Ducks under investigation for recruiting service use

Ducks under investigation for recruiting service use »Play Video
The NCAA is investigating whether a recruiter improperly guided Lache Seastrunk (above) to come and play for the Ducks.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The University of Oregon confirmed it was contacted by the NCAA on Friday and is under investigation over its football recruiting practices but it insists it has done nothing wrong.

ESPN and Yahoo sports both reported Thursday that the NCAA is investigating whether top recruits were improperly steered toward Oregon.

The investigation centers on two payments made to recruiting services for a combined $29,000 and how star football recruit Lache Seastrunk from Texas landed in Eugene.

Oregon got into the national championship by becoming a player on the national recruiting stage. Part of that is done by doing what big-time programs do: pay recruiting services to collect information on top high school players. The question in this investigation is whether some recruiters crossed the line and guided the players to Oregon which would violate NCAA rules.

Prized Duck recruit, Seastrunk, grew up in Texas and ESPN and Yahoo sports reported that the University of Oregon paid $25,000 to a Houston-based scouting service run by a man who is said to be a mentor to Seastrunk.

According to ESPN, Seastrunk’s mother, Evelyn, didn’t know the recruiter got money from Oregon.

If he “… collected $25,000 off my son he needs to be held accountable,” she said. “The NCAA must find out for me. I don’t know how to digest someone cashing in on my son.”

According to ESPN, the NCAA is also examining the same recruiter and his relationship with Ducks’ star tailback LaMichael James who is also from Texas.

To be a big-time program the university has to recruit nationwide. In the Ducks’ new recruiting class, most (9) of the 23 players came from California and six other states including two from Texas. Only three are from Oregon.

Lynn Lashbrook, a former college athletic director and current agent, said the world of recruiting is messy. He said it’s easier for universities to monitor their own behavior but harder to police recruiting services.

“The NCAA is trying to get their arms around these scouting programs,” he said. “They really do raise a lot of questions at least from an ethical standpoint.”

Also being investigated is a payment of just under $4,000 to another recruiting service with a relationship with another star recruit.

The University of Oregon released the invoices to the recruiting services that can be found below.