Follow-Up: Garza linked to Lache Seastrunk money transfer
Another rotten apple has fallen from the Willie Lyles tree, and with a single thud it places two programs on alert. Yahoo sports is reporting a money trail that leads from the former USC and Tennessee defensive backs coach Willie Mack Garza to the family of Texas recruit Lache Seastrunk.
An assistant coach during Lane Kiffin’s tenure at the University of Tennessee wired $1,500 to a talent scout in July 2009, funding the airfare for an unofficial recruiting trip by then five-star prospect Lache Seastrunk and his mother.
Yahoo has obtained a record of the transaction, which contains the name of both the sender and recipient. But there is still no word on whether Garza was the original cash source or acting under the order or knowledge of superiors, which would determine how broad or narrow the investigation will be.
Lache Seastrunk and mentor Willie Lyles are the current focus of an NCAA investigation of Oregon recruiting practices. Highly recruited, the Texas high school running back eventually chose the Ducks as his college football choice, snubbing USC and others on his list of finalists. He has since transferred to Baylor, amid the rumors and speculations surrounding his relationship with Lyles and recruitment by Oregon.
Citing personal reasons, Garza submitted his resignation to USC just two days before the season kickoff. At the time, it was speculated that his abrupt departure was a result of statements made by Lyles to NCAA investigators. And through Yahoo’s finding and report published today, those early suppositions appear to be true.