A lot has been said about Willie Lyles, but Lyles has said little about himself, his high school scouting work and his relationships with college players, including Oregon running backs LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk.
Lyles, who runs a Texas-based scouting service, is under NCAA investigation after receiving $25,000 from Oregon for scouting material. He also has been accused of asking Texas A&M to "beat" an $80,000 offer for star recruit Patrick Peterson in 2007.
He called all the allegations against him "unequivocally false."
Still, what's at issue for the NCAA is this equation: New scouting service with no track record + "mentor" relationship with elite prospect + significant payment from institution = player goes to said institution.
It's entirely possible that Lyles runs a legit scouting service that provided valuable materials to Oregon that were worth $25,000 and that his relationship with James, Seastrunk and another running back, Dontae Williams, who also signed with Oregon but has decided to transfer, were straight-up mentorship relationships, intended only to help the young men whom he met through his work scouting them.
Said Lyles: "I don't steer kids to schools." What does he do? He offers "insight, not influence."
Oregon has said it is confident it acted within NCAA rules and that it is cooperating with investigators. On the podcast, Lyles said he has yet to be formally interviewed by the NCAA, though it has contacted him.
"I just haven't set up an interview time as of yet," he said. "So I just haven't decided on when and where that's gonna take place."
Lyles, who appeared with his lawyer, provided this interesting tidbit: He said he made $36,000 last year: $25,000 from Oregon, $6,000 from LSU and $5,000 from California.