The accusations of agent-like (or, pimp-like) behavior from Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services seem to be growing by the week. Originally starting with a rumor of an NCAA investigation of a “major college program”, Lyles has been connected to Oregon, LSU, and most recently, Texas A&M, for allegedly trying to sway players to sign with specific programs for hefty price tags.
Van Malone, a former A&M assistant, recently said Lyles contacted him in 2007 asking for $80,000 to convince current LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson to sign with the Aggies.
In response, Texas A&M has researched its own connection with the Houston-based scouting service back to 2002, and according to interviews with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the university has found nada.
“No one currently in the Texas A&M athletics department was aware of any conversations between former assistant coach Van Malone and Willie Lyles regarding payments to secure prospective players,” said A&M spokesman Alan Cannon (great name). “Our business records show no financial relationship with Willie Lyles or his recruiting services. We consider this a non-issue from Texas A&M’s standpoint.”
Malone stated in his interview with ESPN that Texas A&M didn’t pay for players to sign letters of intent.
When asked about the situation, Peterson whole-heartedly denied any prior relationship with Lyles. However, a Rivals.com interview with Peterson from 2007 contradicts that denial, as Rivals author Brian Perroni said Peterson confirmed Lyles was a “friend”.
Yeahhhhh. About that.