Oregon comes under scrutiny for $25K payment to recruiting service

Once again this week, the University of Oregon has come under fire for potential recruiting violations.

Andy Staples of SI.com reports the Ducks paid $25,000 to a Texas man named Will Lyles who is connected to at least two current players. While Oregon maintains that the payment to Lyles was for legitimate recruiting video services, some are questioning the expensive price.

Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly is interviewed at Media Day for the BCS Championship game at the media right in Phoenix, AZ January 7,2011. The BCS Championship between the Ducks and the Auburn Tigers will be held at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10. UPI Photo/Art Foxall

“This is no different than services purchased by a number of colleges and universities throughout the country,” a statement released by the school said. But a longtime provider of recruiting video services — who counted Oregon as a client before his company was absorbed by video giant XOS Digital — said the $25,000 payment seems high. “For $25,000, it better provide a hell of a lot,” Scouting Evaluation Association founder Dick Lascola told SI.com late Thursday. “That’s an exorbitant amount of money to pay for something.”

Lyles did not return calls from SI.com. His Web site features a “JUCO price list” that offers videos for a particular state for $3,000. A multi-state region costs $5,000. A “trifecta package” that includes any three states costs $8,000, while a “national package” costs $15,000. No single service is priced at $25,000.

Staples goes into further detail in his article, which you can read here.

One question I have is why Oregon would even bother putting the $25,000 payment on an expenditure report if the school was violating a rule? Is it a case of hiding something in plain sight or is Oregon clean?

If the Ducks are clean, then they should have evidence of what they purchased from Lyles. This doesn’t seem to be a hard concept to grasp: If they paid Lyles for videos, then those videos should be in the schools possession, right? The NCAA still could question Oregon for what it paid so much for Lyles’ services, but at that point all the school would have to say is, “Hey, we got ripped off.”

It’ll be interesting to see where this story goes from here. At this point, Oregon still doesn’t have much to worry about but it seems every day something new comes to light.

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