ESPN is staying quiet on the Newton and conference realignment beat, but it's not leaving this day without saying something. Its "Outside the Lines" reporters found that some of the videos that Will Lyles sent to LSU were useless.
ESPN got a hold of the 32 DVDs that Lyles sent LSU through an open records request. It determined that some of the videos were quite old, dating back to 2007, and others were too grainy to be of much use. Apparently the gotcha moment here is that LSU said in a release last week that the video it got from Lyles "was sufficient for evaluation purposes."
However by ESPN's own determination, some of that video was good and useful. One prospect in particular ESPN says Lyles delivered good video for is Zach Mettenberger, the former Georgia quarterback who signed with LSU after spending last fall at a JUCO. Not all of the video was garbage.
Some amount of the video was pirated though, as some appeared to have been pulled from YouTube, Scout.com, and other recruiting video providers. While that's a potential copyright infringement case for Lyles, I doubt it's any of LSU's concern. I'm not aware of any NCAA rules that require schools to make sure none of the recruiting videos it pays for were ripped off of another service.
This story provides some new light on the investigation into LSU's dealings with Lyles, but there's nothing here for LSU fans to worry about. The picture it paints is not one of LSU using a sham of a service like Oregon did. Rather, LSU appears to have been using a really crappy service that it chose not to buy from twice (again, in contrast with Oregon). The only thing that links the two schools is the fact that both services, the sham one and the terrible one, happened to be the same thing run by the same guy. As they got completely different things out of it though, I don't think LSU is in anywhere near the trouble Oregon is if it is even in trouble at all.
One of Yahoo! Sports' twin college football Angels of Death Dan Wetzel helpfully adds some detail that would be pertinent here: One:
As Yahoo reported weeks ago, LSU paid for CA, KS Juco package, but per Will Lyles: "all they wanted to discuss was Texas high schools"
NCAA limits number of recruiting services a school can purchase in a region. LSU's already had TX service. So Lyles became JUCO scout
UPDATED NOTE: John Infante of the Bylaw Blog disputes this one. Turns out you can have multiple subscriptions in a region, just not from the same service. I'm going with the compliance pro (Infante) on this one.
In no way should anyone believe Will Lyles conned LSU. LSU knew he wasnt a CA/KS JUCO scout when it hired him
That's where LSU could be in some kind of trouble if Wetzel is correct. If Lyles just slapped together a package for LSU composed of
stolen copyright infringed video just to say he had JUCO package to cover for discussions about Texas, I could see how the NCAA might frown upon it. Proving it was cover for Texas discussions and not just the hallmark of a shoddy scouting business would be the tough part for the NCAA.