Thursday, June 30, 2011

SEC AD’s snub Cam Newton, award Athlete of the Year to a Tennis Player

imageQuestion: Why didn’t Cam Newton win the SEC Male Athlete of the Year Award?

Answer: Because only amateur athletes are eligible for it!

[rim shot]

Helmet rap to @TideFanAtlanta for the joke.

 Via the al.com “Auburn Bureau.” In a move reminiscent of the SEC Football Coaches voting Steve Spurrier Coach of the Year, the conference’s Athletic Directors have awarded the SEC Male Athlete of the Year Award to John-Patrick Smith, a Senior Tennis Player from the University of Tennessee.

As Charles Goldberg points out, this is the first time that an SEC player who won the Heisman Trophy was NOT also named MAOTY.

Is it an intentional snub of the SEC’s most prolific—and most controversial—football player?

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It’s official: Alabama will meet Virginia Tech in 2013 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff

SabanVBeamer Rumors started swirling earlier this week that Bama and VT were in discussions and close to an agreement to reprise the 2009 kickoff in the 2013 version of the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff.

Game organizers have made it official.

Virginia Tech is now in the process of reorganizing previously scheduled opponents for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Alabama has no solidified schedule for the 2013 season, so it has no wrangling of opponents and dates to interfere.

Alabama defeated Virginia Tech 34-24 in the 2009 matchup. The Crimson Tide went on to an undefeated season, beating the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship for its record 22nd Conference Title, and beat the Texas Longhorns in the BCS Championship Game for its 13th National Championship.

Marquee games like this are GREAT for college football. More teams should seek quality opponents, especially early in the season. LSU will play Oregon in the 2011 season opener, and Georgia will face Boise State. Tennessee has routinely looked to the PAC-10 for its marquee out-of-conference matchups.

We need more of these, please. LOTS more.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BingoGate: Gilley’s testimony provides peek into the future

image As expected, defense attorneys in USA vs McGregor et al mounted a determined assault on confessed conspirator Ronnie Gilley. During cross examination yesterday, lawyers for the accused co-conspirators lined up and threw their best punches at the owner of Country Crossings, trying their best to destroy his credibility and paint him as a snitch who told a big story just to avoid serious jail time.

Gilley, indicted along with fellow casino owner Milton McGregor, an army of lobbyists and a cabal of legislators last fall on charges of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and fraud, pled guilty and is a key witness for the prosecution.

Gilley told the jury yesterday that he was hopelessly in debt—up to $160 million—and admitted that he pled guilty in exchange that prosecutors would recommend a more lenient sentence. At times calm and collected, at others testy and combative, Gilley denied that he was the instigator in the scheme to bribe legislators in exchange for their votes on a bill that would have put a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling on the 2010 ballot.

It was this exchange that piques the interest of folks wondering where all of this might lead:


2:45 p.m. – Ronnie Gilley and the attorney for Jay Walker gave the strongest indication since indictments were returned against 11 people last October that the FBI and Department of Justice is continuing its public corruption investigation.

During a line of questioning about Gilley’s plea agreement, Walker attorney Susan James asked Gilley about his sentencing, currently scheduled for Nov. 15.

James: “One the day or night before you were released from jail, did you not tell Mark Sheldon (Gilley employee) that you would not be sentenced in November?

Gilley: “I probably did.”

James: “You may be on the witness stand in a lot of cases in the future, is that correct?

Gilley: "Possibly."

During several pre-trial hearings leading up to the June trial, the government has sought to keep several documents under seal, citing an ongoing investigation.

Gilley indicated Tuesday he is expected to continue cooperating with the government after the conclusion of this trial.


If you’re a regular IBCR reader, you first learned of the pre-trial wrangling right here. Before Christmas 2010, attorneys for Milton McGregor, Tom Coker and Bob Geddie all filed motions to compel the government to release certain evidence. The government resisted, citing an ongoing probe that had expanded beyond the original indictment handed down last October. Gilley’s testimony under cross examination provides the strongest indication yet that the probe—or probes—will continue well past this trial.

The government is extraordinarily tight-lipped about this probe. Recall that in the current case, FBI agents held meetings with some of the legislators involved in the 2010 push for the gambling referendum, and let them know that they and others might be targets of a criminal investigation. No such courtesy has been extended on the expanded probe, so we still don’t know who or what the targets are. But it’s safe to say that the much anticipated “second round” of indictments—which even this blog expected to be handed down months ago—may still yet be months away.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SEC proposes to eliminate the “Saban Rule”

 

 Via Bryan Fischer on CBSSports.com’s Eye on Recruiting blog.

The SEC is proposing a number of key rule changes to be considered by the NCAA membership. In a letter to Leeland Zeller, NCAA Associate Director of Academic and Membership Affairs, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive outlined a slate of seven modifications to existing by-laws.

Fischer outlines the proposed changes:


    • imageThe SEC endorses the return of text messaging. Currently, coaches cannot text with recruits (at all) but they can email them or send them a Facebook message. The current rules have already caused several coaches to self-report violations after accidentally texting a prospective student-athlete and some coaches privately gripe this is one of the rules they'd like to seen thrown out sooner rather than later. In talking with several administrators from other conferences, there should be plenty of support if the SEC puts forth a proposal to allow texting. The letter does note that while the conference's position is to allow texts, there should be limits in order to not overwhelm prospective recruits.
    • An earlier date for the first off-campus contact by coaches with recruits.
    • Current rules force compliance to monitor follower requests on Twitter and friend requests on Facebook sent to institutional staffers (coaches, administrators, etc.). The SEC says this monitoring "presents a significant compliance challenge" and wants staff members to be able to accept them without having to go through compliance first.
    • The SEC will introduce a proposal for the upcoming NCAA legislative cycle that will permit any coach or staff member to receive phone calls placed by recruits, recruits' parents or recruits' coaches. Phone calls to and from recruits is currently tightly regulated and the SEC proposal would expand contact with recruits as a way to alleviate some compliance concerns associated with monitoring and reporting. Essentially, the SEC is looking to deregulate a lot of the legislation concerning phone calls and texting.
    • The conference would like to redefine the four recruiting periods (Contact, Evaluation, Quiet and Dead) on the calendar into three (Off-campus, on-campus and dead). The SEC wants the off-campus period to be a combination of the current contact and evaluation periods with the rationale that they would eliminate the media from blowing up reports of the so-called "bump" rule being violated. The bump rule, the letter states, "is a source for media reports questioning the integrity of involved coaches, create the expectation that high school coaches arrange incidental contact during an evaluation period, and place college coaches intent on following the rules at a distinct disadvantage." The change is significant and would allow spring football recruiting to take on an even greater importance in the recruiting cycle. Coaches would be able to talk to players freely when they visit campuses in the spring and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the number of verbal commitments to skyrocket as recruits commit when a coach comes to visit.
    • Although the letter states the conference supports earlier official visits - especially taking visits during the summer - they do not propose a specific date the visits should start because "no clear consensus exists around the date that might be established." Slive notes that there is some concern that summer official visits would allow some schools to pay for recruits to come to campus and then allow them to participate in their summer camp at the same time, thus covering travel costs for recruits to camps where players would be evaluated.
    • It has been previously discussed, but the SEC will submit an NCAA-wide proposal that bans 7-on-7 and other so-called "non-scholastic" events from college campuses. The conference also will submit a proposal that bans coaches from involvement in local sports clubs.


The “bump rule,” aka the “Saban Rule,” was just another onerous attempt to remove the advantage of hard working recruiters like Nick Saban. Coaches that would rather be duck hunting, playing golf or chasing skirts didn’t cotton too well to Coach Saban outworking them by visiting the high schools of targeted recruits and chatting with them.

However, the law of unintended consequences has come back to bite the programs Saban was devouring on the recruiting trail with or without such asinine rules. Since the rule was passed and began being enforced, three of the SEC schools have replaced coaches with energetic recruiters, who are now being hampered by the same rule that (at least two of) their predecessors championed so loudly.

Steve Spurrier won’t like it, but Tommy Tuberville and Phil Fulmer aren’t around to complain anymore.  Let’s hope the rule change gets passed by the NCAA membership, so that Saban and other hardworking recruiters in the SEC reap the rewards of their labors. 

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When has a football program run by Nick Saban been placed on NCAA probation for recruiting violations?


image




To the conspiracy nuts in the 334 area code, this post is for you.


We patiently await for your answer to the following question: When has a college football program run by Nick Saban ever received sanctions and placed on probation for major NCAA recruiting violations?

When has a football program run by Nick Saban been placed on NCAA probation for recruiting violations?

Broken post. Here's what you're looking for. Be patient with the Padawan coblogger. Nail Phyl is learning...

Tell me if you believe this statement: Federal regulations provide a net economic benefit

If you asked a Government Executive whether he thought what he’s doing is worthwhile, WTF do you think his answer is going to be? If you asked the agency charged with overseeing the costs of the massive and oppressive set of federal regulations and unfunded mandates whether they thought telling you what kind of light bulbs you can buy was a good idea, or whether you can only buy toilets that take three flushes to “clear the air,” do you think you’d get a positive response?

Of course you would.

OMB and its army of bureaucrats set out to make their case by cherry picking the rules, regulations and unfunded mandates the federal government burdens states, local governments and private citizens with on a daily basis. Only rules promulgated by Energy, EPA, Health & Human Services, Interior and Transportation.

USDA? Nada. Department of Commerce? Nope. Department of Education? Fuggeddaboutit. No National Marine Fisheries. No Food & Drug Administration. No Internal Revenue Service. No Social Security Administration. No Small Business Administration.

But federal regulations provide a net economic benefit, right citizen?

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Darnell Dockett live tweets a traffic stop. What could go wrong?

 

I don’t know how this ended. These were sent from Darnell Dockett’s verified Twitter account. The first was posted at 11:58 am EDT and the last was posted at 2:18 pm EDT. Apparently, the local constabulary had the outspoken Arizona Cardinals Defensive Lineman pulled over for more than two hours.

image
There R 3police cars and they are talking! I don't see A search warrant they won't see inside this escalade! I got all day hope they don't!
image Police said "do you mind if we look around in your Vehicle?" I said I sure DO! He said "I'm gonna call back up" I said u wanna use my phone?
image I think they (POLICE) going to get a search warrant cuz they sitting here looking like fools waiting on something!
image These COPS really think I'm stupid they playing good cop bad cop! BOY STOOOOP! I'm not falling for that! NO SIR YOU WILL NOT LOOK IN MY CAR!
image This cop just ask me how tall R u & where R U from! I'm bout to ask him can I go across the street to POPEYS while we sitting here waiting!
image I been sitting here for a HOUR 1cop by the driver window, 2talking at the car! And the 1by the window being friendly! Like wtf?
image I asked the cop why he pulled me over he said I was speeding I said BULLSHIT! But give me the ticket that's when he asked to search my car!
image So you gonna lie and say I'm speeding then you wanna search my car! Get the F*ck ouutta here! Better go get a warrant *turns up radio*
image OK so now I think they letting me Go cop just brought my DL's and registration! Yeah I'm bout to be out this MOFO!

If you use Twitter and you don’t follow Dockett, you’re missing one of the NFL’s most colorful Tweeps.

Usually NSFW but always good for a laugh.

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SEC Difference Makers: Steve Kragthorpe and Charlie Weiss

image The 2011 College Football season allows two of the most highly regarded offensive minds to ply their trade in the most competitive, most talented and toughest league in the Football Bowl Subdivision—the Southeastern Conference.

Steve Kragthorpe and Charlie Weiss come from very different backgrounds, but both have been head coaches at BCS schools and understand the intense pressure that comes with playing at such a high level. Both have also coached in the NFL, with roles ranging from QB’s coach to Offensive Coordinator.

 

 

image They have the boxes checked on their resumes. But can they get their squads to succeed in the SEC? The 2011 season will give us a much clearer picture. The two teams whose offenses they’re charged with leading were disappointments in the 2010 season, so there’s a set of yardsticks available.

Steve Kragthorpe was the successful Head Coach at Tulsa, where the Golden Hurricanes racked up a Conference USA Title in 2005 and beat Fresno State in the Liberty Bowl. Kragthorpe’s innovative offensive playcalling and eye-popping statistics garnered lots of national attention. Kragthorpe was frequently mentioned as a top candidate for bigger coaching jobs and was mentioned as potential replacement for Alabama’s Mike Shula, who was dismissed after the 2006 season. Alabama hired Nick Saban instead, and Kragthorpe went on to a disappointing stint at Louisville, winning only 15 games in three years. LSU Head Coach Les Miles hired Kragthorpe to take over the Tigers struggling offense after the 2010 season. His task: Get LSU Quarterback Jordan Jefferson to take his game to the next level and develop backup Zack Mettenberger as a capable replacement and heir apparent. LSU returns the talent at Offensive Line and Wide Receiver to make this job a bit easier, and the frighteningly efficient Spencer Ware at Tailback will take some of the pressure off of the signal caller. What remains to be seen is if Kragthorpe can recreate the offensive wonder of the Tulsa years, or if it that was really Charlie Stubbs’ offense.

Charlie Weiss has four Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach and Offensive Coordinator, but by all accounts the promising 2005 Notre Dame hire famously flopped in South Bend. The offensive whiz with the "decided schematic advantage" quickly learned that schemes and strategies were only part of offensive performance at the FBS level. It takes talent, preparation and execution to make any scheme work and there were numerous games during his tenure where the Fighting Irish simply looked lost. He had the talent in QB’s Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen, but despite back-to-back-to-back Top 10 recruiting classes from 2005-2007, the supporting cast either never materialized or was never sufficiently developed to win consistently. He was fired after the 2009 season. After one year as the Offensive Coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, incoming Florida Gators Head Coach Will Muschamp hired Weiss to lead his offense. Weiss’ pro-style, multiple set offense seems much more suited to expected starter John Brantley’s abilities, and Florida never has a problem stockpiling talent. The athletic ability and depth look good.

Both Kragthorpe and Weiss appear to have the mental skills to develop quarterbacks and implement effective offensive schemes. Both appear to be ideally suited for assistant coaching positions rather than head coaches. Weiss’ recruiting credentials are respectable; Kragthorpe’s may still need some time to examine, but like Florida, the school typically has its pick of the state’s top talent.

What’s most tantalizing about these two offensive gurus is that we get to see them match wits, head-to-head, when the Gators visit Death Valley for what should be a first class slobber-knocker on October 8. The date—fully four weeks into the season—is late enough to see where both teams are offensively. It’ll be one of many must-see matchups in the upcoming season. If things fall the right way through the season, we might even see a rematch on the first Saturday of December in the Georgia Dome.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alabama Crimson Tide 2010 Season: Watch Complete Games Online

The Process-2010 Media GuideClick on game titles to open the SEC Digital Video viewing window. Roll Tide!

(Georgia State and Michigan State games are on ESPN3 and may not be available to all online viewers.) (Iron Bowl not available for free viewing).

9/4/10: Bama vs San Jose State

The established stars -- minus Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and defensive end Marcell Dareus -- made big plays and some young understudies also got plenty of time on stage in the Crimson Tide's opening 48-3 route of San Jose State on Saturday night. It was a good night to be without the injured Ingram (knee) and the suspended Dareus, both lost this week. The backups played much of the game, anyway, after the Tide raced to a 31-3 halftime lead over the Spartans.

9/11/10: Bama vs Penn State

The renewal of the Penn State-Alabama rivalry turned out to be more a show of force by Trent Richardson and the Crimson Tide than another classic matchup between storied programs. Richardson ran for 144 yards in place of injured Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, and the top-ranked Tide rolled to a 24-3 win over Joe Paterno and No. 18 Penn State. With Ingram sidelined for the second straight game with a knee injury, Richardson pulled a pretty good imitation. He plowed through and sidestepped tackles and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. He also had four catches for 46 yards.

9/18/10: Bama vs Duke

Mark Ingram took his first handoff of the year and darted nearly 50 yards. Later, he went the other direction and dashed another 50. Ingram rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns in his season debut, and No. 1 Alabama (3-0, 0-0 SEC) routed Duke (1-2, 0-1 ACC) 62-13 in its highest-scoring game in 19 years. Alabama's Mark Ingram is the first running back from a BCS conference to gain over 150 yards on fewer than 10 carries in the last five seasons. Greg McElroy matched a career high with three scoring passes for the Crimson Tide, who led 28-0 about 10 minutes in and looked completely at ease inside a crimson-coated stadium named for a former Alabama coach.

9/25/10: Bama vs Arkansas

Trailing on the road against one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, No. 1 Alabama escaped by doing what it does best: making big plays on defense and giving the ball to Mark Ingram. The Heisman Trophy winner ran for 157 yards and scored on a 1-yard run with 3:18 to play, and two first-year starters in the 'Bama secondary made late interceptions to help the top-ranked Crimson Tide rally from a 13-point deficit and beat No. 10 Arkansas 24-20. Robert Lester set up the winning score with his second interception of the day against Ryan Mallett, and Dre Kirkpatrick's pick put the Tide (4-0, 1-0 SEC) in position to run out the clock on their 18th straight victory.

10/2/10: Bama vs Florida

This game was all Alabama. Mark Ingram scored two touchdowns, C.J. Mosley returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown and the top-ranked Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) dominated the seventh-ranked Gators 31-6, handing the Gators (4-1, 2-1 SEC) the second-most lopsided loss of Meyer's six seasons with Florida.

10/9/10: Bama vs South Carolina

9th-ranked South Carolina stunned No. 1 Alabama 35-21. The defending national champions had won 19 straight games. But facing a third consecutive ranked SEC team caught up with Alabama as Garcia and the Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 SEC) used the Crimson Tide's formula for success: Cashing in on chances close to the goal line and limiting the country's best tailback duo in Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson to 64 yards. South Carolina shredded the country's top-rated scoring defense, putting up the most points on Alabama (5-1, 2-1 SEC) since a 41-34 loss to LSU in 2007. The Gamecocks scored four touchdowns when they got inside the 'Bama 20 -- double what the Crimson Tide had allowed coming in.

10/16/10: Bama vs Ole Miss

It's hard to keep No. 8 Alabama's tailbacks and defense down. Super sub Trent Richardson took a screen pass 85 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and the Crimson Tide's defense was back to form in a 23-10 victory over Mississippi (3-3, 1-2 SEC) that was a successful bounce-back game. The Tide (6-1, 3-1 SEC) rebounded from a loss to South Carolina that halted a run at No. 1 and ended a 19-game winning streak by smothering Jeremiah Masoli and the league's top scoring offense.

10/23/10: Bama vs Tennessee

Alabama's opponents have figured out how to limit its powerful running game. Now the Crimson Tide (No. 8 BCS, No. 7 AP) has shown it can be just as dangerous in the air. Julio Jones set a single-game school record with 221 yards on a career-high 12 catches, Greg McElroy threw for 264 yards and A.J. McCarron hit Trent Richardson on a 5-yard touchdown pass as Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC) scored 28 unanswered second-half points to beat Tennessee (2-5, 0-4 SEC) 41-10.

11/6/10: Bama vs LSU

As Les Miles' latest stab at fourth-down trickery was about to unfold, the LSU coach bent down, snatched up some blades of grass -- and ate them. Then DeAngelo Peterson went 23 yards with a reverse on fourth-and-1 to set up Stevan Ridley's go-ahead 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter, and LSU (No. 10 BCS, No. 12 AP) held on for a 24-21 upset of the Crimson Tide (No. 6 BCS, No. 5 AP). The victory came at Saban's expense and likely knocked Alabama (7-2, 4-2 SEC) out of contention for a second straight national championship. Now the Crimson Tide will need LSU (8-1, 5-1 SEC) to lose twice and Georgia to beat Auburn just to have a shot to repeat as SEC West champions.

11/13/10: Bama vs Mississippi State

Alabama (No. 12 BCS, No. 11 AP) hasn't let Mississippi State catch up just yet. Greg McElroy passed for 227 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown to Mark Ingram, and the Crimson Tide rolled to a 30-10 win over the Bulldogs (No. 19 BCS, No. 17 AP). The Tide (8-2, 5-2 SEC) showed it can still dominate even the improved version of the Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3 SEC) -- and even after its title hopes had evaporated. "We just felt like we needed to establish our identity in this game," said receiver Marquis Maze, who had a 45-yard touchdown catch.

11/18/10: Bama vs Georgia State

Alabama (No. 11 BCS , No. 10 AP) got all the yards, points and big plays, with none of the drama. Greg McElroy completed 12 of 13 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns and the Crimson Tide routed fledgling Georgia State (6-5) 63-7 on Thursday night. It was the most points for the Crimson Tide (9-2, 5-2 SEC) since a 66-3 win over Vanderbilt in 1979. "Alabama has a great football team, I think the best Alabama team I've ever seen," Curry said. "Maybe the best Nick Saban team I've ever seen.

11/26/10: Bama vs Auburn

No one had ever rallied a team to victory over Alabama after trailing by 24 points. That's just what Newton did Friday, leading No. 2 Auburn to a stunning 28-27 triumph that kept the Tigers in the thick of the BCS championship race. NEVER AGAIN.

1/1/11: Bama vs Michigan State, Capital One Bowl

The team picked to repeat as national champions gave a glimpse of everything it could've been and more. Too bad for Alabama it came too late. Mark Ingram ran for two scores to break the school record for career touchdowns, and the Crimson Tide rolled past No. 9 Michigan State (11-2, 7-1 Big Ten) 49-7 in the most lopsided Capital One Bowl in the game's history. "We just showed what we're capable of doing when we play our best football," Ingram said. "It just shows how fragile a season is." The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner had 59 yards rushing on 12 carries and a 30-yard reception against the team he rooted for as a kid, Greg McElroy threw for 220 yards and one touchdown and the game got so out of hand that the Crimson Tide (10-3, 5-3 SEC) pulled most of their starters early in the third quarter. Ingram also moved past Shaun Alexander's mark (41) with 42 career touchdowns. The margin of victory topped East Texas State's 33-0 victory over Tennessee Tech in the 1953 game, then known as the Tangerine Bowl. The bowl dates back to 1947.

Recaps are courtesy of ESPN.

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Judge Warner’s fall from the bench could be major milestone

image Last week, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint against Montgomery County Family Court Judge Patricia Warner, who had suddenly resigned just months into her second term. The complaint alleges 74 instances of judicial misconduct in a broad array of cases, including at least one involving people that casino owner Milton McGregor would like to keep quiet.

McGregor, along with his team of lobbyists and legislators, are currently standing trial in US Federal District Court on charges of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and fraud. The trial enters its third week of testimony tomorrow and is expected to last throughout the summer.

What’s notable about Warner’s resignation and indictment by the Judicial Inquiry Commission is that as McGregor’s political influence wanes, he is becoming increasingly unable to wield his power and keep people silent. You may want to note that June 22—the date the Warner story became public—as a potential turning point in the cause of ridding this state of influences that have corrupted its political processes, its financial institutions and possibly even one of its great institutions of higher learning.

Alabamians got a windfall victory earlier this year when long-standing Auburn University Board of Trustees member Bobby Lowder decided not to seek another term on the school’s governing body. The controversial, polarizing control freak had been accused of micromanaging affairs at Auburn, leading the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to place the university on Academic probation—one step away from yanking the school’s accreditation and throwing the state and the higher education system into economic, political and educational turmoil. Two years ago, Lowder saw his financial empire collapse when the once-mighty Colonial BancGroup was thrown into receivership by banking regulators. With the end of his term on the AU Board, the Shakespearean figure’s fall from grace will be nearly complete. Lowder can harm this state’s financial industry no more, and no longer will he operate the levers of power at Auburn University.

McGregor’s case continues to move forward, with the best outcome for all Alabamians becoming all the more likely—his conviction on charges of attempting to corrupt the political process and deny Alabamians the governmental integrity they deserve and expect. Goat Hill will never be completely rid of sleaze and corruption, but having it rid of McGregor’s influence is in the interest of all Alabamians.

Regular readers of this blog will recall that during the legal wrangling over the defense attorneys attempts to compel the government to release certain evidence they planned to use at trial, it became obvious that the Department of Justice had expanded its probe beyond the scope of the original October 2010 indictments in the bingo case. To this day, we still have no idea who or what was the target of that probe, but it was important enough for the government and the Court to keep bookshelves of legal filings, motions and arguments under seal. However, since it was McGregor’s side of the alleged conspiracy that made the most noise over the release of the evidence, it’s no stretch to conclude that he was involved in the expanded probe.

As his and others’ influence wanes, those with knowledge of further shady dealings should feel empowered to speak out; to tell their stories of control, greed and corruption. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum; regardless of where you live; regardless of which school carries your allegiance, the need has never been greater to clean this place up and leave our descendants with a better place. One of the most enduring qualities of a free society is that we believe in the rule of law, not the rule of men. When the system is corrupted and too much power is wielded by too few people, we have an innate desire to speak out; to do something about it. To tell the truth.

Removing Warner from the bench has removed yet another means of influence from a once too powerful man. He can’t keep people quiet anymore, and his ability to retaliate against those who do speak out wanes by the day.

As the story of this struggle unfolds, we may one day point to Warner’s resignation and indictment as a key milestone.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Crimson Tide Hero: Who Am I?

mystery personThis Head Coach was brought to Tuscaloosa to restore glory to the once proud Crimson Tide program. He took over a team left in disarray after the previous coach was fired (a coach who had also been an Alabama player). After restoring two other programs, one an SEC school, the pressure was intense on the coach to effect a decisive turnaround in Tuscaloosa.

As a former defensive player in college, this coach brought innovations in defense to the Alabama football program. He quickly established player discipline and tough practices. Under his new policies, however, the team finished its first season an abysmal one game over a break-even record. His second season as coach, Bama beat Auburn for the first time in six years but went on to lose its bowl game. An undefeated season and national championship were right around the corner.

This coach knew how to develop quarterbacks. His championship winning quarterback had initially decided on a Tech school, but changed his mind and made a life-altering decision to attend Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide to a unanimous (all three polls) National Championship, the first for Bama in a little over a decade and a half. He was considered the smartest quarterback at the time, graduated magna cum laude and in the top of his class. He was chosen as a permanent team Captain, and had his hand prints and cleat-prints stamped into the Walk of Fame at Denny Chimes.

The season following the National Championship the coach defeated a top-10 opponent in a bowl game, but didn’t repeat as national champions. Alabama rode a dominant defense into the New Year’s Day game and frustrated its opponent on the field. The Tide scored on the first offensive drive and overwhelmed the other team the entire game.

This coach was well-known and praised in the national media for his accomplishments on the football field, but was targeted by rule changes to limit his ability to sign players to the Alabama roster and was accused of unethical behavior (by disgruntled competitors).

He was very intent on winning games and many times talked about playing a full game, not giving up at halftime and winning the second half. He was so focused on football, he said thirty minutes after the last game he started thinking about the next game.

Recognize the coach? Click here for the answer.

Tuberville to plead ignorance?

image Recall that on March 30 of this year, four former Auburn football players went on the record with HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and alleged that they were paid thousands of dollars in improper benefits during their careers at the school, and at least one of them also alleged academic shenanigans.

All of these alleged violations of NCAA rules would have occurred during the tenure of former Head Coach Tommy Tuberville, who was fired after the end of the 2008 season. Tuberville now coaches at Texas Tech and as an active coach of an NCAA program, he is required by league rules to cooperate with Enforcement Staff investigators.

There is no way of knowing whether Tuberville has already been interviewed about the allegations, but it’s quite clear that he’ll be pleading ignorant.

Via the Dr. Saturday blog on Yahoo! Sports, Tuberville told a radio interviewer that he doesn’t know what his players are (or, were) doing.


"It happens a lot of places now. It's just not Ohio State. Kids do things I'm sure here at Texas Tech that we don't know about. We try to monitor them daily, every minute, talk to them, educate them. If we do that the right way, usually you can overcome a lot of these problems that happen.

“It's unfortunate, but it's always been out there. You've always had teams that have stretched the rules and played in the gray area. It's unfortunate that sometimes people go to the length of trying to hide things that players have done, and they get caught.

"There's a lot of things you can't control. There's a lot of things the players do that you can't control. We're limited to the time we can spend with these kids, but we're held to the standards of a saint, so to speak.

"Unfortunately, Jim Tressel got caught up in this deal with one of his good players. If he'd have come out from day one and say 'listen, this happened, and we're going to go on with business,' I think they'd been fine."


Not only is that a vote of no confidence for the compliance staff he’s working with now, it’s a jab in the eye of the compliance staff at Auburn, too. Tuberville wasn’t asked about the HBO Four during the interview, but he’ll get asked by NCAA investigators.

Tubs has already used the ignorance defense once. He used the defense during the investigation of the school’s use of directed studies course in the Sociology Department, claiming that he had no idea that so many of his players were getting cushy course assignments and never going to class.

He should ask disgraced former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel how well that works these days.

And lest anyone get the foolish notion that the NCAA isn’t really interested in the HBO Four’s allegations, you might want to rethink your concept.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

At least one industry is growing—college football

image The housing industry sucks. The 2010 gulf oil spill and fool-headed drilling moratorium has the oil & gas industry sucking wind. Farms have been devastated by droughts, floods and tornadoes. Wal-Mart is even struggling (not much, but play along with me here).

But there’s one industry where growth is the name of the game—college football. The Associated Press reported today that over the next four years, no fewer than 25 new college football programs will stand up brand new teams.

If NFL players and owners don’t get their collective asses in gear and agree to a new labor agreement that avoids disrupting the 2011 season, college football may well take over as the #1 sport in the U.S. None of the new startups are going to be instant profit centers for their [ahem] non-profit schools and athletic departments. But they will generate some additional revenue in a budgetary environment that almost demands developing a football program.

Smaller college presidents and athletic directors aren’t stupid. They see even the mid-majors getting shots at big time paydays from serving as Opening Day and Homecoming Victims. There’s TV money to be made. Maybe even a small bowl trip with more TV exposure. This is business, and it may be the only one with any growth to show in this economic environment.

The model can work. Starting from near nothing and slowly building a successful major college football program isn’t easy, but Florida State, Virginia Tech and Southern Miss all grew their programs to a reasonable degree of success by regularly traveling to big boy campuses. They played, got their butts kicked and took their black eyes and half million bucks back home. If Southern Miss played Ole Miss in the regular season, the game would be a pick’em even in Ole Miss’ best years. Florida State has a trophy case full of hardware and Virginia Tech is regularly regarded as one of the top programs in the country. Those programs are a testament to the truth of the adage “build it, and they will come.”

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The demise of the local investigative sports journalist

image Has the era of the local investigative sports journalist come to an end? In recent months, an awful lot of bandwidth has been used to question and criticize what many are convinced is the local newspapers’ lack of coverage of college athletics “extracurricular activities.” Radio talk show callers, blogs and internet message board denizens have expressed both outrage and bewilderment over the fact that national news organizations like ESPN, New York Times, CBS Sports, FOX Sports and Yahoo! Sports are the first to break blockbuster stories regarding scandals at major universities. In no state is the criticism more loudly expressed than the state of Alabama. People want to know why they didn’t read it in their local daily newspaper first.

I have the answer, and it may surprise you.

Earlier this week, I had a brief conversation with a senior staff member at one of the state’s major daily newspapers. I won’t say which one because frankly, the man is a complete professional and 100% newshound. I don’t want to risk outing or embarrassing him for speaking frankly with a blogger.

One thing was very clear—He’s not any happier than you are about his desk being unable to get the story first, but his professionalism demands that he get the story right.  He’d prefer to get it right and get it first but if he is forced to choose between the two, he’s going with getting it right. I admire that because as a blogger, credibility is lifeblood. I’d love for you to read it here first, but I’m really concerned over your ability to take what you read here to the bank. That’s why you will never see this blog float anything like that Brent Calloway story that AuburnSports.com’s Jeffery Lee ran with several weeks ago. But I digress.

Sadly, Senior Staffer really doesn’t have much power to change the situation unless things change in the newspaper industry. To put it bluntly, the newspaper industry—especially the smaller-market dailies that make up the al.com network—is the sick man of the modern mass media. Papers are seeing shrinking subscription and circulation numbers. Advertisers have other options besides print and aren’t paying premium rates for premium space. At least not like they used to “back in the day.”

“People just aren’t buying newspapers like they used to,” Senior Staffer told me. “If they did, I’d have the resources to put someone on a story like the Cam Newton or Terrelle Pryor cases. I just don’t have the manpower to dedicate to something that might take weeks or even months to develop. It’s not feasible in this business climate.” There’s something of a vicious cycle at work here, too. The less likely people are to believe they’ll get the story first from their local daily, the less likely they are to rely on it for hard news and investigative journalism, which in turn reduces the paper’s ability to get the news that people are starving for.

Today’s news consumer has many more choices to gain satisfaction. Indeed, of the five national news organizations I listed above, all have major online presence and three of them reach millions through television and radio broadcasts. By the time you pick up your local paper in the morning, you’re reading about something the whole world was talking about yesterday. People also read blogs like this one and in many cases, their favorite blog has more credibility than what they read in print. That’s a responsibility that isn’t taken lightly here, but there is real danger in leaving the vetting of news outlets to the consumer. Caveat emptor.

The impact of these processes made itself felt with the recent reorganizations of the three major daily sports desks at the papers affiliated with al.com. No longer does the Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register and Huntsville Times have dedicated beat writers assigned to covering sports at the two major schools in the state. Each paper shares the combined efforts of four reporters—two each at the “Tuscaloosa Bureau” and the “Auburn Bureau.” There are still sports reporters and columnists employed by each of those organizations, but again, limited resources limits the amount of time one of those papers can let their reporters work a developing story. Factoring in the risk that a reporter might spend weeks or months working on a story and come up empty further reduces incentive, and there’s always the ever-present risk of litigation. So, the four beat writers at the two Bureaus continue to inform about the day-to-day events at the schools they cover, the other sports reporters and columnists pen their op-ed pieces, and ESPN breaks the Cam Newton story in the midst of the 2010 football season.

One unfortunate consequence of the reorganization is that the beat writers appear to be engaging in outright homerism, and not many regular readers in the state believe that either Bureau is capable or willing to write critically or dig for facts that might cast the school in a bad light. If one of the beat writers falls out of favor with his assigned program, three papers see half of their beat coverage put in jeopardy. If you’re Izzy Gould or Evan Woodberry, are you seriously going to risk ticking off the head coach and getting shut out of interviews or getting your access to the program cut?

ESPN has the resources to dedicate a Mark Schlabach or Joe Schad to a story. Yahoo! does, too. And the New York Times, and… You get the idea. The only way one of our state’s major dailies will break a major story like those we’ve seen the last several months is if something happens to fall in their lap.

It’s not a lack of interest or professional drive that keeps your local newshound from breaking a major story. It’s a lack of resources, and no one feels the frustration more than the local newshound.

For the record, I have been a daily subscriber to the Mobile Press-Register for three decades. I still read the sports section from cover to cover, every morning. I miss the depth and breadth of the stories that filled the section years ago and on some summer mornings, the sports section is a scant four pages, with Soduku and other such stuff on the back page. Maybe if more people subscribed to their local daily, the papers could afford a little more latitude to chase down the next Tee Martin or Cam Newton story and scoop the national media.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Extra Point: http://www.al.com/mrsubscribe/ and https://subscribe.bhamnews.com/AL/ and http://www.al.com/htsubscribe/

Follow one of those links and do the right thing. If your local paper is different from one of these three, then look up the number, call and consider subscribing. The future of sports journalism in this state could be hanging in the balance.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Never to Yield yields to its own temptations

image I really didn’t want to do another post about the comedic antics of teh Auburn fambly. But it’s been such a target rich environment this week that it would almost be a sin to leave some of this stuff hanging out there. If I don’t, who will, right?

Yesterday, SPORTSbyBROOKS posted an interesting little piece about a group of Auburn “hostesses” known as Tigerettes. It wasn’t particularly earth-shattering. That the school has student-employees who also happen to be Tigerettes probably doesn’t rise to even a secondary NCAA violation (though two knowledgeable sources indicate that the amounts and timing of the payments made might raise some eyebrows at both NCAA and the IRS).

The response from teh fambly was swift and predictable. Auburn fans love Brooks like Democrats love Rush Limbaugh. One Auburn blogger claimed to have contacted his super secret inside sources and published a post that was contradicted by both the school’s official comment on the matter and the actual documentation obtained under the Alabama Open Records statute. But the most delightfully entertaining piece was published by none other than the Never to Yield Foundation, on the same website that slandered Alabama radio personality Scott Moore. Here’s what NTYF wrote on the organization’s website:


June 21, 2011 — Internet blogger and certified muckraker Brooks Melchior of Sports by Brooks fame (infamy?) built his site traffic at the outset by approaching random women on the street and soliciting them to appear in photos on his blog.

When he first stepped out onto the world wide web Brooks was characterized as “desperate to build traffic” and he was reduced to trolling the streets in Southern California looking for pretty girls. His intent was enticing them to provide free titillation to the pages of his site.


It’s a pretty lame attempt at character assassination. After all, whatever Brooks did, it worked. The site gets tens of thousands of visits per day and is probably the Yardbarker Network’s most popular blog. But what’s even more interesting is that NTYF swore off going after sites like SbB. The first thing I came to realize about NTYF is that the dude who runs the site takes himself very, very seriously.

Much like most Auburn fans. Laughing at themselves or shrugging off criticism just doesn’t seem to be in their DNA. The NTYF dude takes himself so seriously, he posted a set of twenty questions with himself. The creepiness level of that is off my chart, but I found this Q&A to be particularly interesting:


15) What about those web sites that focus on tearing Auburn down?

Again, consider the source.  Sites like that are complete and total irrelevance veiled in a cloud of insecurity.  We’ve had some of the information from those types of sites forwarded to us and it’s really pretty pathetic.  Some of the information that’s been promoted there is so ridiculous that it’s hard to fathom anyone with a functioning brain cell could actually put any stock it.  It’s equally sad that grown men invest so much of their own self worth in the performance of a group of young men on Saturday that they would stoop to the level of vitriol and hate we’ve seen flowing from those dark, dirty corners of the Internet.  Like the Finebaum callers mentioned above, however, the people who frequent places like that are irrelevant and are best ignored.  Hysterical black helicopter babble from a meaningless website isn’t worth our time.


Isn’t that special. NTYF is gonna be so magnanimous that they won’t ever stoop to the level of addressing blogs like Brooks. They’re such, umm “dark, dirty corners” of teh innerwebs, after all.

Ick, right?

But it appears that the combination of Brooks’ shit-eating grin and undeniably accurate post regarding how much and how often Tigerettes got paid provided too strong of a temptation. But instead of addressing the factual information in the post, NTYF went after the messenger.  Just like they did with Scott Moore.

Exit Question: Which one of the Psalms for Boogs did the NTYF dude read before going full zealot on Brooks?

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Monday, June 20, 2011

AUBurgeddon: What does Vegas know that we don’t?

image According to Phil Steele, the Golden Nugget Casino has already posted early lines on what it considers marquee games for the upcoming 2011 College Football Season. As is typical with early spreads, a little movement here and there can be expected as money moves to one side or the other.

It’s worth noting early that these lines are NOT predictions by the casino. They’re not picks, they are a means of regulating the flow of betting so that a relatively equal amount of money goes to each side of the book. When money moves in significant amounts, the line follows. It’s a bit more complicated, but explaining how Vegas works is beyond the scope of this post. What I’m interested in finding out is this—why are the lines in Auburn’s so-called marquee games moving against teh fambly?

Steele notes:


Biggest Line Movements

(Bold Moved in their Favor) Pts Moved
Notre Dame-Michigan

6

Michigan-Northwestern

6

Tennessee-Florida

5.5

TCU-Air Force

5

LSU-Mississippi St

5

Boise St-Georgia

4.5

Mississippi St-Auburn

4.5

Utah-BYU

4.5

Auburn-Clemson

4.5

BYU-TCU

4.5

Auburn-Georgia

4.5

One thing that jumped out to me right away was that defending National Champ Auburn is currently an underdog in EIGHT games for the upcoming season! Also it is interesting to note that several of the big line movements involve the same teams in Michigan, Georgia, BYU and TCU.


What leaps off the screen at me is that virtually every one of Auburn’s marquee games has line movement, and none of the movement favors the 2010 champs. In fact, of the 11 biggest movers listed by Steele, Auburn is one of the teams affected in three matchups, more than any other team on the list. Further, in the Mississippi State game, Auburn has gone from being the favorite to the dog.

The question is, why? What does Vegas know that we don’t? Maybe VegasSnitch has a clue.

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BingoGate: Aubie takes the stand

JailAubie Since I created the photoshop image seen on the right, I have ever so patiently waited for the opportunity to use it in an honest-to-goodness legal context. That opportunity has come today, as Alabama State Representative Charles Barrett “Barry” Mask (R-Wetumpka) takes the stand as a witness for the prosecution in the ongoing trial of nine people—including some prominent Auburn graduates or Auburn boosters—who are accused of corruption and bribery in connection with the bingo scandal in the 2010 legislative session.

Casino owner, Auburn booster and one-time Colonial Bank board member Milton McGregor and an army of lobbyists are accused of a “quid pro quo” bribery scheme with legislators in an attempt to gain their support for getting a constitutional amendment on the November 2010 ballot. If passed, the amendment would have legalized electronic bingo machines in parlors and casinos.

Mask is not only a 1980(?) graduate of Auburn, he also holds the distinction of being named the very first Aubie, the ubiquitous and obnoxiously in-your-face mascot for the Auburn Tigers athletic teams. Mask was selected in 1979.

The Alexander City native cooperated with federal investigators during their spring 2010 probe of the alleged conspiracy, and will face questions from the prosecution beginning this morning. His testimony is expected to last several days.

Aubie the Tiger probably won’t incriminate his alma mater or any current or former officials of the school. He might however, finger Milton McGregor and his lobbyist, fellow AU graduate Robert Geddie as the masterminds of the scheme to buy votes.

Mask’s testimony probably isn’t going to be a barn bombshell. But the temptation to use my extraordinarily popular fark to poke a little more fun at teh fambly was simply too strong to resist.

The trial is expected to last many more weeks. I’m sure similar opportunities will present themselves between now and the start of the 2011 football season, which is now only 75 days away.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day

I had the best Father’s Day present ever last week. We have spent the last eight days driving to  Chicago, hitting all of the hot tourist spots in the Windy City, eating like royalty, then driving back.

I’m exhausted but I get 48 hours to rest before I hit the road again on a “day job” business trip to Houston. That one won’t interfere with the “side job” of blogging. In the meantime, how about a few vacation photos?

I know how much everyone loves to see someone else’s vacay pics, so here are a few of my favorites.

ChicagoTheater

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WP_000096

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WP_000126 Cubs won, 12-7. I’ve been to Chicago three times, went to a Cubs matinee all three trips, and have never seen them lose. Let me know when you’d like to finance my move to the Friendly Confines. I am the Anti-Skip.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bend it like Coach “Gumby” Murphy…

Murphy IBCR 2It was a wild few days, but Patrick Murphy says “Bayou” to LSU and returns home to Bama. Presumably since the Tide originally met LSU’s salary offer, he just broke into the college softball upper echelon at a new salary of +$200,000.

What prompted Murphy’s return decision?  According to Alabama’s official press release:


LSU offered me a great opportunity, but I realized once I got there that I had made a mistake that had nothing to do with LSU. I realized that I belong at Alabama. Alabama is where my heart is and I cannot in good conscience try to do a job in which I am not totally committed beyond any doubt. I can honestly say that the last few days have only made it clear that Alabama is where I want to be - beyond any doubt. It would have been totally unfair to everyone at LSU - especially the players - for me to be conflicted at all about where I was. … When reconsidering all of the factors involved, this decision comes down to the fact that I love the people at Alabama, the kids that have played for us there and who are on the team right now.


Murphy began with the Tide in 1998 and has racked up more than 700 wins, seven Women's College World Series appearances and six SEC Championships. His career .772 winning percentage is the fourth-highest in NCAA history.

Welcome back, Coach Murphy. Now let’s win that long-awaited National Championship!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The SEC may rue the day it banned 7-on-7 camps

image Have you ever heard the saying from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer?” Eight words loaded with wisdom that likely went unheeded two weeks ago. In the recently concluded annual spring meeting in Destin, Florida, the high muckity-mucks of the Southeastern Conference passed several new pieces of legislation, ranging from the red herring “oversigning” ban to allowing Mississippi State to keep the Cowbell Exemption for a little while longer.
But one of the rules that passed is likely to come back and haunt the 12 member schools of the SEC, especially if the rest of the NCAA membership follows the bell cow and passes rules barring 7on-7 football camps from holding events on college campuses.
7-on-7 football by itself is not an evil thing. It allows kids from middle and high schools to compete at a very high level against other kids in events organized by private citizens, who raise money to fund the events by selling sponsorships, holding fundraisers and in some cases, pulling money out of their own pockets. Kids develop skills and get seen by people who need to see the top talent in action. But, like AAU basketball, some shady characters have gotten involved with the industry and the fear is that 7-on-7 will become the sleazy underside of college football recruiting. There are some not-so-desirable people involved, and they do make it difficult for colleges to gain access to the 7-on-7 participants without going through a third party (the 7-on-7 coach, the camp organizer, the “street agent,” the “handler,” etc).
The fear is that with the money involved in college athletics, 7-on-7 could morph into an recruiting meat market (as if recruiting isn’t already), where young men and bought, sold and traded like commodities by people whose interest isn’t the kids, but their own bottom line.
So banning the 7-on-7 camps from being held on college campuses makes perfect sense, right? Who wants this noxious system playing out under the very noses of the programs that are recruiting these kids?
Not so fast with that answer.
If you want to gain control over something, if you want to monitor it and keep it from becoming a more serious problem, the last thing in the world you want to do is to push it as far away from your grasp as you can. 7-on-7 camps are still going to take place. They’ll just be happening at high schools, parks and other facilities in locations convenient for college recruiters to get a peek at them. This is almost exactly the same pattern that led AAU basketball to become the sleazy underside of college basketball recruiting. Is that were colleges want football recruiting to go?
I think it would be much wiser to do the exact opposite. Enact legislation prohibiting prospective student athletes from attending 7-on-7 camps not held on college campuses. Ensure that each 7-on-7 event is held at university athletic facilities. Limit attendance to college coaches, family/friends of players, NCAA compliance officials, and media outlets that do not have recruiting services as part of their business. No Rivals, Scout or 247 allowed.
Camp organizers can still make some coin off of sponsorships and ticket sales. College coaches can get a look at the players they’re interested in. Media access ensures openness. Banning unrelated third parties and recruiting services crimps the influence of street agents and sleazy recruiting service members.
But more importantly, college football will be keeping their friends close, and an enemy closer.
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Give a warm IBCR welcome to LivingCrimson!

 applause IBCR has a new coblogger.

The name is LivingCrimson, and I think you’re going to be delighted. Bama alum. Insightful poster on a number of Bama message boards. Insanely gifted farker with a great sense of humor, lover of all things Crimson and keen observer of Alabama and SEC sports.

You can expect to see new posts under that name, and you can expect to be as entertained and challenged as you have been with me and GMAN-1104 (who I really wish would try to fish less and blog more, hint hint).

I’m going to be scarce the next week or so, as I take my family on a long awaited trip to Chicago to visit some old family and family friends. Y’all pray for me.  I spend two days on the road, four days in the home town of Al Capone, Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel, then two more days home.

Myself and six females.

Some men are blessed and some men are… well… blessed.

IBCR is blessed to have LivingCrimson as part of the team. Be prepared to laugh, think and go “hmmm.”

Mike Slive lied to Paul Finebaum

image During a wide ranging, multi-segment interview on the Paul Finebaum Radio Network, Mike Slive either told the host an outright lie, or deliberately misled him. Finebaum had asked him about the NCAA eligibility determination made on December 1 that made former Auburn Quarterback Cam Newton eligible to compete in the SEC Championship game and ultimately, the BCS National Championship game. Finebaum noted the controversy surrounding that decision and the media firestorm it created.

Slive told Finebaum that “the [Cam Newton eligibility] investigation was done by the NCAA. They drew conclusions that permitted the young man to continue to compete and … we had no facts to counter the NCAA’s findings…  I know it lingers, I know it’s out there. But the NCAA did the investigation. They made the facts. They made the determination on his eligibility based on the facts they they knew, and that’s really where it went.”

Not only did Slive lie to Paul Finebaum. He lied to the entire listening audience.

Regular readers of this blog know that during eligibility determinations, the NCAA does not conduct any investigation because reinstatement decisions are NOT investigations.  The eligibility staff doesn’t have any investigative capability at all. It relies totally on the member school to provide all relevant facts and makes it decision based on that information. NOT information that it uncovers through any sort of investigation.

I don’t care which team you root for.  Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, East Buttermilk Polytechnic. It matters not. What I do care about is that you understand that the process resulting in Auburn’s declaration of ineligibility and the subsequent NCAA decision reinstating Newton was not an NCAA investigation.  It was a story presented to the NCAA Eligibility staff that was written, produced and directed by Auburn University.

Accordingly, Slive’s statement that “the NCAA did the investigation” is DEMONSTRABLY FALSE.

One of the following statements is true.

Mike Slive knows the difference between eligibility determinations and enforcement investigations and deliberately misled Paul Finebaum and the entire listening audience.

Mike Slive is clueless about the two distinct and separate processes and believes the Auburn fambly canard that the NCAA has already investigated the Newton scandal and the December 1 decision was the end of the matter.

You decide what you want to believe. But any shred of respect I might have had for the Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference has been destroyed.

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