This whole discussion for Oregon and other schools may not ultimately be about whether Lyles steered Seastrunk to Oregon, or 12 athletes to LSU over three years; it may come down to the legitimacy of buying a relationship with a player advisor-mentor.
We as fans are new to this, but many families do NOT have a father figure to rely upon for guidance in the recruiting process for the young man. Both Seastrunk and LaMichael relied upon grandparents who may not have known anything about college football recruiting, and when given the opportunity they turned the recruiting element of it over to a new trusted advisor.
Whether we like it or not—this is happening with the best prospects a lot more than the coaches would prefer, thus if they want to recruit the player—they HAVE to talk to the “advisor”. The advisor may not even take phone calls unless his “scouting services” are purchased by the potential college. Hence he may not steer the player anywhere, but simply deny access to the player by the prospective school unless he KNOWS the coaching staff via his scouting services sales log. It can be as simple as the recruit asking, “what do you know about Les Miles, and what do you know about Chip Kelly?” If Oregon is not a client of this advisor’s scouting services, then the answer could be, “Miles is straight up, and a great coach. LSU would be a good choice. I know nothing about Chip Kelly.”
And that is how you’re out in the cold with a recruit.
How do you feel about “buying a relationship” with the advisor?
If you say that you’ll never deal with them, then you may not be recruiting half the elite athletes! Yet as the rules stand now—you “buy” the scouting services to show the NCAA that you acquired goods or services, yet you are really acquiring access to the athlete, with no assurance of any return on your investment. You simply gain a spot on the shelf the player is looking at as potential schools. Evidence of this comes from all the other athletes that did NOT come to Oregon, but went to other places.
Until the NCAA passes legislation that forbids an “advisor” to also sell anything of value to an NCAA school—then technically what Oregon and the SEC has done is not illegal, but sleazy. But with the rules we have currently-what do you do?