Documents released on Oregon’s recruit info
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon has released documents related to its use of recruiting services that suggest the school paid for information that was outdated.
The documents include a “2010 National High School Evaluation Booklet” that actually includes prep athletes who graduated in 2009 and were a part of that year’s recruiting class. It was part of a package that purportedly was for athletes entering school in 2011.
The package was prepared by Texas-based Complete Scouting Services, an agency run by Will Lyles. Oregon paid Lyles $25,000 in February 2010.
The NCAA is looking into the payment but will not comment on pending investigations.
Oregon maintains it did nothing wrong by paying Lyles for the information. Many college programs pay for such services.
Oregon’s payment to Lyles has been questioned because of his relationship with Ducks running backs Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James. Oregon paid Lyles soon after Seastrunk signed a letter of intent with Oregon.
University officials did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment on the documents.
The payment to Lyles and another agency surfaced in reports by Yahoo! Sports and ESPN in March. Shortly thereafter, Oregon said it had been contacted by the NCAA to provide documentation about its use of a pair of recruiting services.
If Lyles guided any recruits to Oregon, it would be a violation of NCAA rules.
In a radio interview in May, Lyles maintained he did nothing wrong.
James, who led the nation in rushing last season, participated in a voluntary workout with the Ducks on Monday evening.
“Will was always there for me, even when I wanted to leave here or something, he was always there for me,” James told The Register-Guard newspaper. “He was never pushing me, and anytime I needed Will, he was there for me.”
At the request of several news organizations, the documents were released on Monday.
The 143-page booklet that was part of the package included a player who passed away in 2010, according to reports. At least one player graduated in 2008. And although it purported to be a “national” package, 133 of the 140 players profiled were from Texas.
Other documents show that hundreds of text messages and phone calls were exchanged between Lyles and Oregon coaches. Not included in the documentation are videos that Lyles provided to Oregon.
The Ducks went 12-1 last season, falling to Auburn in the BCS title game.