Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is Auburn self-imposing NCAA scholarship reductions, or something?

image Zeke Pike sent home. Jovon Robinson declared ineligible by the NCAA Eligibility Center (aka, the “clearinghouse”). WR DeAngelo Benton sent home for “undisclosed” violations of team rules. Jonathan Rose exiled to Lincoln, Nebraska. JaQuan Williams and Darrion Hutcherson stand on the verge of a trip to JUCO.

Two of the seven players signed in the 2012 recruiting class won’t play a down this season, and at least two more may not make it, either. Benton was a Senior WR who was expected to make a big difference on the field this year.

What is going on over there?

Auburn will be lucky to put a team on the field that has 70 players under scholarship for 2012. It will be the second straight year that the program has failed to get a full complement of the NCAA limit of 85 enrolled, qualified, in good standing and on the field.

Alabama fans who watched the 1997-2000 Mike Dubose regime debacle in Tuscaloosa see something very, very familiar going on here.

There are documented reports of the NCAA investigating academic issues associated with recent Auburn recruits, but as most college sports historians would concede—it wasn’t the NCAA that brought Dubose down. It was his and his staff’s inability to recruit, sign and maintain talent under (at the time) relatively light NCAA sanctions. I say relatively light because by today’s standards, Dubose should have been able to recover and field a championship worthy team in both 1999 and 2000.

Alabama won the SEC title in 1999, then imploded spectacularly in 2000.

We’ve seen this kind of implosion before. See Rich Rodriguez in 2009-2010. See John L Smith in 2005-2006. See… You get the point.

To his credit, Gene Chizik won a national championship in 2010 when he rode a great QB in Cam Newton. Newton and Chizik rode a path led by an offensive coordinator who devised the perfect system for that QB to win it all.

Mike Dubose could have done that.

Since then, Auburn has had five players kicked off the team for violent crimes, two of their best running backs kicked off the team and current and former players involved in a deadly shooting over the summer.

The headline of this blog post is a jab at my Auburn friends and family members. But the evidence shows that something wrong is going on over there.

It’s almost as if they’re self-imposing sanctions, or something.

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Rick ramey said...

They have to make sure they can play the 'young and inexperienced' card for years and years to come.

Bamaforever said...

Perhaps there is a common denominator! Think TN Vols? Appears to be more and more internal strife going on!