Blog Entry

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:44 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 12:45 am
 

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Earlier today, a story in the Oregonian by columnist John Canzano about Will Lyles raised plenty of eyebrows in Eugene and elsewhere -- mainly for this statement by Lyles about the recruitment of five-star running back prospect (and eventual Oregon signee) Lache Seastrunk:

Also, Lyles told [head coach Chip Kelly], Seastrunk loves Air Jordan sneakers.

“He’s a complete Jordan-head,” Lyles said. “That’s one of the big things he liked. So Oregon had a pair of Jordans for him --- only one of two pairs ever made.”

Basically, a quick reading of that statement would probably lead one to believe that according to Lyles, Oregon provided Seastrunk with a rare pair of Air Jordans, which would be a major recruiting violation and likely enough to get Chip Kelly fired at once. Moreover, it would represent an escalation of Lyles' intimations about the Oregon program; when he talked to Yahoo!, he never once said anything about Oregon or anybody else directly providing impermissible benefits to any players, much less Seastrunk.

And yet still, there are Lyles' own words, seemingly damning Oregon's program. The only way out for Oregon is through a narrow interpretation of "had a pair of Jordans for him," mainly that Oregon had procured the shoes for Seastrunk's visit, but only for display and not as a gift or anything -- sort of the way a museum might say it "has a new exhibit wing for patrons," which nobody would assume to mean that the exhibits are free for the taking. Still, again, that's a pretty narrow reading of the term, and it would almost have to take a clarification from Lyles himself along those lines to make this a non-story.

Well, as luck would have it, Lyles did provide exactly that clarification on Twitter this evening -- and a picture to back it up. "The shoes were on display and I never said they were given to Lache," said Lyles in a tweet, and the photographic evidence, via Lyles' own Twitpic account, is above at right.

So that's that, and frankly, this explanation makes way more sense than the alternative. If there are only two pairs of a certain style of Jordan ever made, they're practically treasures (especially to Nike, Oregon, and to a lesser-but-still-substantial extent Seastrunk), which means the odds that they'd be used as a highly illegal bargaining chip in the recruitment of a player would seem practically zero. Moreover, according to Lyles, Oregon was paying him that $25,000 precisely so they wouldn't have to provide eligibility-threatening benefits to kids while still influencing them to come to Eugene. 

Last, it's hard to estimate just how big a boost this gives Lyles' credibility. The natural inclination for many has been to paint Lyles as a snitch, someone embittered by Oregon's decision to cut off the payments and essentially throw him under the bus. By personally diffusing a potential situation and rejecting the opportunity to pile more dirt on Kelly (especially after that initial Yahoo! interview), Lyles seems like less of a villian and more of, as Canzano noted in his piece linked above (which is truly worth a read regardless of the Jordans anecdote), a plain old human being.

Comments

Since: May 29, 2012
Posted on: May 30, 2012 12:43 am
 

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Since: Jun 21, 2011
Posted on: July 9, 2011 1:38 am
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

smchap,

Do you really think Tressell tried to "clean up the mess in house"? What got Tressell fired was not the tattoos or the selling of personal items. He got fired because he knew about it, didn't try at all to "clean up the mess", didn't tell his superiors about it when he found out, lied to them when they found out, and lied to the NCAA when he told them he didn't know about it previously.

He got fired for the coverup, not for the violations.







Since: Jun 21, 2011
Posted on: July 9, 2011 1:25 am
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

Are you really naive enough to think that this was an inadvertent slip of the tongue by Lyles, who was then kind enough to later issue a clarification? This was a deliberate lie by Lyles, because he knows the way that the media works. He understands that the newest bit of juicy gossip makes the front page headline for everyone to see, and the retraction is on page 20, where practically no one sees it.

This lie was repeated dozens, if not hundreds of times before he issued his 'clarification'. It continues to be repeated long after his 'clarification' because of the way the media works. He's a master at saying something so people naturally assume what he wants rhem to assume, but can't be held accountable when what he says is proven as a lie. "People misunderstood". Yeah, right Willie.

I guess he explained it best:

“When you talk to people, you can word things how you want to word them and they can seem different than what they normally are. You can just change it up and make it sound like it wasn’t as bad as it really was.”

Willie Lyles – on 1080 The Fan with Isaac and Big Suke




Since: Sep 26, 2010
Posted on: July 6, 2011 10:46 pm
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

Conzano is Oregons answer to Dodd and Doyle. He is barely what I would call a journalist. Most of his rants and writings are full of half truths and some out right lies. His sensational style of "reporting" has driven me to drop the local paper where his colum is promanent, but also not listening to the local sports talk radio station where his "bald face truth" is anything but.



Since: Jul 6, 2011
Posted on: July 6, 2011 8:22 pm
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

First of all, when recruits take their official or unofficial visits recruits are given clothing to wear during the visit.  They cannot leave with the merchandise unless they pay for it.  That is a fact, I used to be a recruiting coordinator at Oregon so I know the policies regarding recruits.  Way to make assumptions that you have no basis for.



Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2011 2:49 pm
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

every scholarship player is given clothes. workout clothes, walking around stuff, etc. oregon players get a bunch of stuff with oregon on it. i was given a utah jacket from an athlete because they simply have too much at times. now giving it away to high school friends and family is not against the rules. then you have support and people reppin your school at home. going and selling them with your autograph is. but yes athletes are fully suited up with what they need as part of their scholarship. oregon and many other schools just are sponsored by nike. 



Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: July 6, 2011 2:28 pm
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

Posted on: July 6, 2011 10:42 amScore: 122 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

Oh please.  Of course they were given to him.  Somebody, please name another D1 school that barely has a basketball team (Like OR) that would buy and showcase a pair of rare basketball shoes!!! 

Oh PLEASE, Of course they were GIVEN to th U of O.   Somebody please name another D1 school that barely has a basketball team (Other than OR) that would recieve from Phil Knight, and showcase a pair of rare basketball shoes!!!

BigBuckA$$, are you starting to see how ludicrous your post was?



Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2011 2:24 pm
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

Welcome to the club Oregon.  Welcome to the club where the media is putting guilt all over your football program in the eye of public opinion.  Auburn got away with the crime because they brought more to the table for the national title game than TCU or Boise State could and since the NCAA acts as if they are unbiased enforcers.  First they go after Ohio State and Jim Tressell for the very minor violation of selling personal items.  Tressell tries to clean up the mess in house but gets scorned by the media to the point where the media is calling the OSU program rogue with numerous car gift allegations which are completely untrue but is enough that Tressell resigns due to the unnecessary tarnishing of the University.  Now the media is all over Oregon.  Well based on precedence paying a scouting service is no different than paying a father to give a recruiting edge I guess.  I would really like to know what Lyles motive is for the game he is playing with Oregon.  He was paid $25,000 for his services and now it's apparent he desperately needs more money and is playing an "innocent blackmail game" with the Duck program.  Unfortunately for Chip Kelly what you have done in the past that has been good for your kids has no bearing on how the media and NCAA will crucify you.  I recall Chip Kelly suspending LaGarrette Blount indefinately.  He suspended LaMichael James at the beginning of the 2010 season.  He booted Jeremiah Masoli from the team for repeated violations and Masoli was a Heisman candidate.  Win at all costs does not do this things but Tressell did the same thing to his players in the past but that is never considered before the hanging of a good coach in the public's opinion loaded with hearsay and lack of all the facts.  Media likes to  paint a picture with the details that will get attention. 



Since: Aug 15, 2007
Posted on: July 6, 2011 1:28 pm
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

I hope all you Oregon fans that are blaming the media now retract any statements you made about Ohio state. Sucks to be in the spotlight doesn't it?
Well until something comes out that this reason was in fact a lie, and there was a bribe given, then why would any Oregon fan retract any statements they made about Ohio State?  Ohio State has already been proven to have broken the rules, with more to possibly/probably to come.



Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2011 1:23 pm
 

No, Oregon did not give Seastrunk these Jordans

I am sure the content of this story is REALLY important to Seastrunk, Lyles, Kelly, Kinight, U. of Oregon, and the NCAA ... but it is really sad, and the perception created only tarnished collegiate sports more.


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