As noted here earlier today, former Texas A&M assistant Van Malone accused Will Lyles, owner of the Houston-based scouting company Complete Scouting Services, of requesting $80,000 in exchange for Patrick Peterson signing with the Aggies in 2007.
Given the issues surrounding his “scouting service”, being connected to Lyles these days is not exactly optimal for one’s reputation as schools such as Oregon and LSU have learned. Peterson’s father Patrick Sr. claimed to know nothing of the request Lyles made of Malone, calling the revelation “shocking” while comparing Lyles and his recruiting ilk to escort services. This afternoon, Junior issued his own denial.
Peterson, a Florida native who was originally a Miami Hurricanes commitment before signing with LSU, fired off a statement through his former school vehemently denying any involvement on the part of Lyles in his recruitment.
“I have never had any type of relationship with Willie Lyles and he had no influence on my decision to attend LSU, or any other school for that matter,” Peterson said on the statement. “He had no involvement with my recruiting process and I resent the fact that my name has come up in these allegations. I chose LSU because it’s a great school with a great football program. I never received nor was I offered anything to go to LSU and anyone saying otherwise is being dishonest.”
We certainly have no reason to doubt Peterson at this point in time, but what would Malone possibly have to gain by having his name plastered on an on-the-record story like this one that turns out to be nothing more than a lie? Or, if Malone is indeed speaking the truth — and the Petersons are as well — would Lyles really have a set of brass ones big enough to go behind the back of a recruit and his family in an attempted $80k money grab? And, if its neither of those two scenarios, how the hell big is the gray area in this situation?
Of all the accusations and allegations that have come out against various programs over the past several months, this may be one the most head-scratching, if for nothing more than the utter randomness, seemingly out-of-the-blue nature of it all. Hopefully, the NCAA will get to the bottom of the situation — especially as it pertains to Lyles and other street agents masquerading as “scouting services” — and make some sense of yet another tangled and murky situation.
Yeah, we won’t hold our breath either.