There is an interesting story at USAToday.com from Jim Halley (with contributors), detailing the highlights of what absolutely has to be the wackiest college football offseason in World Friggin History.
Halley et al run down a bullet list of major scandals, including the growing “Pryor Knowledge” case at Ohio State, the AUBurgeddon of Cam Newton’s recruitment, Agents gone wild at North Carolina. Tennessee’s appearance this weekend before the Committee on Infractions. The wife of a former Texas Quarterback’s revelations to ESPN’s Colin Cowherd regarding booster and agent irregularities. The Appeals Committee’s denial of Southern Cal’s plea for mercy in the Reggie Bush scandal.
But Halley’s dragnet didn’t capture all of the scandals or allegations of rules violations that are still floating around. For example, we learned earlier this week that a case of internecine warfare may be developing at West Virginia, where the Coach-in-Waiting had rumors floated about alleged drunken confrontations, with evidence that the rumors may have been floated by either the coach he’s about to replace or his wife. Yikes.
Also missed was the Yahoo! Sports story regarding potential NCAA violations at Oregon, where the school allegedly made potentially improper payments to recruiting services.
In early March, four (then) current Auburn football players were arrested and charged with home invasion and armed robbery. Then there was the bombshell March 30 airing of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, where four former Auburn football players claim to have been paid to play football and were allowed to skate on academic requirements.
It’s crazy. In fact, I honestly can’t remember a more outlandish offseason than the one we’re struggling through this summer and it seems that a week can’t pass before we get a new OMG WTF moment. As of today, there are 86 days left before the first weekend of the 2011 college football season, so there’s plenty of time for more bombs to go off. Who, or what, could possibly be next?
Clearly, the Ohio State case is the one most people are interested in, primarily because (1) it was a cut and dried case of “Pryor Knowledge” on the part of Jim Tressel, who not only knew players were getting tattoos, bling and cash from shady characters, but lied to the NCAA about it, and (2) new developments just keep on coming. If the NCAA can prove that Tressel’s bosses knew what was going on, the case goes even more toxic than it is now.
But the spotlight could change, and quickly. The Oregon case is hot. The West Virginia situation—while not yet an NCAA case—could get ugly in a hurry. The sheer number of current or former Auburn players in the mix has to be troubling for teh fambly. Or, something completely new and interesting could develop between now and the first weekend of September.
And that weekend just can’t get here soon enough for me.
Extra Point: Want to take your focus off of the Scandal Carousel? Try this link at Kegs ‘N Eggs.