Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27, 2011
(The following was originally posted in response to a blogger intimating Chip Kelly should be suspended)

There is one MAJOR problem with the thought process the pundits are shaping in the public mind, that the “required documents” were not obtained. Unfortunately, very few of those writing on the topic want to point this out: When Oregon first contracted with Lyles, quarterly updates were not required in written format. That rule changed in August 2010 several months AFTER Lyles was paid. There is an incredible LACK of information about whether that rule was retroactive to the 2010 services or whether it was only relevant going forward.

This, of course, paints a different light on the whole “cover up” angle professed by columnists; it could simply be that Oregon knew the NCAA was coming and wanted to give them something in writing. And it is also very good proof of why the Ducks chose to FIRE Lyles; considering LSU has ALSO divulged that the written information from Lyles was not very good, it strengthens the perception that Lyles oversold himself and under-delivered.

This is just one of a plethora of facts reported partially to sculpt a narrative that grabs headlines.

But, here is MORE to think about:

First, Lyles was not paid by Oregon when LaMichael James was recruited. Like many of the media members the writer scolds, he fell into that trap. James’ recruitment is not, and should not, be an issue regarding Lyles. At the time, Lyles worked for a different scouting service. His help with James does not qualify in this debate.

Second, there are 2 problems with even talking about vacating anything… IF it is found that Oregon violated bylaw 13.14.3 Recruiting or Scouting Services, then there is a very applicable part of this rule at the end of the bylaw which reads: Effect of Violation. Violations of Bylaw 13.14.3 and its subsections shall be considered institutional violations per Constitution 2.8.1; however, such violations shall not affect the prospective student-athlete’s eligibility… therefor, no player(s) will be ruled ineligible, hence no vacating of wins. Second problem is that, supposing for a moment that Oregon is found to have violated different rules regarding the 2 players who Lyles mentored during the same recruiting season as Oregon signed them (2010), neither of the players played last season, again, negating the concept of vacating wins.

Third issue is the mere fact that Cal and LSU are also involved with this. By all accounts, Cal and LSU supposedly “did it right” by getting documentation. If this is true, then the NCAA would be, in effect, ruling that Lyles service was legitimate. If he had a legitimate service, Oregon’s violations are minimal, not obtaining and maintaining proper documentation (MAYBE). If the NCAA rules that Lyles service was not legit for any of the 3 schools, then they are left defining Lyles as a booster for multiple schools. If that is the case, considering one of those schools is an SEC team, I cannot see them taking away 12 scholarship. That is actually insane, especially given what was announced today regarding LSU’s OTHER violation which was a clear and willful violation of recruiting rules and extra benefits to a player: 2 TOTAL scholarship reductions. No way Oregon gets 12.

Fourth issue, you are using the rules, as they exist now, to condemn the program for what happened over a year ago. The importance of the distinction is that the bylaws regarding recruiting services changed in August 2010. Prior to this the “quarterly written report” was NOT required by the NCAA. So, regarding the written reports, at worst, the Ducks are guilty of not obtaining proper documents after the rule change. And, it may be that they thought the agreement with Lyles was “grandfathered” in so that they did not need to go back in time to produce the records; it COULD be that the “scramble” was nothing more than Oregon getting direction from Bill Clever that they should attempt to obtain some information anyway.

Fifth issue, and this is huge. There are some facts not being reported ANYWHERE which might cast a different light on the subject.

FACT 1: Lache Seastrunk made several unofficial visits to Auburn in Summer 2009

FACT 2: On each of these unofficial visits, there were a few minor recruiting violations that occurred.

FACT 3: Lache Seastrunk was originally committed to Auburn.

FACT 4: The NCAA, in light of a host of minor violations told Auburn to stop recruiting Seastrunk.

FACT 5: Oregon agreed to become Lyles’ first client in December 2009

FACT 6: USC was Lache’s 2nd choice, until the coach left

FACT 7: Pete Carroll’s departure from USC was announced January 11, 2010

FACT 8: Josh Gibson’s email to Bill Clever re: Lache’s signature was dated January 12th

FACT 9: Lache Seastrunk did not officially commit to Oregon until January 27.

FACT 10: Lache’s mom visited LSU with him

FACT 11: She wanted him to go to LSU

FACT 12: Lache Seastrunk’s mom was in and out of his life as a child, she had her own demons and did not raise him.

You see, Oregon was actually his 3rd choice. Yet, the Ducks had agreed to be Lyles 1st client while Lache was committed elsewhere… and Oregon stayed true to this even when Lache committed to USC (silent commit)... so, to say that the 25K was to get Seastrunk is extremely naive… the problem is that the facts I present do not generate clicks or sales… they are not “headlines” that make people happy, so they get tossed on the side of the road… sometimes headlines are better than facts… 


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