NCAA FB

Lyles' tale shows the rat he is

Share This Story

Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can't imagine or muster courage to address. His columns are humorous, thought-provoking, agenda-free, honest and unpredictable. E-mail him, follow his Twitter or become a fan of Jason Whitlock on Facebook.

MORE>>
 
   
 

Street agent is much too favorable a description of Willie Lyles.

Sellout, attention whore and snitch more accurately describe Lyles, the brand-new media darling of so-called college athletics “investigative” journalists.

Real Talk

Willie Lyles was a guest on Jason Whitlock's Real Talk podcast, an exclusive interview in which Lyles, a so-called college football "street agent," defended his reputation. Since their talk, however, Lyles has changed his story.

Speaking to Yahoo! Sports reporters last week, Lyles ratted out Oregon football coach Chip Kelly for allegedly personally authorizing a $25,000 payment for Lyles’ bogus Complete Scouting Services. Lyles also detailed several other possible Oregon recruiting violations, and he insinuated that he helped one Oregon recruit circumvent Texas high school academic standards by advising the prospect to transfer to a high school in Arkansas for his final semester.

Lyles claims he flipped on Kelly because he now realizes that Oregon used him to influence Texas-area recruits such as Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James. Lyles pretends he previously thought the Ducks were sincerely interested in his scouting service.

There is no truth to the rumor that Lyles, 31, also told the Yahoo! reporters that he recently realized Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy were fictional.

Regular readers of my column know where I stand on the NCAA rule book. I have no respect for the integrity of the rules and no interest in serving as the NCAA’s volunteer enforcement staff. College football and basketball are institutions rotting from institutionalized corruption built on the foundation of financially exploiting kids by upholding the myth of amateurism.

In the era of the $5-million-a-year coach, busting schools, coaches, athletes, administrators, parents, office agents and “street agents” for violating NCAA rules is one of the easier tricks in sports journalism.

Willie Lyles is the lowest-hanging fruit, an imbecile who desires fame.

You might remember, I interviewed Lyles for my podcast in May. One of his then-handlers repeatedly contacted Roj Grobes, my producer, about appearing on my podcast. Perhaps out of impatience, Lyles eventually emailed me directly about appearing on my podcast.

Lyles, his then-lawyer, James Walker, and another man introduced to me only as Guy talked with me on a conference call for about an hour. They wanted me to do a podcast, a column and help them get a television network to shoot a documentary on Willie’s life. Guy wanted to narrate and/or produce the documentary.

I taped the podcast. The interview focused on Lyles’ denial that he steered players to Oregon, that he told Texas A&M that it would take $80,000 to deliver Patrick Peterson and what a small fry he is/was in college corruption. I transcribed a few of Willie’s quotes for a news story to promote the podcast. I told Lyles and Walker that FOX Sports had no interest in a Lyles documentary or television interview at the time.

Three or four weeks after the podcast, when Willie was no longer in the news, Walker called me to complain that I hadn’t interviewed Willie on television or assisted them in their hunt for a documentary. Guy also sent me a follow-up text.

Do you see where I’m going?

This isn’t investigative journalism.

Willie Lyles is no different from every other American low-life who wants to be famous and doesn’t care how he courts it. The Yahoo! interview is a leaked sex tape. Both parties, Lyles and the reporters, want the attention.

The sex is real. I’m sure there’s some truth in what Lyles said about Oregon and Chip Kelly. I’m sure Kelly and Oregon broke some NCAA rules.

It’s the motives that are impure. No one is trying to fix or improve college athletics. No one is eliminating any corruption. Willie Lyles isn’t doing the “right” thing and he’s not motivated by righteousness.

Since May, I’ve talked with Willie Lyles at least a dozen times. He never indicated any respect for NCAA rules. I talked with Lyles on Friday, when the Yahoo! story appeared. Lyles was giddy about the media onslaught that was coming his way.

You can read the Yahoo! story and the subsequent follow-up interviews he’s done with media members in Oregon and easily see Lyles mostly wants to be important and famous. He will settle for infamy.

According to a story in The Oregonian, Lyles is baking bread for $8 an hour at a grocery store. He’s tried his luck as a coach and failed. He told me that, at 22, he lost a job at a high school because a female student accused him of making inappropriate comments on a ride home from track practice.

 

CONTACT JASON WHITLOCK

 
If you have a question or comment for Jason, submit it below and he may just respond.
 

Why am I mentioning this now?

Because what most bothers me about Willie’s latest attention grab is the possible harm he has done to two kids, Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James. Their eligibility could be jeopardized. Oregon could land on probation, lose its coaching staff. James is likely to face ridicule from opposing fans for the allegation of academic impropriety. His Heisman Trophy candidacy might be hurt.

These kids came from tough backgrounds. Lyles portrayed himself as someone who wanted to help.

I’m going to keep it all the way real. Lyles portrayed himself as the black man willing to help these young black boys. But now that there’s a little heat, a chance to strike back at the white football coach who committed the reprehensible crime of giving Willie’s fledging business $25,000 in startup cash and getting quiet when the NCAA started asking questions, Willie threw everyone under the bus.

Sellout. Attention whore. Snitch.

On Friday, Willie’s lawyer, James Walker, copied me on a text message he said he sent to Willie after reading the Yahoo! story. Walker said he hadn’t spoken with Lyles in several weeks.

“You have totally ruined it for these kids and they will now be in a Pete Rose, Reggie Bush, Terrelle Pryor category of negative scandal on their names. Why? Why? Why?” the text concluded.

Some people will work for food. Others will say and do anything to avoid making bread.
 

Tagged: Arkansas State, Oregon, Texas, LaMichael James, James Walker, Lache Seastrunk

More Stories From Jason Whitlock

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash