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Over the last few months, rumors have been swirling regarding a potential upcoming story from Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson. Robinson is the well-regarded investigative sports journalist who worked extensively on both the Reggie Bush/USC and Oregon stories. The Reggie Bush case led to the harshest penalties handed down since the 1987 “Pony Express” scandal at Southern Methodist. The Oregon case has yet to fully gestate, but it’s looking more and more like Oregon will have to pay some price for what could be potential major rules violations.
While being interviewed on ESPN radio last March, Robinson alluded to a story that would be so damaging to a college football program, he ranked it a "10." He said he’d been working on since November and thought it would likely be ready before the start of the 2011 College Football season.
ESPN: So is there another team, another organization, another sport that should be nervous right now because you're working on something comparable?
Robinson: Yeah [laughs], we've still got a couple more coming.[several moments of back-and-forth banter]
Robinson: I've got probably a six to a seven, maybe an eight depending on where you live coming in the next two weeks, and then by August, a ten.
ESPN: Well, what would you consider the Tressel story, on a one to ten?
Robinson: Probably an eight.
ESPN: So there's something even bigger than that coming in the summertime?
Robinson: Yeah. Yeah. There's one I've been working on since, I don't know, I'm probably entering my fourth month on it, and we'll probably get a good six, seven months more in on it before I'm done.
Since then, there has been much speculation regarding which program was about to be exposed by the man who has recently broken damning stories on USC and Oregon. With all the rumors surrounding Auburn University's athletic program this past year, they were a favorite among sports message boards around the nation. However, the recent connections made between LSU and Willie Lyles have made some question who is really the next program to stare down the barrel of Charles Robinson's gun. Could it be someone besides Auburn? Could it be a different kind of tiger?
Dan Wetzel, another Yahoo! Sports writer who has worked extensively with Robinson on recent stories covering NCAA investigations or potential NCAA rules violations, has also alluded to the possibility of an upcoming piece.
On July 13, Wetzel was interviewed by 104.5 The Zone, a popular sports talk radio show based in Nashville, Tennessee. In that interview, when asked, Wetzel told the hosts that Yahoo! Sports had no stories in the pipeline regarding either Alabama or LSU, and poked fun at the rumors that these two schools were somehow involved.
As soon as a podcast becomes available, this post will be updated.
UPDATE: Here’s the podcast (download). As posted above, Wetzel poked fun at the rumors that Yahoo! Sports had a story in the pipeline on Alabama or LSU, and specifically noted a different program in Atlanta had gone on the air with the notion that one of these two schools were involved. No denial of Robinson’s statements above regarding a "10” in the works. Take that for what you will.
Exit Question: If it’s a 10, it’s not Alabama and it’s not LSU, then who could it be?