For Oregon, how bad can it get? 

July, 8, 2011

Here is this week's mailbag:

From @realjuanpablo: Do you think the Oregon Ducks will get out of this mess?

Things have been looking worse and worse for Oregon since this story broke a few months ago, with the release of each new report and each new detail. When Will Lyles sat down with Yahoo! for that story that ran on July 1, it really painted a bad picture for the Ducks and coach Chip Kelly.

The good news for Oregon: There is still a lot of gray area in how the NCAA handles recruiting services, and as I explained a few weeks ago, this is an area where they've been struggling to sort things out. (This is made evident by the NCAA's first attempt at creating legislation having to do with recruiting services: It initially said teams couldn't buy only video from such services, basically showing that the NCAA didn't understand the ways in which many legitimate football recruiting services operate.)

The bad news: Lyles' story, as he's now telling (and seems comfortable telling the NCAA), is going to be very hard for Oregon to defend. His actions likely would get him classified as a booster. Worse still is that he's basically telling reporters that 11 months after Oregon paid him $25,000, Kelly and another staffer contacted him to get him to scramble to send them some kind of recruiting materials, which sounded a lot like a cover-up was in the works.