Willie Lyles Playing With a Chip on His Shoulder?

by REED NELSON

Call Willie Lyles seismic because he just keeps making waves. As I discussed earlier, the Lyles scandel has been gaining some momentum here in Eugene, and in true snowballing fashion, Lyles is now casting an ever-growing shadow over Chip Kelly. Yahoo! Sports has now obtained letters that were written by Chip Kelly to Willie Lyles (from Lyles of course) that would implicate the coach much further in the gray-area recruiting practices provided by Lyles’ service, Complete Scouting Services (CSS). The letters, in no uncertain terms, would make Kelly out to be, at the very least, personally involved with the shady gun-for-hire from Texas. The letter reads: “Will, I really appreciate your help in getting Trovon, Dontae, and the whole crew here this past weekend. We’ll work on getting Lache out here soon too! Thanks for orchestrating everything and all your help with these guys. I hope you enjoyed the game … Go Ducks! – Chip Kelly.” Now, I am no etymologist, but the word “orchestrating” never seems like a good thing. Not even those who command an orchestra orchestrate. They conduct. And while quarterbacks do “orchestrate” comebacks, organized crime units “orchestrate” heists. Kelly might want to choose his words more carefully next time, because the way that letter reads, it sounds like Lyles does a bit more than scouting.

Coming off the heels of the Cliff Harris 500, the last thing the Ducks program needed was another leak in the Lyles case. The NCAA’s shakedown commitee (also known as the Compliance Office) has already threatened to descend on Eugene like the Flying Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, and when they do, they’ll take a longgggggg look into the Duck’s program. But hey, at least the weather has been fantastic.

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About Reed Nelson

I am a graduate student in the J-School at the University of Oregon. I worked as a prep sports stringer and a clerk at the Salt Lake Tribune in 2008, and from 2009-2010 worked in various sections at the Daily Utah Chronicle. I am currently in my first term in grad school and I am cursed with a gross obsession for sports. But not bicycle racing. No one can make me care about that.
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