When the Oregon Ducks paid Will Lyles $25,000 for scouting services, it looked bad on the surface. Shortly thereafter, though, Oregon seemed to appease the curious masses, saying the money paid was for Lyles' national scouting evaluation, which would fall within the NCAA guidelines at the time. But the story took an odd turn as Lyles' player profiles were released to the media on Monday, leaving many to wonder why the Ducks paid $25,000 for the information, or lack thereof, he gave.
Lyles' class of 2011 player evaluation booklet contained a few items of note. By a few, I mean everything in it and by of note I mean none of the players in the booklet were from 2011. In fact, nearly all of the players listed were from the class of 2009, and using the term nationwide to describe the breadth of the evaluations would be a stretch at best.
Further, although the service was billed as a "national package," the vast majority of the players are from Texas. Forty of those profiled are from Houston. Of the five from outside Texas, two were from South Carolina, and one each from California, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Lyles is based in Texas and it's the area he knows best. But it gets even more weird. One of the players Lyles evaluated, Nosa Eguae, signed with Auburn in early 2010 and played against the Ducks in the BCS Championship Game. Another, Josh Rake, passed away in Sept. of 2010.
If this is the report he provided the Ducks, one has to wonder if it was worth the $25,000 Oregon paid. While there could be a few reasonable explanations -- Lyles conned Oregon or the evaluations released to the media were a sample -- it looks bad from a public relations standpoint.
For more on the Ducks, head over to SB Nation's Addicted to Quack.