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Another Day, Another Controversy

No big deal. Just another day, another controversy to bite into, digest and consider, even if this story doesn’t seem to have legs. You remember Will Lyles, don’t you? He’s the athletic trainer of sorts whose close relationship with an Oregon recruit placed U.O. under some scrutiny four weeks ago. Yeah, Lyles is one of those guys.

Late yesterday, it was reported that Lyles was also involved in L.S.U. cornerback Patrick Peterson’s recruitment, even if, as Peterson attests, it was without his knowledge. According to former Texas A&M defensive backs coach Von Malone, Lyles told A&M that it would need to “beat” $80,000 — as in offer him more cold, hard cash — if it hoped to land Peterson’s services.

That’s not too much for an all-American, is it? If a Heisman is allegedly worth $180,000 — kidding. These daily allegations of misconduct throughout the sport is getting to all of us, I’d imagine.

Two things about this latest mess involving Lyles. Three things, if the N.C.A.A. decides to take the proper action and do the following: investigate Lyles up, down, through and through to see just how many schools he was involved with; and afterwards, declare him persona non grata for any athlete hoping to play sports on the collegiate level.

Firstly, I wonder if today’s news has legs. Peterson has disavowed all connection with Lyles via a statement issued by L.S.U.:

“I have never had any type of relationship with Willie Lyles and he had no influence on my decision to attend LSU, or any other school for that matter. He had no involvement with my recruiting process and I resent the fact that my name has come up in these allegations. I chose LSU because it’s a great school with a great football program. I never received nor was I offered anything to go to LSU and anyone saying otherwise is being dishonest.”

So there’s that, even if such a statement was expected. What else was Peterson going to say? There is no mention of A&M, on the other hand, but seeing that the statement came from L.S.U., it’s not altogether surprising to see no mention of a recruiting rival. Would Peterson and L.S.U. play loose with the truth while knowing the N.C.A.A. is sure to take such allegations seriously?

Secondly — and speaking of the N.C.A.A. — something needs to be done about these individuals masquerading as “recruiting services,” or “athletic trainers,” what have you. Is the service a person like Lyles provides worth the trouble? Perhaps the N.C.A.A. needs to create an oversight committee through which these groups must petition to offer their service to interested prospects or programs.

And when that happens, we’ll have a college football playoff. In other words: don’t hold your breath.

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  1. Jeremy says:

    Peterson already lied since AggieYell.com has a story from 07 where Peterson visited A&M and was with a friend who was Will Lyles.

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