Oregon and the NCAA have reached an impasse in the payment-for-"scouting services" case

Submitted by Erik_in_Dayton on December 20th, 2012 at 11:05 AM


This should be interesting.  Some basics of story are below (I don't know how to block quote).

As part of that process, Oregon presented its stance in writing to the committee on infractions, suggesting the violations the school believed occurred, as well as the sanctions it believed were appropriate.

The sources said the committee ultimately did not accept Oregon's presentment, disagreeing with "various aspects" of both the infractions the school believed occurred, and the sanctions the school deemed appropriate. That impasse has made a full-blown hearing necessary. Had Oregon's request for summary disposition been successful, the school could have avoided a hearing in which individuals such as head football coach Chip Kelly could be made to appear and take questions.

Also, note the change between a proposed NCAA finding and Oregon's counter-proposal:

 In the first draft, the NCAA proposed:

• In 2010, the football program paid $25,000 for a subscription to Complete Scouting Services (CSS) and received oral reports from CSS representative Lyles. Additionally, the football program failed to gather recruiting or scouting information from CSS at least four times per calendar year, as required by NCAA recruiting or scouting legislation.

In its response, Oregon removed the phrase "failed to gather" and altered it to reflect what it termed as Lyles' service not providing what he had been paid the $25,000 for:

• In 2010, the football program paid $25,000 for a subscription to Complete Scouting Services (CSS) and received oral reports from CSS representative Lyles. Additionally, CSS did not disseminate to the football program recruiting or scouting information from CSS at least four times per calendar year, as required by NCAA recruiting or scouting legislation.



December 20th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

People always say this, but I don't really follow the reasoning.  Nike does business with NCAA schools because...it's a good deal for Nike.  What would hammering the Nike poster school do to change that?  I don't think Nike would suddenly stop making their good business decisions and throw money out the window just to spite the NCAA.  And even if they did, the schools would sign with other manufacturer's and be fine.  If you're the NCAA, where's the threat?

This is a different situation than the NCAA being worried about hammering a marquee program because they make the on-field product less interesting.  I don't really buy that argument either, but the Nike thing makes no sense to me at all.

Colt McBaby Jesus

December 20th, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

You forgot this part:

NCAA sez: Oregon, you are full of shit, but we don't have much evidence, nobody is willing to talk to us and we can't make them. Your punishment will be very small, but we all know there was more than what you get punished for.


December 20th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

Looks to me like Oregon learned a little something from the way OSU handled their recent problems with the NCAA.  To summarize the "Ohio Way" when faced with an NCAA inquiry it's as follows:

NCAA: "You did something bad.  We are mad as Hell about it and think you should be punished!"

Ohio: "No we didn't"

NCAA: "Oh...ok then.  Nevermind.  Sorry to have bothered you guys....."


December 20th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

Does anyone really take the NCAA seriously anymore? The only question is why we don't just jump in the super cheater sweepstakes and win some championships of our own. There are zero consequences for this behavior.


December 20th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

The NCAA skipped investigating the phony academics thing at North Carolina, didn't bother when one of the Florida schools Athletic Director was soliciting a street agent, and just suspended the Texas starting PG for the whole year for what basically amounted to taking a workout when an agent was in the gym.

Let's not forget the OSU stuff and the Auburn stuff as well. The NCAA will always be a joke


December 20th, 2012 at 11:40 AM ^

(EDIT:  this post is in response to exmtroj, and the question, why not enter the super cheater sweepstakes?)

I realize I'm a boy scout. So be it. But I want people to do things the right way in every course of life, including the Michigan Football Team.

Your statement "There are zero consequences for this behavior" carries the clear implication that because of the zero consequences, Michigan should enter the "super cheater sweepstakes." Think through the horrendous implications of your statement. It was this kind of thinking (zero consequences) that allowed Jerry Sandusky to bring a terrible stain to Penn State's reputation. It allowed TP and friends to abuse Tats, Cars, and who knows what else at Ohio. It allowed a booster at Miami to provide hookers, drugs, and the like to plenty of players with the Hurricanes.

The "zero consequences" mentality affects every walk of life. It allowed an off-duty Chicago cop to beat a petite woman bartender because he was drunk, cut off from more alcohol, and believed the police code of silence would protect him. It can allow atrocities in wartime, if soldiers believe there are "zero consequences" for their actions in the field.

In contrast, when Hoke suspends 3 players from the Michigan team, it sends the clear message that there are consequences for breaking rules and not living up to the standards of the team. Hoke is neither cruel nor vindictive, but is acting in the best interests of both the individual players and the entire team. If winning a championship is predicated on having to cheat, I'd rather not win the championship.


December 20th, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

Cheating in college football isn't the same thing as violence or sexual abuse.  There are no negative side effects to paying players for their services.  The concept of amateurism is purely arbitrary, and you can make a pretty strong argument that not paying players for their services is the immoral choice. 

If you'd rather not cheat to win a championship, then enjoy another decade of losing 9 out of 10 games to Ohio State while the Oregons and Auburns of the world play for national championships.  I don't know a single fan of a cheating program that feels guilty or has any regrets about it.  There's not a single OSU fan who feels like their victories over us lost any validity because guys like Terrelle Pryor and Maurice Clarrett were getting free vehicles and huge amounts of money under the table. 

Cheating works.  Either you win the "wrong" way or you lose the "right" way.  Losing the "right" way means not paying hard working, talented people for their valuable services. 

With that said, I don't ever want us to get involved with sleazebags like Willie Lyles.  Paying players is one thing, but paying kids' phony "friends" to steer them to a university that they wouldn't otherwise choose is sleazy as hell. 


December 20th, 2012 at 5:39 PM ^

Those OSU fans are correct. Players who take cash, cars and other "impermissable benefits" do not have their on-field performance improved one iota. You can make that argument that some of those players might have ended up at different schools had those extra goodies not been offered to them. Pryor, for example, may very well have ended up at UM if he had not been steered there by his handler as UM (under RR) would have been a much better fit for his talents.

I have a bigger problem with programs who systematically use PEDs (MSU and Nebraska come to mind as teams that went that route in the not-so-distant past) as that actually impacts on-field performance. I personally consider Tom Osborne one of the biggest frauds in CFB history (right up there with St. Tress) as he ran a completely rogue program with rampant steroid abuse and numerous violent criminals on his teams, yet he is still hailed as one of the "good guys" of CFB.


December 26th, 2012 at 2:19 PM ^

I can agree that cheating works, in one sense.

  • Cheating gets you an "A" on a test or essay.
  • Cheating gets you more money, if you can throw a game.
  • Cheating gets you better investing returns, if you have accurate inside info.
  • Cheating gets you more sex, if you have a  willing partner.

The caveat, of course, is that you aren't caught, or aren't punished is you are caught.

As I said initially, I don't want Michigan to cheat, even if that meant we would lose.

Here's where we'll have to agree to disagree.

  • Doing things the right way means losing 9 out of 10 to Ohio. I strongly disagree. I believe that in the long run, we will win more and compete more doing things the right way.
  • Doing things the right way means we won't win the MNC.
  • Cheating has no negative side affects in college athletics. Just disagree.

The one major point I agree with you on is that the whole system is broken, and that there should be some way to compensate athletes more fairly, short of paying them.


December 20th, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

So basically, Oregon, under the direct supervision of Kelly + Assistants, paid this guy (who owns a scouting services company) to scout players and report back findings.  Instead, what is alleged (and most likely happened) is that they paid this guy because he knew particular recruits well and could influence their decision making in favor of Oregon.  They claim they received "Oral reports" but then scrambled to get written reports once the NCAA went digging around.

NCAA believes Oregon "failed to gather recruiting information" but Oregon is changing the blame (owner of the action) on the scouting services company it hired?

Hmmmm.  If I paid for a service or a product, and it wasn't delivered to me, I'm pretty sure I'd call and ask why it wasn't delivered, otherwise I'd want my money back.


December 20th, 2012 at 11:29 AM ^

and Clarett debacles south of here and the Cam Newton disaster way south of here it's clear the NCAA doesn't give a damn.  These were all pretty easy to investigate, but involved high profile programs/players whose punishment would damage the NCAA "brand".  Half (or more) of college football is trying to copy how "cool" Oregon is...they're untouchable.


December 20th, 2012 at 12:02 PM ^

I don't know, he seems like he's willing to cooperate:


Lyles sat for more than five hours of on-the-record interviews with Yahoo! Sports, and made himself available for follow-up questions. He also provided access to phone records, emails and business documents to support his claims. He said he wanted to make his side of the story known and fill in gaps in the public perception of the case.


Lyles said he spoke with NCAA enforcement staffers for six hours in early May as part of their ongoing investigation. He said he didn’t reveal the stories concerning Kelly, James and Seastrunk to investigators because the specific topics never came up in questioning.


December 20th, 2012 at 12:17 PM ^

 Damn you Boise they were cheating right next to you and you didn't notice?  This is clearly the fault of some other school not supported by Phil Knight's money.


December 20th, 2012 at 12:24 PM ^

Oregon Live adds a few things to this as well - (LINK)

One thing that is in here that I found intriguing were some of the reasons that Oregon cited for redacting four of the allegations completely involve FERPA and Oregon Administrative Rules. Further, someone from Oregon apparently said that, as part of the disposition process, any bowl ban had been off the table initially.

Also, this was interesting:

"However, a review of the national recruiting package Lyles provided Oregon in 2011 consisted of names of players who had graduated from high school in 2010, thus making the package worthless. Included was a defensive lineman who had played for Auburn against Oregon in the BCS National Championship game."