I hope everyone had a great holiday! We had some of the best weather I have ever seen over the weekend in the Chicago area. Perfect temperatures, low humidity, and crystal clear skies were just a few of the highlights. It was a great time to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.
In the meantime we have entered a bit of a lull period for college football. Not much going on except the Will Lyles/Oregon scandal which most of us find pretty entertaining. If you haven't read the Yahoo interview with Lyles I advise that you click the link and give it a look. Lyles is spilling his guts about Oregon early and often with little or no resistance.
You have to admire the special scum bag touch of bringing along the Chip Kelly thank you notes to the interview. Lyles is portraying himself as the victim in this. He maintains he was just trying to run a business and help his clients.
"I’m very disappointed in the way the situation was handled," Lyles said. "If people would just be honest about the things that are going on and what they’re doing – or what their intentions might be – it would have made a huge difference. It’s tough to feel like you’ve been used and you’ve been thrown away. "I felt like my throat was cut and I was left to bleed to death. I felt that there would be some sense of loyalty to me, because I felt I provided a great [recruiting] service.
The athletic department at Oregon maintains that Kelly and his staff did nothing wrong even though Lyles received $25,000 for his services in 2010-11 and was scheduled to receive another $25,000 for 2011-12. The Ducks insist that no NCAA rules were violated. Lyles insists his relationship with the Oregon staff was terminated as part of a coverup which is pretty plausible if you take the time to read the story line in the article.
So what does this mean for Oregon?
I have taken a wait and see stance up to this point but now it is pretty obvious that the Ducks will end up getting a USC style type of probation. Oregon was buying players. The head coach and two of his assistants were directly involved.
Nothing immediate is going to happen. I wouldn't expect any type of probation to be meted our for at least 18 months. In the meantime the Ducks will attempt to stockpile talent to get them through the approaching winter in much the same way USC has.
I don't expect Chip Kelly to survive this one. The crime is one thing and the coverup is an entirely different one as far as the NCAA is concerned. Once again nothing immediate will happen but I can see Chip heading off to the NFL after this season.
The Lyles stuff is being handed to the NCAA on a silver platter but the organization will continue to dig deeper in coming months and explore the relationship between Oregon, Nike, and recruiting. There are plenty of leaks and rumblings coming from that direction too.
I am also hearing some rumblings coming from the general direction of the Oregon basketball program. Insiders say that there has been some funny business going on over there in recruiting too. This could get really interesting before it is all finished.