The Oregon Ducks say they have nothing to hide, and confirmed paying Will Lyles $25,000 after Yahoo! released a report connecting the school to recruiting services on Thursday. Lyles and Baron Flenory are reportedly at the center of investigation into scouting services and their relationship with some of the top college recruits in the nation. According to the report, Lyles and Flenory have ties to recent Oregon recruits, including Lache Seastrunk, LaMichael James, DeAnthony Thomas and others.
In a statement from Dave Williford, released by the Oregon athletic department, the school confirmed the payments, but denied wrongdoing, saying the compliance office was aware money changed hands and it was within NCAA rules (via Oregon Live).
“Yeah, we made the payment,” Williford said. “Everybody does it. This all has been run through our compliance office. We have nothing to hide.”
Williford did not know if the Ducks had paid Flenory, but said the school was looking into the matter.
Simultaneous reports from Yahoo! and ESPN revealed the NCAA has opened an investigation into Flenory, Lyles and the scouting services and 7-on-7 passing camps the two organized. Oregon reportedly paid Flenory for his services, which included organizing a database of recruits for the Ducks. At the time, payment for the service was, apparently, legal and within NCAA rules. Since then, Flenory has been told such a process was no longer allowed after the NCAA closed the “loophole,” if you will, allowing schools to pay scouting services.