fine tuning of the rule may be in order.

  2. Ben Kercheval says: Mar 15, 2011 11:27 AM

    tigersgeaux,

    I added this in to answer your question because you raised a good one:

    “If evidence is found that Lyles influenced a recruit to sign with a particular school, that could be seen as impermissible contact with an agent in the eyes of the NCAA.”

  3. tigersgeaux says: Mar 15, 2011 12:40 PM

    Ben: Good observation. However, if Lyles was being paid by Oregon, and some other possible football programs, then this impermissible contact would be traced to Lyles but not to a program unless the program instructed Lyles or knowingly used Lyles not only to identify and provide information on a high school player but also to actually solicit this player to sign with a particular school.

    It seems that Lyles could get by the rule, if he only provided photos, contact information, stats, etc. and not actually any recruiting for a particular school. The school could get by if it only paid for information about a possible recruit and did not instruct or know before or after the fact that Lyles allegedly recruited the player. Many schools pay for scouting services and so far LSU has not admitted to doing business with Lyles or his company.

    As indicated in the first post, LSU will need to be completely transparent and forthcoming and assist the investigators from the NCAA and it may not get much farther. Sounds like the NCAA may need some more by-laws to take care of this type of situation, without nuances.

  4. teke184 says: Mar 15, 2011 1:44 PM

    LSU better be transparent on this because, from where I’m sitting, they appear to have nothing to hide.

    I went to the CSS site and dug through the price lists on there. The only way it appears possible to run up exactly $6000 in services, which Vincent named as the amount paid to CSS, is to buy two states worth of JUCO coverage at $3000 each.

    That tells me two things:

    1. Randle shouldn’t have been part of any coverage package they bought, as he’s a HS player rather than a JUCO player

    2. LSU’s history of recruiting JUCO players makes this a realistic possibility, especially since they successfully recruited JUCO superstar Zach Mettenberger recently.

    It doesn’t completely dispel any questions that may arise, but certainly looks plausible enough on the surface.

  5. buckeyefan1026 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:15 PM

    Hopefully some good can come from my Buckeyes mistakes and these teams will be comepletely up front about everything. I am tired of hearing of schools being severely punished and ruining seasons… lets get back to the football please!

  6. southernpatriots says: Mar 15, 2011 3:38 PM

    buckeyefan1026: Though we have to swallow a little hard after seeing such vitriol posted by those with buckeye in their alias v. SEC and individual schools over the past months, we see great wisdom and kindness in your posting. We completely agree with you. We hope all SEC, Pac 10, Big 12, other Big 10, ACC, etc. conference teams all learn big time from the recent Tressel situation and when something happens, speak with their Compliance Dept. or officer immediately (beforehand would even be better) and report it all completely and transparently to the NCAA. It reminds us of situations which over the past few years have happened with government and private citizens under investigation by the FBI. What the citizens did before the investigation often turns out not to be a crime, but when they lie to the FBI it becomes a federal crime.

    We love your line “lets get back to the football please!” We are planning for LSU’s Spring Game just around the corner and to assist some younger fans with food for their tailgating and feel a little younger again! Can’t wait!

  7. dg0122 says: Mar 15, 2011 4:18 PM

    the entire SEC is, in the immortal words of SEC Guy “Dirtier than hippie feet”…

    Bama, Auburn, Tennessee, LSU et al, know this:
    in the SEC, eventually everyone has a turn sleeping on the wet spot

  8. stairwayto7 says: Mar 15, 2011 4:29 PM

    The only thign SEC worries about are wins and will do ANYTHING to achive that! Hopefully NCAA finds misdoings atLSU for years and will have to forfiet thier national title!

  9. superfbfan says: Mar 15, 2011 4:58 PM

    LSU doesn’t have to cheat to get top-notch talent. Their the only major school in a talent-rich state. If coaches do their jobs they can always have a top 10 recruiting class….easy. It really is one of the top schools in the country because of geography and circumstance. This is also true for UGA, Florida, Ohio State, and Penn. St just to name a few…

  10. tigersgeaux says: Mar 15, 2011 5:01 PM

    stairwayto7: You need help. You need therapy. You embarrass yourself. Based upon your need for help, you could state: hopefully the NCAA will find misdoings at Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and LSU and take away all their national championships and allow those who did not earn them and were also-rans to win them? Never going to happen because despite all their problems, the NCAA is not rabid. TigersGeaux!

    By the way, all LSU fans and all others, come by our tailgating tent and trucks which will be parked close to the stadium with a long pole and a purple and white flag on top. We’ll start at about 11 am with a crawfish boil and slow smoking, serving tri-tips, Jamaican jerk chicken, and many other items. Tickets to the LSU Spring game is FREE, and all the tailgating food is FREE as long as it lasts.

  11. lemmam says: Mar 15, 2011 5:02 PM

    I live down here in the Clear Lake area south of Houston & know the player, Coach Hartman (his HS coach) and the kid’s dad. the kid is a P U N K plain and simple. Nothing would surprise me with this kid

  12. dg0122 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:08 PM

    great to know that “tickets to the LSU spring game is free”, tigersgeaux.
    could serve as a casting call for extras for “The Waterboy Part Deux”

  13. thefiesty1 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:59 PM

    Major Applewhite is right. Everyone should stay clear of these so called recruiting services. Most colleges have enough staff to check out a prospective recruit and can get enough video tape from their high school coaches.

    Oregon, LSU and others are wasting money with these services even if it is allowed by the NCAA.

  14. tigersgeaux says: Mar 15, 2011 6:26 PM

    dgo122 (also: buckeyeboy and all): We anticipate having some extra tickets, so come by and we will give you some. Stay a moment and eat a snack or feast before going in, we will serve you the best spiced boiled crawfish (and show you how we suck the heads!). We’ll have grilled tri-tips and other steaks, slow smoked Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Southern Potato salad, seafood (shrimp, crawfish, and other seafood) boudin balls, Wayne’s Bakery French Bread with garlic butter and hot! and many other sides including the world famous Podnuh’s BBQ beans. We will treat you like family!

    The kickoff will be at 3 pm so we will begin packing up at 2pm so we can get to our seats! It is anticipated to be the largest crowd ever to see a LSU Spring Game! TigersGeaux! Bon Appetit!

  15. dg0122 says: Mar 15, 2011 6:53 PM

    I hear Claude Wroten is coming back because he hears ole Leslie likes him some grass…

  16. WingT says: Mar 15, 2011 8:53 PM

    @tigersgeaux
    It is so refreshing to read your post and realize that old fashion southern hospitality is still alive and well. I just might take you up on your offer and visit your tailgate.

    @dg0122
    bite me

    roll tide

  17. tigersgeaux says: Mar 15, 2011 9:34 PM

    WingT: Thank you. You are kind. Sure, you are most welcome to come by and feast or get a snack to carry into the game!

    My dad tells us of some years ago (actually decades ago! ha.) when he attended LSU and tailgating was new and there were no regulations, so they would spread out with multiple tents and large spreads that looked like an outdoor kitchen for an army…ha. and they could bring their choice of beverage to the game, so today we are under much greater regulations but we still do a great tailgate.

    This game we will have some help from alligatorsnapper (bringing Southern potato salad) and southernpatriots (at least one or more of the family coming who will bring the Wayne’s Bakery garlic buttered French bread and some seafood boudin balls. We will start about 11 am and start cleaning up around 2 pm, serving fresh and hot from about 12 noon to 2.

  18. buckeyeboy says: Mar 16, 2011 11:48 AM

    lol after reading southernpatriots and tigersgeaux I am actually jealous that I don’t live near LSU cuz that tailgate souds like it will be epic

  19. tigersgeaux says: Mar 16, 2011 3:58 PM

    Wish you could come. We are working now to prepare and we look forward to it being the best we have ever done. The mixture of older and younger tailgaters working together makes this so much richer of an experience.

    We hope it will portend good things to come this fall with our new offense and reinvigorated team. A hugely hard schedule is ahead, though.

  20. downhillrider says: Mar 16, 2011 4:37 PM

    who else thinks the NCAA will move very slowly on this in hopes that people will forget and move on to something else. in true ncaa form.

  21. tigersgeaux says: Mar 17, 2011 11:37 AM

    The latest news we received in Baton Rouge was that LSU does not think that any of its dealings with
    Complete Scouting Services or Will Lyles in any way breaching any ethical or rules issue with the NCAA. Officials at LSU indicate they would be glad to comply with any requests of the NCAA for details, contracts, or information about said organization or Lyles, but to this point no request has been received from the NCAA.

    To LSU, this is a non-issue. LSU has reviewed all contracts, records, etc. concerning CSS and Lyles and did not find anything to report to anyone. LSU is waiting to see if the NCAA wishes any information from them as their investigation concerning CSS and Lyles goes farther. To this point, no request from NCAA has been received by LSU, according to LSU. So that is where this situation remains at the present time.

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