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Former Ely Star Named In Pay-For-Play Scheme

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(Source: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Source: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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BATON ROUGE, La. (CBS4) – Former LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson has denied he had a relationship with a controversial recruiting service owned by Willie Lyles. Peterson, a South Florida native, was implicated yesterday in a pay-for-play scam by a former Texas A&M assistant coach.

“I have never had any type of relationship with Willie Lyles and he had no influence on my decision to attend LSU, or any other school for that matter,” Peterson said in a statement released by LSU. “He had no involvement with my recruiting process and I resent the fact that my name has come up in these allegations.”

Peterson, was originally set to attend the University of Miami, but would reopen his recruitment. In a report by ESPN Wednesday evening, former Texas A&M cornerback coach Van Malone said he was told by Lyles that the Aggies would have to “beat” an offer of $80,000 made by other schools.

Malone said he was contacted by Lyles after Peterson visited Texas A&M in 2007. He said he informed Lyles that the Aggies didn’t pay for football players. Malone said he informed Peterson of the scheme.

“I chose LSU because it’s a great school with a great football program,” Peterson said. “I never received nor was I offered anything to go to LSU and anyone saying otherwise is being dishonest.”

Lyles operates a “scouting service” called Complete Scouting Services. The NCAA is currently investigating Oregon’s payment of $25,000 to Lyles’ firm and his involvement in the recruitment of running back Lache Seastrunk to Oregon.

Oregon admitted to paying Lyles for videos of prospective student, which is legal under NCAA rules. LSU also said it used Lyles’ service, among others.

LSU said it stands by Peterson’s comments.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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