Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Charles Robinson’s interview with Sporting News Radio

image Over the long holiday weekend, a colleague and friend of mine heard a fascinating interview with Charles Robinson, the lead investigative reporter who dropped a bomb on the Oregon Ducks with an expose’ of that school’s dealings with Willie Lyles, a recruiting service owner and self-described influence peddler.

The interview was held with Bob Berger and Craig Shemon on Sporting News Radio. By the way, SNR just invaded my local (Gulf Coast) market. I didn’t catch the interview but here’s the podcast.

Oregon has reportedly paid Lyle’s $25,000 for his “services,” which according to Lyles, included his “access and influence” with recruits and his ability to help them navigate the recruiting, qualification and enrollment process.

But what has caught the ears, eyes, and interest of those who follow recruiting and NCAA investigations in this part of the world, a really interesting exchange occurred near the end of the interview. The exchange comes at about the 9:15 mark in the podcast:

Host: Whose appearance in the BCS Championship game gets expunged from the record first: Oregon or Cam Newton and Auburn?

Robinson: It’s interesting. Both schools right now are in the midst of NCAA investigations and with NCAA and the lack of transparency, it’s hard to ever say who’s gonna come to the finish line first. We watched USC really develop over a 4-1/2 year period. And that was one that with every passing year, it became less and less likely that the NCAA was finally going to act on it, and then 4-1/2 years later, we saw some of the strictest penalties ever. I don’t know…  flip a coin.

Flip a coin? Does he really think that Oregon and Auburn are under such significant and such longlasting investigations that not only might this last years, but it’s a coin flip as to which case is resolved first?

Getcha some popcorn.

The only reason why this raises eyebrows is not so much that Robinson, Yahoo! Sports et al are working on an Auburn expose’ and the East Alabama crowd ought to be worried if he shows up in the 334 area code. Robinson’s comments are most notable for his reputation as a keen investigative journalist and credibility. What does he know that we don’t?

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