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Headlinin’: Willie Lyles media blitz has Willie Lyles’ back

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Making the morning rounds.

Ramblin' man. Last week's damning report by Yahoo! Sports may have been the beginning of the end for Chip Kelly in Oregon, but it was only the beginning for disgraced scout Willie Lyles, too: On the heels of his Yahoo! tell-all, Lyles has embarked on a weeklong media blitz that's already included in-depth interviews on national radio, local radio in Oregon and local newspapers in both Eugene and Portland. All with the same message: Yes, the bogus scouting report looked bad, and yes, he now believes Oregon only paid him for better access to recruits he knew personally, not information. But Willie Lyles is not a street agent, and he's not a crook.

"I wouldn't say [the decision to talk to media] is just because I feel like I'm hurt by the University of Oregon," Lyles told 1080 The Score in Portland. "I feel like it's more I have to protect my name. I felt like my body of work was really good and the way it was portrayed … I was made to look really foolish. I didn't like the way that felt because that's not the body of work that I had."

If his efforts to salvage his reputation haven't accomplished anything else, they have proven convincing on one point: Willie Lyles is one relentless self-promoter. [Eugene Register Guard, The Score, 1080 The Score, The Oregonian, Fox Sports]

Cleaning costs. In the meantime, the $25,000 Oregon paid Lyles in March 2010 — whatever it thought it was buying at the time — now stands to cost the university at least six times as much to defend itself from an intensifying NCAA investigation. Former NCAA investigator Mike "The Cleaner" Glazier and three other attorneys from the firm Bond, Schoeneck & King have been retained to handle Oregon's case for a maximum of $150,000 through the end of September, at which point the maximum fee could increase. [Eugene Register Guard]{YSP:MORE}

Get well soon. Former Florida great Danny Wuerffel is continuing to make progress in what could be a lengthy recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralyzing autoimmune disorder he contracted last month while visiting a fellow minister in Alabama.

"As I move into the second month of my battle with Guillain Barre, I'm finally starting to feel more like a person and less like a patient," the 1996 Heisman winner said in a message posted on the website of his ministry, Desire Street Ministries. "And I'm getting stronger. I can get around the house pretty well and have started rehab." Recovery time for Guillain-Barré may span from a few weeks to a few years. [Gainesville Sun, Desire Street Ministries]

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Thank you for your contributions. By all appearances, Howard Schnellenberger will finally get to coach this fall in the on-campus stadium he worked so hard to bring to Florida Atlantic after taking over as the program's first head coach more than a decade ago. But the sense in Miami is that he's not likely to last past 2011 if the product on the field can't draw fans to the shiny new seats.

"The focus this season is on opening our stadium and honoring all those who worked so hard to make it happen, and Howard was the one that pushed the hardest," FAU athletic director Craig Angelos told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. However: "The more excitement surrounding the program the better for all of us. If you are relevant on the landscape and you will be better received." [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Bring it on. Responding to a lawsuit filed by former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo, the NCAA vowed Wednesday to "vigorously defend" its decision to declare McAdoo permanently ineligible last year. McAdoo's suit accuses both the NCAA and the university (which was actually on his side) of "gross negligence" in finding McAdoo was guilty of academic fraud and seeks unspecified damages on top of the restoration of his final year of eligibility. [Raleigh News & Observer]

Quickly… American football coaches are giving T. Boone Pickens some kind of award for being super rich. … Ohio State players are trying to tune out that tolling bell. … West Virginia players are enjoying the sudden quiet. … One of Ole Miss' top signees was in class on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after getting word that he'd qualified. … And the NCAA has a few openings in the national office, if you're interested.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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