Report: Oregon paid two people with ties to recruits

Remember those rumblings of a major-power program possibly being in trouble with the NCAA?

Despite initial reports to the contrary, it may be the University of Oregon after all.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Oregon paid more than $28,000 to two men with ties to multiple recruits who signed letters of intent with the school.

Chip KellyICONOregon head coach Chip Kelly

State of Oregon expenditure records reveal that the university paid $25,000 to Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services in Houston as well as $3,745 to Baron Flenory of New Level Athletics. Lyles recently served as a mentor to highly touted Ducks running back recruit Lache Seastrunk, who was once considered a heavy lean toward Auburn. Meanwhile, Flenory runs the Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7 football camps which have featured several Ducks signees, including running back DeAnthony Thomas, defensive backs Cliff Harris and Dior Mathis and wide receiver Tacoi Sumler. Flenory also had a personal training relationship with Ducks signee Anthony Wallace.

If it is found that Lyles and Flenory were involved in the recruitment of student athletes to Oregon, they would be considered boosters by NCAA standards, with the payments made to them being considered a violation of Bylaw 13. Bylaw 13 is in place to prevent boosters from funneling a recruit to a school.

If Oregon is determined to have been involved in any wrongdoing, it would potentially further tarnish last season's BCS national championship game. Keep in mind that Auburn is still the subject of an NCAA investigation because of the Cecil Newton pay-for-play scheme. It's important to note, though, that it's common and permissable for schools to pay a scouting service. In this case, the NCAA is interested in whether Flenory and/or Lyles steered any recruits to Oregon. Multiple sources have told CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer that there is no formal investigation into Oregon and that the NCAA is looking at the scouting services involved.

According to the Yahoo! Sports report, Flenory said the payment to him was for a recruiting service that his company set up for the Ducks which served as an information tool for the school on potential recruits. He said the package to Oregon was the only one ever sold by his company because “we stopped doing it because the NCAA said recruiting services could no longer do camps on college campuses. Because we were running camps, we decided that was a better business for us than to sell the recruiting packages.”

Flenory said he played no part in players visiting or signing with Oregon and that he didn’t understand why the NCAA would have a problem with him.

“We stopped doing it when the NCAA made the rule,” Flenory said.

Flenory received his college degree from the University of New Hampshire, where he played under current Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. Flenory then joined Scout.com as the company’s Midwest Scouting Director. After leaving Scout.com, he established New Level, which runs 7-on-7 tournaments and camps for the development of skill position players in the prep football ranks.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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