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Does OSU Have A Willie Lyles Problem?



OSU hired a new coach on Thursday named Van Malone who is being lauded for having “great recruiting connections in the Houston area,” maybe even strong enough connections to fill the Joe DeForest-shaped void the Cowboys staff has right now.

Now the problem with “having great recruiting connections in the Houston area” is that means you’ve more than likely had significant contact with Willie Lyles. For those who don’t know, Lyles runs a “scouting service” for prospective collegiate athletes and is the piranha that’s trying to poo-poo on Oregon and all 2,993 of their uniform combinations. For all I know he’s trying to take down Nike as well.

The story allegedly goes that back in 2007, when Malone was the cornerbacks coach at A&M, Lyles told him Cecil Newton-style that there was an $80,000 bounty on the recruitment of Patrick Peterson.

Malone told Lyles that A&M didn’t pay for players but failed to report the situation to A&M’s head man at the time, Dennis Franchione.

A moment to interject: this seems kind of odd to me. Let’s say at your work somebody outside of your organization, a client perhaps, came to you and said “hey let’s do this illegal thing that could potentially bring your company crashing down and make you and all your friends lose your jobs.”

Would you not tell your boss that?

Then would you continue doing business with that client?

That’s what Lyles said happened in this interview with John Canzano in Portland:

I never asked for $80,000. It was just a conversation that we had. I think it’s ridiculous because it’s totally false. He [Malone] also said he wanted to recruit the player without going through me and then in multiple years after that he still dealt with me in recruiting. I don’t find the logic in that.

I’m sure Gundy and Co. did their due diligence. It’s not worth bringing anyone in, even an ace recruiter, if you think shady things are going down. And to his credit, Malone has a sterling resume that includes being an All-American player (Texas), man of the year (NFL), and coach of the year (HHCA).

I’m just hoping that resume of his doesn’t have an asterisk someday.

Hat tip to ESPN , OKState, and Sports by Brooks for the links.

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