Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Tom Lyles Calls UK Visit Accusations ‘Ridiculous,’ ‘Retarded’ and ‘Dumb’
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was updated to reflect the NCAA rule that unofficial visits are not permitted during the month of July.
Tom Lyles called accusations that his son visited Kentucky in July “ridiculous,” “retarded” and “dumb” and said he and Trey visited the Kentucky campus for the first time a week ago.
Lyles was responding to comments made by Dan Dakich of 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis indicating that Trey, a 6-foot-8 power forward, visited Kentucky in July prior to his de-commitment from Indiana.
“I got it from a source, a very good source, that they went to Kentucky,” Dakich told SNY.tv by phone, adding that he had no proof of the visit other than what his source told him.
“And they told me July. Now, was it Aug. 1? I have no idea. They told me July. Nobody told me anybody met with coaches. Nobody told me any of that, just said they went to Kentucky in July.”
Unofficial visits are not permitted at all during the month of July, according to NCAA rule 22.214.171.124. A recruit can make an unofficial in July the day after he has accepted a scholarship offer or an offer of financial aid.
It Lyles did in fact visit during July and meet with coaches, it would have been an NCAA violation, per NCAA rules. Two Division 1 coaches said Kentucky would then likely have to stop recruiting him.
“It is ridiculous, it is flat out ridiculous that Dakich or anybody else out there would want to start up these untrue rumor simply because a kid decided that he wanted to be recruited, that he wanted to experience what it’s like to be recruited and now people are upset so they want to start spreading lies,” Tom Lyles told SNY.tv by phone.
“I don’t know where Dan is geting his information. I don’t know why Dan would want to put something like that out there.”
“It’s retarded. It never, ever happened because if anybody knows me they know there’s no way in the world I would do anything to jeopardize my son’s future, and that right there would be a blatant action in jeopardizing his future. Anybody who knows me knows that that would never happen.”
He added: “It’s dumb, it’s flat out dumb.”
To reiterate, Dakich said he had no idea that the visit may have been during a dead period when he made the comments.
“To be honest with you, and I should know this since I have a son that’s being recruited a little bit, but I didn’t even think about it being a violation,” Dakich said. “I just wanted to tell Indiana fans that this family and this kid have moved on and they’re being recruited. That was the purpose of me talking about it because Indiana fans are passionate and the kid’s from Indianapolis and he decommitted.”
Tom said he and his son did visit Kentucky a week ago Saturday.
“We were there just shy of a week ago,” he said. “He’s only taken two visits since he decided to open up his recruitment. The first one was a week ago today to Butler University here in Indianapolis.
“The second one was on Saturday, we went to Kentucky. That was the first time and the only time we were on the campus. We met with the coaches. That was the first time seeing Coach [John] Calipari up close. That was my first time ever meeting him, talking with him, or anybody else on his staff.”
Lyles said his son simply wants to go through the recruiting process after committing to Indiana early.
“We’re trying to get him to get this experience because you only go through it once in life,” he said. “For him he missed out on two years. He missed out on two years of being recruited because of his focus being on IU.
“He was excited to get there and to play.”
Numerous coaches have been in to visit Lyles since the contact period began and several visits are in the planning stages.
“We’re trying to get something scheduled,” he said, “for Michigan State, Louisville, Florida and a few other places.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.