Oregon’s De’anthony Thomas questioned by NCAA

Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly greets the Ducks fans before the Ducks game against the Auburn Tigers at the BCS Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, January 10,2011. UPI/Art Foxall

De’anthony Thomas of Crenshaw High was one of the most decorated prep players to ever come out of the city of Los Angeles. He was ranked No. 16 in the ESPNU 150 and in early February, he signed his letter of intent to play for the University of Oregon.

It’s not surprising that a top recruit would want to play for a program that just appeared in the national title game, nor is it shocking that a prep running back would want to be a part of Chip Kelly’s explosive spread offense. But what was surprising was that Thomas had already committed to USC and then flipped to Eugene later on.

Granted, even though he committed to the Trojans at first, the young man has the right to change his mind. He did say that he felt comfortable at Oregon and always had his eye on the Ducks despite committing to SC. But just one day after a report was released that Oregon may be outed for major recruitment violations, Thomas left this on his Twitter page (hat tip to SPORTSbyBROOKS for the link):


There’s a good chance that the NCAA just wanted to talk to Thomas about his decision to flip from USC to Oregon and wanted to make sure everything was on the up-and-up. It’s their job to ensure that gifts aren’t given to recruits in order to sway them into choosing a certain school. (It’s also their job to ruin college football by using the BCS format instead of a thrilling playoff system that would make most fans happy, but that topic is best left for another post.)

Thus, the fact that the NCAA spoke with Thomas doesn’t mean that Oregon is the subject of major recruiting violations. In fact, it might not mean anything. The story that came out earlier this week may have nothing to do with Thomas being subjected to the heat lamps of the NCAA.

But it does make you wonder…

Update: Thomas apparently has been caught in a lie about the NCAA tweets. Rut-roh.

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