7/16/2010: As part of it’s efforts to prevent “street agents” from sneaking off with any of the NCAA’s money the NCAA slapped a bunch of anti-competitive rules on recruiting services last year: Steve Andress of KEZI explains:
NCAA Bylaw 13.14.3 lays out the rules for contracting a recruiting service. The service must meet seven distinct requirements, in order for college football programs to subscribe to them. Here is the exact wording, amended January 1st, 2010, and why Lyles’ service was lacking, in particular, in the first three requirements.
— An institution may subscribe to a recruiting or scouting service involving prospective student-athletes, provided the institution does not purchase more than one annual subscription to a particular service and the service:
(a) Is made available to all institutions desiring to subscribe and at the same fee rate for all subscribers;
Public records show Lyles’ incoice to Cal for the ‘2010 National Package’ at $5,000, with an almost identical invoice to Oregon at $25,000. The invoices came a year apart, but other than the fee, the packages are identical.
(b) Publicly identifies all applicable rates;
Lyles’ Complete Scouting Services website listed no fees back in March. One day after Yahoo’s initial story broke, one fee popped up – $25,000 for a national recruiting package.
(c) Disseminates information (e.g., reports, profiles) about prospective student-athletes at least four times per calendar year;
Public records requests show Oregon received no such documents from Lyles, until a year after the initial $25,000 payment, and that information was largely of old recruits and useless.
There’s more in his story – the upshot is it Kelly’s claim he didn’t know that he was buying players with the $50,000 he promised Lyles looks preposterous. And on the NCAA’s scale of unforgiveable crimes, lying to the men that are trying to hold this cartel together is the top, even above the crime of paying your just debts to a guy who helped bring you a few players and is now working in a bakery for $8 an hour.
Admittedly I have green, yellow, even carbon goggles but I just don’t see where anything that’s been released indicates that Oregon was explicitly trying to buy players. More importantly, however, Lyles is telling everybody that will listen not that Oregon was paying him for commitments, but that in retrospect he was being paid for access and influence. Even more important than that is the fact that whenever asked, Lyles insists he was never expected to deliver players to the school and that he was helping the kids after they had already decided on their own where they wanted to commit to. You may think all of that is BS, and maybe it is. But at this point the NCAA has on the one hand materials supplied by Oregon, and on the other they have testimony from Lyles that says 1 – he wasn’t paid to deliver commitments and 2 – that Oregon did not behave in a way that suggested they believed they were doing anything shady (he has stated that Oregon never gave him the indication that their dealings had to be quiet and secretive in nature.) Because of those two things there’s actually some reason to suspect that the NCAA will stop short of major sanctioning.
The problem with that logic includes:
a) The $25K payment was about 5X the norm
that other schools were paying. Why the
b) Kelly’s hasty request to Lyles for
supporting written docs after the story
went public. Sure smells like a cover-up.
If it was all legit, then why the docs
belated docs request followed by blaming
Lyles for the stale info, after the
Somebody should check Lyles’ bank account
payments just after he deposited UO’s $25K
check. It sure would be interesting to see
where the money went… Follow the
money… Perhaps he covered his tracks by
buying USPS money orders for any subsequent
Wouldn’t these rules therefore come down on Lyles? He charged different amounts; there’s no way UO could have known how much other schools were paying.
On the one hand, I can see that the Street Agent (oops, Scouting Services) rates can vary with the level of services provided, how hot the desired prospects are, etc. On the other hand, I would think that Kelly & Co would have a baseline knowledge of what the going rates are for Street Agent services through back channels with their colleagues at other schools. Presumably, these guys over in the Cas Center aren’t operating in a vacuum…