The ongoing investigation into Willie Lyles’ involvement with Oregon football’s recruiting process has taken a turn for the worse for the Ducks, following a report by Yahoo! Sports, in which Lyles, the owner of Texas-based Complete Scouting Services, alleged that head coach Chip Kelly played a substantial role in the shady payment of $25,000 to Lyles for scouting services.
Though Lyles asserts that Oregon did not pay him to directly send recruits to Oregon, he now says, “(Oregon) paid for what they saw as my access and influence with recruits.
“The service I provided went beyond what a scouting service should … I made a mistake and I’m big enough of a man to admit I was wrong.”
The biggest question mark for Oregon now is Kelly’s involvement in the situation. In the report, Lyles explains that Kelly personally approved the $25,000 fee, which the University has said was in exchange for scouting materials. Also included are handwritten notes from Kelly thanking Lyles for “all (Lyles) help with these guys” — referring to potential recruits.
Earlier this month the University released a scouting report given to them by Lyles. The report, thin on relevant information and full of outdated material, did not clearly reflect $25,000 worth of information and increased media scrutiny.
Oregon spokesperson Dave Williford maintains the University’s stance there was no wrongdoing.
“Our stance hasn’t changed from our original statement,” Williford said. “We believe we did nothing wrong.”
Williford went on to say that further comment will be withheld until the NCAA’s investigation has been resolved.
If Lyles’ statements are substantiated, Oregon will likely have the choice of keeping Kelly on and risking stiffer NCAA sanctions or letting him go, perhaps in a situation similar to that of former Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel, who resigned last May amid rule violations.