FanPost

ESPN's odd report on Texas - Willie Lyles connection

Please forgive me if this has been discussed on this site already, but to my knowledge it has not. When I first read the title of THIS ARTICLE, I was extremely nervous that the UT program had been caught and implicated in some kind of wrong-doing. After I read it, though, I was very confused. I figured that maybe I was naive and/or ignorant of what Texas had done wrong, or that I was somehow unable to connect the dots. Then I read THIS PIECE on Barking Carnival this morning. Seems like other Texas fans are a little confused by the article as well. Here are my thoughts:

So as I understand it, UT alum Ken Collins brought Willie Lyles to the attention of Major Applewhite in February of 2008. Apparently Lyles wanted $3,000 from UT in order to gain access to a recruit. IF Applewhite OR Collins had supplied any money to Lyles at that point, I'm guessing that would be an obvious infraction. But Major told Collins that UT wasn't going to do that, and advised Collins to do the same. Major then immediately notified UT compliance officers of the issue; those compliance officers then immediately notified the NCAA of the same. The Texas athletic department then chose to pay for the recruiting services of Lyles' employer - Elite Scouting Services - for a period of one year, beginning in July 2008, that amounted to $15,000. Texas no longer sought the services of ESS after that one year period ended. 

Unless I am missing something, that seems to be where the story ends as far as Texas is concerned. Willie Lyles went on to stir up controversy with other schools, most notably Oregon. There is now an ongoing NCAA investigation centering around Lyles and the schools he dealth with. I'm just confused by this whole story that ESPN chose to publish. Are they pursuing some sort of angle? The tone of the article seems to be "look at what Texas did!" When you examine the facts that the article presents, though, it seems to be a textbook example of how NOT to get your program involved in any kind of shady recruiting deals. I don't really get it.

On another note, I guess those fears that ESPN would treat Texas differently due to the LHN aren't really panning out. ESPN seems to be trying to make much ado about nothing here, almost bending over backwards to suggest Texas might have done something wrong. Strange story to report, especially with modern media choosing to usually only publish the ugly side of college sports. The only thing I can take from this article is that Texas should be commended for its entire handling of the situation. Thoughts?

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