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Oregon Ducks Recruiting Violations Alleged On Pac-12 Birthday

Welcome to the Pac-12, Utah and Colorado. You now have the privilege of competing against Nike U (aka the Oregon Ducks). In an extensive and fantastic piece of journalism, Yahoo! Sports has unveiled a story that explodes previous allegations related to "outside" recruiting "consultant" Will Lyles.

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Lyles was paid $25,000 by the Ducks to provide scouting services but admits in a lengthy interview with Yahoo! that he did much more.

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Scout details relationship with Oregon, Kelly - College Football - Rivals.com
[...] (Lyles) now says Oregon did not pay him for his work as a traditional scout, but for his influence with top recruits and their families and his ability to usher prospects through the signing and eligibility process. That dual role as mentor to prospects and paid contractor to Oregon is believed to be a focus of the NCAA probe.

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Oregon needed a way to keep up with the USC Trojan powerhouse that's since been revealed to have been built on a house of violations, and so like most of the nation's top programs, they did whatever they could to win. Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com puts it best:

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Will Lyles drops a big, ol' dime on Oregon - CBSSports.com
Be very concerned Duck Nation. Oregon is in line for major penalties, the kind that burn a program to the ground. USC-like. Kelly's job could be in jeopardy. This is not USC looking the other way while Reggie Bush took money, this is a willful attempt to gain a recruiting and competitive advantage. Can anyone win big without cheating? The question remains unanswered.

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Meanwhile at ASU, Sun Devil coach Dennis Erickson is in the cross hairs for not getting the job done and the job in professional collegiate athletics is winning. It's a system completely void of an ethical foundation and one that gives programs the choice between following the rules and winning big bowl games. 

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Too much money in the NFL and NBA has lead to disputes between players and owners on who gets to gorge most on the pie. In college athletics we pretend to all believe in the common good and purity of the "student athlete" when in reality the pie is growing fast and not being (legally) shared with the players in any kind of fair or meaningful way.

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The Ducks might be the next to go down, but they won't be the last.