July 15th, 2011 08:54 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: LSU
Tags: Complete Scouting Services, LSU, NCAA, Willie Lyles
About four days ago, we wrote that LSU should be concerned about its football coaches’ connection to street-agent Willie Lyles. Not panicked, but concerned. Lyles is currently at the center of Oregon’s NCAA scandal and he’s not the kind of person any school should want to have ties to at this point.
Due to his issues at Oregon — where it appears he was paid to use his influence to get recruits to sign with the Ducks — the NCAA will have him under the microscope for a while. That means any school that’s handed Lyles a check in the past will also come under some amount of NCAA scrutiny.
LSU is now under said scrutiny. An NCAA investigator was in Baton Rouge last week to interview the Tigers’ football staff about Lyles and his company. Neither Les Miles nor the school has said whether or not the head coach was part of those interviews.
“LSU has cooperated with the NCAA regarding questions about a college scouting service supplying materials and answering questions posed by an NCAA official to several members of the LSU football coaching staff last week,” an LSU press release read. “The football coaches who participated in the questioning met with the NCAA official on the LSU campus. Also, LSU has chosen to identify contents of materials supplied to the university’s football coaching staff in 2010 by Complete Scouting Services and its director Willie Lyles.”
The release goes on to say that: “The LSU football coaching staff specifically requested information pertaining to junior college prospects in California and Kansas for evaluation purposes. … The DVDs provided by Complete Scouting Services contain footage of 32 California and Kansas junior college prospects from the 2010-11 recruiting year.”
On the surface that certainly looks better than the thrown together list of names Oregon released to the press as an example of Lyles work for the Ducks.
Since writing our “be concerned” post this week, we at MrSEC.com have been bombarded with emails pointing to the fact that LSU had spent only $6,000 with Lyles as compared to the $25,000 payment Oregon gave to the man. The thought being — the less money paid, the less likely the Tigers cheated.
But according to Glenn Guilbeau of Gannett Louisiana, LSU has paid Lyles $26,000 since 2008. The $6,000 payment came last December.
If the school turned over all that money in exchange for DVDs and solid information on prospects, then all should be well. But just because the Tigers got better info than Oregon, it doesn’t mean that’s all they got in return for their investment in Lyles and his company.
You can bet the NCAA will continue to sniff around to try to determine if Lyles tried to influence any prospects into attending LSU. Remember, a former Texas A&M assistant said that Lyles told him the Aggies would have to “beat” an $80,000 offer from other schools to land star cornerback Patrick Peterson. Peterson signed with LSU, though he has said Lyles had nothing to do with that decision.
The good news — it appears that LSU is being up-front about things.
The bad news — as we stated on Monday, you never ever want NCAA investigators anywhere near your campus. And last week, they were smack dab in the middle of LSU’s.
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