Oregon running back Lache Seastrunk, one of the key figures in the NCAA’s investigation of the school, is leaving the Ducks.
“Lache wants to be closer to his grandmother,” said Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. “That’s what he wants. It’s a family decision and that’s why he went home.”
According to a school statement, Oregon granted Seastrunk’s unconditional release to transfer from the school’s football program.
Kelly gave the five-star recruit time off from Friday’s meetings and Saturday’s practice to think about his decision. They met after Saturday’s practice.
Reporters from The Oregonian called Seastrunk on his cell phone, but he hung up on them.
Seastrunk’s aunt, Jen Seastrunk, also declined comment. The red-shirt freshman even cancelled a Friday appearance on a Portland sports talk radio show at the last minute.
According to reports, Seastrunk was visibly unhappy with his place on the Ducks’ depth chart following Friday’s practice. He was battling for a reserve role on the team.
“We wish Lache all the best in his future pursuits and will offer our complete assistance to him in his search to continue his football and educational career,” the school’s statement said.
The NCAA is investigating Seastrunk’s recruitment to Oregon. At issue is the Ducks’ allegedly inflated $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles’ Complete Scouting Services in Houston. Lyles may have steered former Texas high school stars Seastrunk and LaMichael James to Oregon in exchange for the cash.
Oregon issued a $25,000 check to Lyles in March of last year, right after Seastrunk signed a letter of intent to play for the Ducks.
It would be an NCAA violation if Oregon paid Lyles to use his influence to steer a recruit to Oregon.
Earlier this month, Seastrunk brushed aside the controversy during Oregon’s Media Day.
“I know I haven’t committed anything wrong so I’m going to keep focused on the task ahead and keep pushing to reach my goal,” Seastrunk said.
It’s rumored that Seastrunk will transfer to Baylor. Waco is about 35 miles from his old high school. Seastrunk finished his high school career with 4,127 yards and 52 touchdowns.