Thursday, January 31, 2013

Non-Sports: Headline of the Year

We see you, mischievous copy editor.


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Morning Six Pack: January 31, 2013

Mmmm… Thirsty Thursday. What better way to slake that desire than these six college football stories from around the country.

Alabama sets dates for A-Day, homecoming

The University of Alabama has determined the A-Day Game will be April 20, while homecoming for the 2013 football season will be Oct. 5.

Blakely departs Auburn's already thin backfield

Auburn running back Mike Blakely has left the team and an already thin backfield.

C-USA splits new teams evenly among divisions

The six new schools in Conference USA will be split evenly among the two divisions next football season.

SEC, Big 12 talk possible scheduling agreement

The Big 12 hasn't made any secret of the fact that it's looking to create a partnership with another conference, hoping to boost its nonconference scheduling, television profile and other interests. But what leagues that it might be in discussions with, other than the ACC, have officially been a secret.

Mizzou and Arkansas State Agree to Football Series

The University of Missouri has wrapped up its search for a final opponent for its 2013 football schedule, as Mizzou and Arkansas State University have agreed to a home-and-home series, with games in 2013 and 2015.


Moving to a 3–4 scheme can ease the burden of finding enough viable bodies inside by reducing the number of tackles on the field at any given time from two to one. It also means more speed on the field in the form of an additional linebacker, another tweak in response to the spread-friendly tendencies of Big 12 offenses. For the past several seasons, Oklahoma has increasingly replaced the third linebacker in a traditional 4–3 set with a fifth defensive back, essentially turning the base defense into a 4–2–5. If the transition to a 3–4 philosophy sticks, it will probably look more like a 3–3–5, with the nickel position manned by a hybrid safety/linebacker who can hold up against the run. Who exactly that will be this fall is an open question.

But the shift is also a response to the defense's collapse over the second half of the season. Through eight games, the Sooners led the Big 12 in both yards and points allowed, having held Kansas State (24 points), Texas (21) and Texas Tech (20) to season lows on the scoreboard. Over the last five, though, it was a different story, with OU yielding 34 points to Baylor, 49 to West Virginia and 48 to Oklahoma State in consecutive weeks in November -- all shootout victories, thanks to the Sooners offense -- and 41 points to Texas A&M in a blowout loss in the Cotton Bowl.

The trip to West Virginia was arguably the worst defensive effort in school history, resulting in a staggering 778 yards of total offense (458 rushing) by the Mountaineers, the most ever allowed by an Oklahoma defense; on the same night, WVU wide receiver Tavon Austin alone racked up more all-purpose yards against the Sooners (572) than any FBS player in any game in more than a decade. In the bowl game, Texas A&M went off for 633 yards of total offense, a Cotton Bowl record, the vast majority from the arm and legs of quarterback Johnny Manziel.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vanderbilt’s James Franklin calls Saban “Nicky Satan” (video)

Wait, what?

Alabama fans are accustomed to hearing fans use this slur against Alabama’s head football coach.

But from other coaches? Other coaches in the same conference?

To my knowledge, Vanderbilt and Alabama haven’t gone head-to-head on any significant recruits, but comments like this aren’t going to win many hearts and minds.

Stay classy, Frankie.

Update: Franklin said Wednesday that he’s called and apologized.

Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin said he phoned Alabama’s Nick Saban on Wednesday to apologize for referring to the four-time national championship coach as “Nicky Satan.”

Franklin, who made the reference Monday at a Macon (Ga.) Central High sports banquet, said it was meant strictly as a joke. Video of the speech has since gone viral.
“Obviously, tremendous respect for Coach Saban,” Franklin said. “I just got off the phone with him. Tremendous respect for them. I’ve got tremendous respect for what they’ve done. Everybody is chasing them. The guy has won three or four national championships.

“(I was) really talking about the work ethic that he has a reputation for, and that we’re going to outwork them. I made a joke. And in today’s society with all the media and social media and people with tape recorders and things like that, that doesn’t come off that way. I know people have tremendous pride in Alabama, and their fans are fanatical. So I understand. But it was a joke and I didn’t mean to offend anybody.”

Franklin said that Saban was “good” with the situation.

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Morning Six Pack: January 30, 2013

Happy Hump Day! Hunker down and check out these six college football stories from around the country.

Countdown to Signing Day: Evaluating the 5-star recruits of the Nick Saban era at Alabama

Though a few failed to live up to the hype, most were as good as advertised

Countdown to Signing Day: Evaluating Auburn's junior college transfers of the Chizik era

Under Gene Chizik, Auburn signed seven junior college transfers. Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and Brandon Mosley were all selected in the NFL Draft.

Mizzou reaping off-field benefits

By all measures, Missouri endured a disappointing football debut in the Southeastern Conference, slogging through a 5-7 season in 2012 that disrupted a seven-year streak of bowl games under Coach Gary Pinkel.

Chattanooga Mocs football team facing new foes, mighty Alabama

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team's 2013 schedule starts with three opponents the Mocs haven't faced in at least 20 years or ever.

South Alabama completes 2013 football schedule by adding Southern Utah

Jaguarsa, SUU will play on Thurs., Aug. 29 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium to open the 2013 season.


"Hindsight is 20-20. I didn't think going into the game he was affected by it. But he didn't play his best. Alabama had something to do with that, clearly. But I really don't know," Kelly said.

"It's a lot to weigh on the shoulders of somebody. I think we can make the leap that maybe it did. But I think Manti would know for sure."

Te'o said in an interview with ESPN after the news of the hoax broke that it did not affect his performance in the title game blowout.

Kelly spoke to reporters today by conference call for the first time since the Irish were beaten 42-14 by Alabama in the BCS title game on Jan. 7. He said his interview the Philadelphia Eagles was mainly to get more information about coaching in the NFL, and his heart remains in college football. He's also working on a contract extension with Notre Dame.

Kelly said so far everything that has come out about the girlfriend hoax matches up with what Te'o told him when he called him Dec. 26. Kelly contacted athletic director Jack Swarbrick immediately after Te'o told him what happened.

"Obviously, we all heard the story. It just sounded so crazy that the first thing I wanted to make sure we did was get the right people on top of this immediately," he said. "That was my first thought, to find out 'What the heck is going on here.'"

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Texas legislator seeks to force Texas and Texas A&M to restore rivalry game

Bill Would Require Annual UT vs. A&M Football Game, by Reeve Hamilton
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A bill that would require the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University to face each other on the football field every year was filed on Monday by state Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City.

The two flagship universities had a longstanding football rivalry, playing each other every year from 1914 until this past season. That all came to an end in 2012 following A&M's move to the Southeastern Conference.

"This game is as much a Texas tradition as cowboy boots and barbeque," Guillen, an A&M graduate, said. "The purpose of the bill is to put the eyes of Texas upon our two greatest universities to restore this sacred Texas tradition." 

House Bill 778, as filed, does not specify when the game should occur, but it does offer a penalty should it fail to happen: Whichever institution refused to participate in the showdown would suffer restrictions on its athletic scholarships.
 Via Texas Tribune.

So, does this have a chance of being passed and signed by the governor? The bill is sponsored by an A&M grad, and governor Rick Perry is also an Aggie. A&M is the program most interested in restoring the annual rivalry. Austin doesn't show any interest at all and arguably wields the most influence in  the state.

It should make for some interesting debates on the floor.

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Morning Six Pack: January 29, 2013

Six bitter, sweet yet heady college football stories from around the country.

Countdown to Signing Day: How did Alabama's drafted players under Nick Saban rank as recruits?

Of the 27 Alabama players drafted since 2007, 16 were ranked 3-stars or lower as recruits by either or

BYU, Hawaii cancel football series in 2013, '14

Hawaii and BYU have canceled two previously scheduled football games because the Warriors need to make room on their schedule for a possible Mountain West Conference championship game.

Artist Daniel A. Moore says he's never been busier commemorating Alabama football games

"Death Valley Drive" is finished. Now he must complete an AJ McCarron painting for charity. Then it's on to BCS and SEC championship game paintings, plus one of Johnny Manziel leading Texas A&M past the Crimson Tide.


FIU player tweets about taking recruit to strip club.

Powell Named to College Sporting News Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America Team

Murray State wide receiver/kick returner Walter Powell received another national honor on Monday when he was selected to the College Sporting News Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America Team as an all-purpose back. 


Bowlsby described the meeting as a free-flowing opportunity to interject a lot of ideas, and said the interactive nature by everyone in the room was probably indicative of the interest in the topic.

"I think that it's possible to make a considered decision to stay at the most favorable structure and that's where we have been," Bowlsby said. "But having said that, I don't think we ever want to be in a position of being un-nimble, and by that I mean it's a changing environment and we have to be prepared to respond to that changing environment, and this meeting is certainly going to help us do that."

Bowlsby said there is evidence that dictates the league stay at 10 schools, and other that suggests getting bigger.

"We have evidence on both sides of it," he said. "But I don't know that any of it is compelling enough to cause change right now."

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Vols athletic finances--swimming in a sea of red ink

At Tennessee, Big Orange battles red ink - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal | SportsBusiness Daily Global
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Now, after staggering to losing football seasons in four of the last five years and seeing attendance drop to levels last seen in the 1970s, the Vols find themselves mired in more than $200 million of debt, the most in the SEC, with reserves of just $1.95 million, the least in the conference.

The athletic department spends a startling $21 million a year on debt payments, $13.5 million of which comes from the school's stressed $99.5 million athletic budget and the rest from donations.

It's an ugly financial picture for one of the nation's strongest football brands, the kind of financial hole that SEC football giants aren't supposed to be in, brought about by expensive coaching buyouts and costly improvements to Neyland Stadium and other athletic facilities, just as the losing seasons set in.

"We've got to get football healthy," Hart said from his office in the new $50 million Brenda Lawson Athletic Center, just weeks after hiring Butch Jones from Cincinnati to be the Vols' fourth football coach in the last six years. "That's our economic engine. When that program is successful, everybody wins."
Ugly, and getting uglier.

Morning Six Pack: January 28, 2013

Mondays always get a little easier to bear when you start’em right. So, here are six cold, fresh college football stories from around the country.

Mom to receive Manuel's Senior Bowl MVP trophy

Quarterback said he played Saturday's all-star game for his mother, who has been diagnosed with cancer and is scheduled for surgery on Friday.

lump sum to Houston Nutt

Mississippi has agreed to pay former coach Houston Nutt a lump sum of $4.35 million to complete his contract buyout.

Countdown to Signing Day: A look back at the top 10 3-star recruits of the Nick Saban era at Alabama

Plenty of in-state players and linemen went on to perform at a high level during their Alabama careers after being slotted as three-star recruits.

RECRUITING: Ole Miss doing a GREAT job at recruiting this year

Ole Miss is doing an incredible job of recruiting this year. Whenever you see a middle of the pack team suddenly come into its own on the recruiting trail, it doesn’t raise any suspicions at all. After all, top recruits who want to make a living playing professional football one day very often choose to go places that don’t typically make that happen for college football players.

Virginia Tech’s Antone Exum tears ACL

Earlier this month, Antone Exum announced that he would be foregoing early entry into the NFL draft and returning to Virginia Tech for another year. Sadly, especially for a young man known for classy gestures off the field, his return to on-the-field action in 2013 is very much up in the air.


Though I should have known better, I still held out hope in the form of Miami. Screwing up the Miami investigation would be too big of a feat, I figured. After all, convicted Ponzi schemer and Miami booster Nevin Shapiro fully admitted to throwing sex and drug yacht parties for Miami recruits and even funding an abortion for one of their girlfriends.

But fortunately for Miami, we learned for certain last Wednesday that the NCAA’s incompetence knows no bounds. NCAA President Mark Emmert announced in a statement that the NCAA Infractions Committee bungled its investigation by mishandling at least two depositions while working with an attorney for Shapiro. In essence, the NCAA worked with Shapiro’s bankruptcy attorney to ask witnesses in his bankruptcy case deposition questions pertaining to the Miami investigation, thus obtaining information — under oath — it could not otherwise get. Let’s just say that the chances this attorney keeps her license are pretty slim.

As a result, the long-anticipated notice of allegations against Miami will not be released until an external review of the investigation occurs within the next two weeks. Emmert confirmed that none of the evidence collected illegally will be used in the report and that some of the investigators are no longer working on the case — what a relief, right?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Morning Six Pack: January 27, 2013

Sunday Brunch. Jazz. Eggs, bacon and these six college football stories from around the country.

Ex-Vol Nu’Keese Richardson to give NAIA ball a go

When last we heard from Nu’Keese Richardson, he had dropped down from the FBS level to the JUCO ranks in an attempt to restart what was at one time a promising playing career.

Auburn's Gus Malzahn regularly showing support at basketball games

Malzahn has regularly made appearances at basketball games, both during Auburn's recruiting weekends with official visitors and with his family.

Former Tennessee coach Dooley joining Cowboys

Former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is headed to the Dallas Cowboys as wide receivers coach.

Mark Stoops Recruiting Strong at Kentucky

In Kentucky, horse racing is viewed as a religion. To those of us in The Commonwealth, it is common knowledge that you want a thoroughbred that finishes the race strong. The parallels to the old Kentucky tradition can be made with new head coach Mark Stoops’ recruiting as well.

Mom to receive Manuel's Senior Bowl MVP trophy

Quarterback said he played Saturday's all-star game for his mother, who has been diagnosed with cancer and is scheduled for surgery on Friday.


When Nick Saban talked to Chase Goodbread of The Tuscaloosa News and other reporters in Mobile last week, he indicated that Alabama would show moderation with texts and tweets, but what of the other 100 schools trying to close the gap with Alabama?

Will there be a nightmare scenario where recruits are completely overwhelmed with unsolicited attention? Hopefully not, although it is hard not to worry about the ramifications.

There are probably a couple of reasons the NCAA opted to trim down the rule book. The organization has been loudly criticized for concentrating on piddling rules, such as too many texts, while programs that the public (or at least the media) see as the "real" cheaters run rampant.

Eliminating some "trivial" rules will theoretically free the NCAA Enforcement Staff, which clearly doesn't need too much on its plate given its competence level, to concentrate its resources on bigger fish.

"Our goal is smarter rules and tougher enforcement," Clemson University president James Barker said.

That is an admirable goal but one that may not serve to level the playing field, a concept that the NCAA seems less and less inclined to try to enforce.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Morning Six Pack: January 26, 2013

Now, honestly… How many times have you written 2012 on your checks? Well, me too. Here, check out these six college football stories from around the country.

Harris holds rally on anniversary of JoePa funeral

More than 250 Penn State alumni braved the icy roads and snowy conditions to attend ''Upon Further Review: Penn State One Year Later'' Friday night at the Radisson Casino Hotel.

LSU Gives Les Miles Raise, Contract Extension

LSU head football coach Les Miles is about to receive a raise, contract extension that will make him one of the highest paid coaches in the nation.

It’s official: Purdue hires Shoop as OC

Purdue has made the hiring of John Shoop official one day after reports surfaced about the move.

Report: Conference alliance brewing?

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Austin American-Statesman on Friday that the Big 12 is exploring an alliance with the ACC and two other unnamed conferences.

Report: Dr. Phil to interview Tuiasosopo

The story of the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax reached another level Friday when TMZ Sports reported that Dr. Phil has landed the first exclusive interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the person who allegedly orchestrated the hoax.

Dr. Phil? ladies and gentlemen, we have jumped the shark on this story.


I testified in front of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution in September 2004 in a hearing entitled “Due Process and the NCAA.” The purpose of that hearing was to discuss conduct of NCAA investigations and adjudication by the COI focusing on the lack of due process afforded those involved in the investigations. I opened my oral statement stating, “There are facts and opinions on all sides of these issues, but let me address these issues from the perspective of a person who has been through two major infractions investigations and who is a person who once vigorously defended the very processes that Ms. Potuto just defended. But I'm also a person who has had my career and reputation ruined by this patently unconstitutional and unfair process. This is not a process that truly punishes the rule breakers. It is a process that can ruin careers and trample rights all at the same time. It is simply a process that is un-American and threatens the very foundation of higher education in America.” Again, this has been allowed to happen and the investigators have needed to be investigated for several years—not just today.

The enforcement staff generally includes inexperienced investigators from various professional backgrounds that have been given an immense amount of power. Even without subpoena power, which I acknowledge is a weakness, some investigators may have become drunk with power through the impact of fear and doing things similar to what happened at Miami. The involved investigators just didn’t think this up, there had to be previous protocol or examples where this strategy was used before. From an organization that has used secret witnesses that the accused could not confront and paid legal defense money for those same witnesses in a subsequent legal action, we should not be surprised—or shocked at what happened in the Miami case. 

The NCAA is backpedaling right now, and this certainly isn’t the only front its battling on. Former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair has an active lawsuit against the NCAA in which the presiding judge strongly noted the NCAA investigative tactics were over the top.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Rob Ezell’s imitation of Nick Saban never gets old

I ran across this while watching some other highlight videos on YouTube. I’ve probably seen it at least as many times as you have but I think you’ll agree that it NEVER gets old.

Rob Ezell was a walk on quarterback who switched to wide receiver. He played in two games but remained a favorite of his coach and his teammates.

His teammates loved this. His coach, well…

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Obligatory Johnny Football Trick Shot Video Post

Can’t not post this. Living on the edge is in Johnny Manziel’s DNA. Showing off part of who he is and he really shows off in this.

Exit question: But is it real? You decide. Even better question: Is it even the best “trick shot video?” wonders about that.

Morning Six Pack: January 25, 2013

Start your weekend binge early by enjoying these six college football stories from around the country.

Malzahn addresses Bisaccia situation

Hurry-up, no-huddle hiring may continue for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.

Senior Bowl - Working overtime for draft: Tide's Johnson plays catch-up for scouts

After winning back-to-back national championships, Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson said the next step is to get into shape.

Lawyer says she did nothing wrong

Nevin Shapiro's attorney said Thursday that she did nothing wrong during the former Miami booster's bankruptcy proceedings, instead insisting that the NCAA's problems during an investigation of the Hurricanes' athletic department were self-inflicted.

Patience has its rewards for Oregon's Kenjon Barner

Running back waited his turn to star for the Ducks, led to big final season for Senior Bowl player.

A&M officially adds two to coaching staff

With three spots open on his Texas A&M coaching staff, Kevin Sumlin has officially filled two of those — with a third on its way to becoming official as well.


In All-Name circles, Liner's name is unusual because it isn't unusual at all. It stands little chance in the Name of the Year Bracket -- an all-inclusive contest that saw then-LSU recruit Mingo beat a Michigan political science grad named Iris Macadangdang for the 2009 title. But given the circumstances, Liner's name is perfect. If Liner played offensive tackle or fullback, he wouldn't appear on this list, but just as Wave Ryder and Navy are the ideal marriage of player and school, Dee Liner the defensive end is the ultimate union of player and position. So don't slim him down and make him a Jack linebacker, Nick Saban.

Liner's name is so ideal that I'm willing to overlook the fact that Dee is not even his real first name. It's Davion. His mother began calling him Dee early on, and the rest of the family picked up the nickname. "They've been calling me Dee since I was little," Liner said. "They called me Little Dee. Now they call me Big Dee."

If you're more of a name purist, you'll still probably look toward Tuscaloosa for your favorite name on National Signing Day. North Little Rock, Ark., tailback Altee Tenpenny plans to join Alabama's class, and he has the best pure (on the birth certificate) name in the class of 2013. Say it out loud. Altee Tenpenny. Altee Tenpenny. Altee Tenpenny. It just rolls off the tongue.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Morning Six Pack: January 24, 2013

Satisfy those Thirsty Thursday cravings with these six college football stories from around the country.

Nebraska leads the way with 20-year Super Bowl streak

Nebraska leads all schools with at least one former player in the last 20 Super Bowls.

Nick Saban claims Bowden Coach of the Year honors

Two of the past three years, and coinciding with a BCS championship, Alabama’s Nick Saban has been lauded with an award honoring one of the game’s greatest coaches.

As ESPN Debated, Te’o Story Slipped Away

While some inside the network were pushing to publish an article about the girlfriend hoax and others were pushing back, another outlet broke the story.

Auburn RB coach may be headed to Cowboys

Less than three full weeks on the job, Auburn running backs and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia is close to becoming the special teams coach for the Dallas Cowboys, according to multiple reports.

UCLA lands top-10 safeties Willis, Goodman

Priest Willis, the fifth-ranked safety in the ESPN 150, committed to UCLA on Wednesday night just hours after fellow ESPN 150 safety Tahaan Goodman chose the Bruins.


"This is obviously a shocking affair," said Emmert. "We have to get the answer to, how did this individual who was working with Shapiro end up engaging in these activities on our behalf? It's stunning that this has transpired."

You think?

The conduct in question apparently centers around the December 2011 testimony of former Miami equipment staffer and Shapiro conduit Sean Allen, who told CBS Sports last September that he was shocked to find NCAA investigator Ameen Najjar in the room upon arriving to his deposition in Shapiro's bankruptcy case. Even after Allen asked that Najjar leave, he still faced a barrage of Miami-related questions with seemingly little relevance to bankruptcy. And unlike in his NCAA interviews, he was now under oath.

Emmert provided no names on Wednesday, but CBS reported last week that Najjar was fired last year. Emmert said the NCAA became aware of possible improprieties last fall when invoices began showing up for "legal work that had not been approved." And yet, as recently as Sunday, word was leaking that Louisville football assistant Clint Hurtt and Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith -- both named in Yahoo!'s report -- were about to be charged with unethical conduct allegations.

In other words, one arm of the NCAA was proceeding on the path to formal allegations last weekend, while Emmert was meeting with the Board of Directors to inform them of the possible ethical breech at the same time. You'd call these guys keystone cops if not for the fact they make actual keystone cops look like Dragnet.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

During Miami investigation, NCAA uncovers its own corruption

Color us somewhat unsurprised. Investigations into Alabama during the 1990’s and Mississippi State during the mid-2000’s swarmed with allegations of overzealous investigators crossing ethical and legal lines to get the goods.

Double secret witnesses. US Attorneys working with NCAA investigators and compelling witnesses to cooperate with NCAA investigations as part of a plea deal. Allegations of sexual misconduct. And that was just with those two.

The NCAA investigators who apparently violated the organization's own procedures didn't just wake up one morning a figure out a way to circumvent existing policy or standing law. They're well practiced at this sort of chicanery.

This time, they were caught.

NCAA statement:
The NCAA national office has uncovered an issue of improper conduct within its enforcement program that occurred during the University of Miami investigation.  Former NCAA enforcement staff members worked with the criminal defense attorney for Nevin Shapiro to improperly obtain information for the purposes of the NCAA investigation through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.
As it does not have subpoena power, the NCAA does not have the authority to compel testimony through procedures outside of its enforcement program. Through bankruptcy proceedings, enforcement staff gained information for the investigation that would not have been accessible otherwise.
"I have been vocal in the past regarding the need for integrity by NCAA member schools, athletics administrators, coaches, and student-athletes,” said Association President Mark Emmert. "That same commitment to integrity applies to all of us in the NCAA national office."
In light of this incident and other recent events involving the enforcement staff, President Emmert has commissioned an external review of the enforcement program. The review will include a thorough investigation into the current issue as well as the overall enforcement environment, to ensure operation of the program is consistent with the essential principles of integrity and accountability. The NCAA has retained Kenneth L. Wainstein, a partner with the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP to conduct this investigation. Wainstein specializes in corporate internal investigations and civil and criminal enforcement proceedings. He was formerly Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush and has served as the Assistant Attorney General for National Security as well as the FBI General Counsel. 
As it relates to the Miami investigation, the NCAA will not move forward with a Notice of Allegations until all the facts surrounding this issue are known.
"Upon receipt of Mr. Wainstein’s findings, I will take further steps as needed to assure accountability for any improper conduct,” Emmert said.
"The NCAA Executive Committee expects the enforcement program to operate within approved procedures and with the highest integrity. Although we are deeply disappointed in this turn of events, we strongly support the actions President Emmert is taking to address the problem,” said Lou Anna K. Simon, executive committee chair and Michigan State University president.
"To say the least, I am angered and saddened by this situation. Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks,” said Emmert.  "My intent is to ensure our investigatory functions operate with integrity and are fair and consistent with our member schools, athletics staff and most importantly our student-athletes," he added.

Palm Beach Post: Bama assistant likely to skate on Miami NCAA case

Report: NCAA to charge 2 ex-UM football assistants with unethical conduct
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Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

While Hurtt and Hill could be facing harsh NCAA sanctions, a UM source said Tuesday that former Hurricanes' offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland may avoid tough penalties because of his cooperation with the NCAA in the Shapiro case. Shapiro, a former UM booster and a convicted Ponzi schemer serving 20 years in a federal prison, implicated Hurtt, Hill, Stoutland and other UM coaches in recruiting violations. Stoutland is now the offensive line coach at Alabama.
Read the full story here.

This is good news for Stoutland, who has done an outstanding job of building one of the best offensive lines Alabama has ever put on the field. But conspicuously absent in this report is mention of Joe Pannunzio, who was also on that Miami Hurricanes staff and who was also implicated in the exhaustive report on Yahoo! Sports last summer.

Shapiro never named Pannunzio in his interviews with Charles Robinson et al.

Both Stoutland and Pannunzio were allegedly involved in an incident of improper recruiting contact between Shapiro and prospect Matt Patchan. Patchan and his family were allegedly given a tour of Shapiro's home and heard a recruiting pitch from the booster during the incident.

As Director of Football Operations at Alabama, Pannunzio has no on-field coaching responsibilities and therefore cannot recruit off-campus. It's difficult to guess what--if any--penalties the NCAA might hand to Pannunzio, should the investigation conclude that violations occurred and Pannunzio was less than forthright in addressing the issues during the enforcement probe.

While improper contact is considered a major violation, this appears to be a single incident and since the player never signed with Miami (signing with Florida instead), there was no competitive advantage gained.

Prediction: Both Stoutland and Pannunzio escape major sanctions.

Morning Six Pack: January 23, 2013

The coffee is cold and the beer is warm. What will you do? Drink up these six college football stories from around the country.

Bampacolypse Show - Jan 23,2013

Basketball... Gymnastics.... we know, you want FOOTBALL! Ok, we will have the latest on all the recruiting info for you plus some special "guests" on BAMS for this weeks episode!

South squad's turnover brings South Alabama linebacker Jake Johnson to Senior Bowl

South Alabama linebacker Jake Johnson is coming home to the Senior Bowl after a busy day of roster moves for the South squad.

Fans pay respects as signs, vigil mark anniversary of Joe Paterno's death

"I definitely think that everything that has happened isn't at all indicative of the kind of man that he was."

Hernia surgery could sideline FSU’s Darby for spring

As if Ronald Darby‘s true freshman season at Florida State wasn’t outstanding enough, it becomes even more impressive when viewed in the light of what most would consider a rather significant injury.

Former H.S. All-American Alford enrolls at Ole Miss

Anthony Alford's first year on campus didn't work out as planned, but he didn't have to go very far for a second chance: As expected, Ole Miss confirmed Alford's enrollment on Tuesday, a little more than a month after the former blue chip's departure from an in-state neighbor, Southern Miss.


"Pruitt is a known commodity in Alabama and the South," Langston said. "Sunseri is more in the Virginia area and the Northeast, Kelly is really great in Atlanta, Sanders did some of his best work in Georgia and Napier was fantastic in the Carolinas, and that is a place where Florida State really has had a tough time getting a strong foothold.

"I think pairing Sunseri and [defensive tackles coach Odell] Hagans in the Baltimore-D.C.-Virginia area will pick up a spot that Florida State is already strong in, and then with Kelly and Sanders covering Georgia, that beefs up a backyard area that the program has not been faring well in recently."

Napier may be the most important hire -- and he has big shoes to fill following Craig's departure.

"Craig was a home run hire for Auburn and a major loss for Florida State, with Gran being a close second because he had been doing a great job in recruiting," said Rivals' national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell. "Napier will have to fill that role, and I think he can."

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Paul Finebaum leaves WJOX

Paul Finebaum's contract with WJOX expires, 'The JOX Roundtable' moves to fill his afternoon time slot
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 Sports-talk radio host Paul Finebaum's contract with WJOX-FM expired Monday, and the mid-day show "The JOX Roundtable" will move into his afternoon slot beginning today, has learned.
It remains unclear when and where Finebaum will go, and he he has repeatedly declined to comment on his situation.
"The JOX Roundtable," with Ryan Brown, Jim Dunaway and Lance Taylor, previously aired weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It now will air from 2 to 6 p.m.
The Cox Media Group, which owns rival station ESPN 97.3 The Zone, has been publicly courting Finebaum since that station came on the air in August 2011.
While the immediate assumption is that Finebaum is headed for The Zone, the fact that ESPN and CBSSports are both courting him is significant. The Zone is part of the ESPN radio network, so it's conceivable that he could originate the show from that station and syndicate it through the World Wide Leader.

He has some time to figure it out--industry scuttlebutt is that while his contract has expired, he is still bound by a three-month "no compete" clause that will keep Finebaum off of the airwaves until May.

Morning Six Pack: January 22, 2013

What goes better with breakfast than these six cool, clear and crisp college football stories from around the country?

Clemson-Georgia shift not likely

The USA Today reported Monday that Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney believes the 2013 season opener with Georgia could be moved to Labor Day night.

No luck for Lutz: Auburn tight end Lutzenkirchen unable to play Saturday

He hasn't played football in more than three months, and this weekend's Senior Bowl will be no different, but Philip Lutzenkirchen is not bitter.

Recruit calls false Irish visit 'misunderstanding'

Georgia running back recruit Stanley Williams (Monroe, Ga./Georgia Walton Academy) said a recent report in which he said he had visited Notre Dame last weekend was "a big misunderstanding" and that he did not visit the South Bend, Ind., campus.

Butch Jones, Vols defensive staff visit Vonn Bell

Knowing there is a lot of ground to make up in a short amount of time, new University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones found an unusual way to make a big impression on Ridgeland High School’s All-America safety Vonn Bell.

Alabama coach Nick Saban says Chip Kelly will 'do just fine' in NFL

The two coaches talked for a while on the sidelines at Senior Bowl practice Monday.


So where do we go from here?  So many supporters seem to be throwing up their hands, as if such situations are inevitable.  "What are we supposed to do?" they ask. "Demand to see the body?"

No, but neither are we supposed to give up and accept that factual errors are inevitable. David Griner, writing for the Poynter Institute, uses the response from "This American Life" and Ira Glass, when a story about injuries and abuse at an Apple factory in China turned out to be false.

What we have seen instead falls far short, and we need to strive to be better than that.  Journalists are supposed to skeptical, not cynical.  We are supposed to have our B.S. meter fully engaged, regardless of the source.

And that is one factor here: The desire of all involved to believe the best about Te'o. That was one of the most scathing indictments of Thamel, by Josh Levin of Slate. Many more in the media are guilty of wanting to believe the best about Te'o, so that they unfairly dial down their B.S. meter.  The word for that is "bias."  Would they have been so trusting toward an SEC football player?

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Pictures from the National Championship Parade and Celebration

Compliments of Please follow the link to the gallery, showing 140 shots of players, coaches and fans who took part in Saturday’s National Championship Parade and Celebration.

Here’s a couple of teasers for you.



Click here to see the whole gallery.

Morning Six Pack: January 21, 2013

Mondays are like Ash Wednesday morning in the French Quarter. They stink, but we still have these six college football stories from around the country.

Loeffler The Answer? - Virginia Tech

Last Monday night, former Auburn OC Scot Loeffler accepted the same position with VT. Is he the best fit? What can we expect from his offense? We look at the big picture of the hire.

Lingering injuries could force former Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker to sit out Senior Bowl

The former right tackle is dealing with a calf strain and groin injury, but will try to give it a go at Monday's practice.

Running back Jordan Wilkins is no longer committed to Auburn

Wilkins, a 6-1, 210-pounder who was rated a four-star prospect, produced a 1,500-yard season as a junior at St. Benedict High in Cordova, Tenn., before breaking his leg in October.

Savage ready for first Senior Bowl as executive director

Mobile native and former NFL general manager has experienced the Senior Bowl from every angle.

Non-seniors to play in Senior Bowl

The NFL has cleared two non-seniors to compete in the Senior Bowl for the first time, opening the door to a wider pool of draft prospects for future games.


"We were looking for a coach who exemplified excellence, leadership and character, and who would embrace what our winning football culture is all about. We found that person in Mark Helfrich," said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens.

"He has been vitally important to our success here the past four years. He is man devoted to his family, his players, his university and community. I'm excited to see Mark lead the Ducks to even greater heights."

While it was not the main goal of Oregon's search, Mullens called the continuity Helfrich provides the program a clear "bonus." Helfrich is the third Oregon coach in a row to be hired from within the staff, joining Kelly and Mike Bellotti, who led the Ducks from 1995-2008.

"The fact that he's got deep roots in Oregon is a bonus," Mullens said. "But it was not the driving factor. We wanted an outstanding leader to continue the tradition of Oregon football.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Newspaper mistakenly puts Bama in today’s NFC Championship Game

The Chattanooga Times Free Press print edition has a rather interesting editorial mistake.

Wishful thinking or a Freudian Slip? You decide.


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Morning Six Pack: January 20, 2013

Championship celebrations always follow better with six cold, clear crisp college football stories from around the country.

Nearly half the NFL Draft’s 73 declared underclassmen hail from the SEC

The NFL officially released its list Saturday of 73 underclassmen who have been granted special eligibility to be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, a further commentary on the gap between SEC football and everybody else.

'Everybody contributed' to an Alabama season that ends with yet another on-campus celebration

From top to bottom and everywhere in between, Alabama's 15th national championship was a team effort in every sense of the phrase.

Malzahn says Auburn QB Moseley has left team

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn says former starting quarterback Clint Moseley has left the team.

Small-school players aim to make big impression at Senior Bowl

Georgia Southern safety J.J. Wilcox has a point that he wants to get across at the Senior Bowl: "That no matter where you come from, you can play with anybody. That's the main goal."

Three Auburn players, other NFL draft hopefuls show their stuff at Raycom Classic

Alabama and Georgia ruled the regular season, while Auburn and Georgia Tech struggled. The trend persisted into early 2013, when Christian Robinson, Quentin Dial and the Stripes squad hammered the Stars 31-3 in the inaugural Raycom College Football All-Star Classic at the Cramton Bowl Saturday afternoon.


"I've been lifting up my jersey for two years now. That's kind of like my thing."

The sight of Warmack's belly served as a lasting image of the 2012 Alabama offensive line, which was simply dominant throughout the Crimson Tide's third national championship season in four years. Warmack, in particular, had a season to remember, as he picked up unanimous, first-team All-American honors, was named one of the Crimson Tide's three team captains and elevated his NFL Draft stock enough to be in the conversation as a top five selection.

The Atlanta product will be in Los Angeles for the next few months as he trains for the national combine and Alabama's Pro Day.

He passed on an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

"I just needed time to recover," Warmack said. "I knew I needed to train and get prepared for this Combine."

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Te’o story is a breach of ethics and responsibility

image This will be the last post on the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax curiosity. Fully expecting the story to develop in even stranger ways, we haven’t been disappointed. In an episode that produced no criminal violations, no apparent NCAA violations and no real harm done to any living person, all we really have is a football player in the middle of a silly controversy. But it is a controversy that has exposed a serious flaw in how the media covers sympathetic public figures.

This is a story that any serious journalist covering it should have gotten right. It wasn’t really a breaking story, and the need to make deadline shouldn’t have resulted in a failure to check basic facts and make sure that what was published was truthful and accurate.

It was a glaring example of a disturbing trend in media coverage, and a serious breach of journalistic ethics and responsibility.

In our own Blogger Code of Ethics—featured prominently at the top of every page at IBCR—we commit to the following:

  • Be able to answer the following question in the affirmative: “Have I gotten all of the information I need to be confident that what I am about to publish is truthful?”
  • Be able to answer the following question in the negative: “Is there anything I have missed,  misinterpreted or should have known about that would cause me to spike the story?

In the aftermath of Deadspin’s exposé showing that the whole story about Te’o’s girfriends tragic death to be an elaborate hoax, numerous reporters who wrote or covered the story admitted to not checking the facts as provided by Te’o.

Why would they abandon a code of professionalism and ethics that was drilled into their heads from the opening lectures in Journalism 101? The answer is simple: The media believed Te’o’s story because they wanted it to be true. It was enticing, dramatic and plausible. It was a story of almost Shakespearean tragedy involving star-crossed lovers. But most disturbingly, it fit the narrative they wanted to go with.

Factual accuracy be damned.

This should sound eerily familiar, because in the run-up to the 2008 Presidential Election, numerous news outlets were shown to have either ignored basic facts or simply made them up in order to advance an agenda. In that disgusting foray into advocacy journalism, the media’s agenda was to paint then Senator Barack Obama as the historic, transformative messianic figure they all wanted him to be.

In the Te’o story, the agenda was to paint the Notre Dame linebacker as an inspirational figure who had overcome much personal tragedy to be at the absolute top of the game. The agenda was to get this young man as much personal attention as possible; to hype him, build him up and possibly win him a Heisman Trophy.

While the consequences for this country couldn’t be more different between these two stories, the root cause of both is still the same—journalists failed to do their jobs and America was sold a bill of goods.

There is an old saying in journalism—if your mother tells you that she loves you, it’s Ok to believe her but you’d better check it out. No one checked it out.

Beginning with Jeremy Schaap’s late night, off-camera interview with Te’o, the media is going to do everything it can to protect their six o’clock. The narrative now will be that since Te’o was the victim of a hoax, they were too. Since Te’o believed the Kekua death story, they were Ok in believing it and they’re not really at fault for allowing the public to be duped.

Who’s accountable?

Accountability isn’t about finding someone to blame. It’s about making sure that everything that needs to be done actually gets done, and that someone or some process exists to ensure that it does get done. If “Accountability” means finding a head to roll after something didn’t get done—like basic fact checking—then there is no accountability.

That’s a serious problem, sports fans. And it’s a problem that doesn’t seem to be getting much better.

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Photo credit: Reuters

Morning Six Pack: January 19, 2013

On this no-football Saturday, start drowning sorrows early with these six college football stories from around the country.

National champs to celebrate in parade

The University of Alabama will host a parade today to honor its national championship football team.

Florida suspends O-lineman Jessamen Dunker

Following up briefly on a story that’s been going on the past couple of days, Florida has announced that redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker has been suspended indefinitely.

New Vols assistant Steve Stripling 'prepared'

For nearly three decades, Steve Stripling coached defensive lines and linebackers at football programs across the Midwest.

NCAA Rules Working Group's Phase II to be more complex

As Phase I of rules reform nears a close, an NCAA working group turns to more complex issues.

Beamer shakes up Hokies offensive coaching staff

Beamer announced Friday that he's hired former Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler to lead Virginia Tech's offense, former Stanford wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead to take over the Hokies' wideouts, and another Auburn assistant, Jeff Grimes, to coach the offensive line. Grimes was Auburn's O-line coach.


This Tuiasosopo guy's a bad dude. He most definitely did this (along with one other man and woman, Te'o said). It's about the only conclusive detail in the whole saga.

"Te'o adamantly denies having anything to do with this," said Schaap. "... if he's making up his side of the story, he's a very convincing actor."

And yet, many will remain resolute that Te'o was a conspirator. Or that he milked the fake tragedy to gain sympathy and publicity. Or that he should have come clean a lot sooner. And that's because there's nothing about this interview that would sway a skeptical jury.

If Te'o truly wants to clear the air, he needs to sit down in front of a camera. He needs to show emotion, and he needs to show remorse. Te'o may consider himself the wronged party, but many of his fans and followers still feel betrayed. He needs to apologize for his part in embellishing and perpetuating the myth of Lennay. That will require swapping the word "tailor" with "lie," which is what he did.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

National Championship Celebration

For those of you that are wise enough to plan ahead, or lucky enough to be within a few hours drive of Tuscaloosa, you are in for a great time Saturday. Alabama’s National Championship Celebration i20130115celebration-posters full of rare treats.

The rest will just have to live vicariously through others, but if you’re at all on the fence on this consider the rarity of the moment. Alabama doesn’t always throw parades when they win championships, so who knows when you’ll have this chance again? Additionally, while we’d like to hope otherwise, back to back championships are extremely uncommon and this is the first one of my lifetime. You can pack up the family and enjoy a moment that you can talk about for years to come.

If that’s not enough for you, currently has a splash page up with some info about the events. They also have a more thorough page with specific information. Highlights include a chance to take a picture with the three BCS trophies, free limited national championship beads, mini footballs, and posters, and perhaps coolest of all a chance to walk on the field at Bryant-Denny.

Personally, I think the parade itself and the chance to show support for the players and all they’ve done should be reason enough to go, but the goodies should add some extra enticement. You can bring your kids, take a picture with the trophies, walk on the field with them, and have an enduring memory. What else were you planning on doing on a Saturday? Some typical weekend activity you can do on any other weekend?

Also, it appears there will be other BCS stuff for sale, including commemorative cups and that sort of things and “All fans attending the parade and the post-parade event can park at any legal parking space on the UA campus.”. In case that wasn’t enough, you can go watch Alabama play Texas A&M in basketball after the festivities.

Morning Six Pack: January 18, 2013

Happy Friday. Here are another six college football stories from around the country that don’t feature Manti Te’o’s imaginary girlfriend.

Al Pacino to play Joe Paterno in upcoming movie "Happy Valley"

Producer Edward R. Pressman confirms Brian De Palma will direct "Happy Valley," the tentative title of the film, based on Joe Posnanski's best-seller "Paterno."

Tigers' McCalebb will play in Senior Bowl: It will be his third straight postseason all-star game

Former Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb confirmed he will be playing in the Senior Bowl in Mobile on Jan. 26.

Eagles might be interested in Smart as defensive coordinator

The Philadelphia Eagles might have interest in talking to Alabama's Kirby Smart for their defensive coordinator's job, according to one report.

Penn State’s O’Brien wins Bryant Award

Penn State’s O’Brien wins Bryant Award Bill O'Brien, in his first year as a head coach was named the 2012 Coach of the Year.

Georgia's Chris Burnette has surgery

Georgia starting right guard Chris Burnette underwent left shoulder surgery this week to repair a torn labrum and will miss spring practice.


Some of the proposals would allow college athletes and recruits to accept more money to cover expenses for non-scholastic events, earn more prize money and allow schools and conference officials to pay for medical expenses of athletes.

They also include the creation of a uniform recruiting calendar for all sports, eliminating regulating how coaches communicate with recruits and how often they can contact them outside of no-contact periods, which will remain in place.

In his address to more than 3,000 delegates, Emmert said some of current rules are "inexplicable" at times and that some try to define acceptable and unacceptable behavior in such detail that it confines and constrains "some of the smallest aspects of the life of our student-athletes." He didn't provide any specific examples.

He also said the NCAA has created a cottage industry of regulatory interpretation and advisement across the country, both for students and the universities. He said there are rules that confuse and bewilder, parents, student-athletes.

"It's mindboggling sometimes," Emmert said. "We even look foolish sometimes to people from outside of sports who have no idea of what we do and why we do it, but they look at our regulatory side and say this just doesn't make a lot of sense."

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Media fact-check policy questioned amid Te'o scandal

Published on USA Today | shared via feedly
With the dramatic revelation late Wednesday afternoon that Kekua never existed and is part of an elaborate hoax, new questions are arising about the media's obligation to fact-check details even amid tighter deadlines, shrinking newsroom staffs and the ceaseless chatter blaring across social media. The hoax was first reported by, a sports news site.

Enticed by the drama of the star-crossed lovers, numerous reporters took Kekua's existence as fact and freely repeated details from other existing media reports without attempting to speak directly to Kekua, her friends or family members.

"I'm afraid this is the mark of our times," says Tim McGuire, a journalism ethics professor at Arizona State University and former editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "It's an old adage. If your mother tells you (she loves you), check it out. No one's checking urban myths here. This is really an ugly mark on journalism."
Grab the original.

A well-deserved piling on has begun, wherein certain media critics are rightfully taking mainstream media organizations to task for failing in one of their most basic obligations--to check the facts of a story before going to press.

What we have here is a very clear case of confirmation bias, wherein stories are told that fit an expected narrative, advance a certain agenda or simply confirm the writer/researcher's convictions or expectations. Most of the people writing the tragic, yet inspirational story of the personal struggles didn't bother to check the facts because the story they were told fell right in line with what they expected or already believed.

It's a cardinal sin in journalism, but with today's rapid-fire media cycles, it is what it is and everything you read now has to be read with a cynical, untrusting eye.

Bank it: The Te’o girlfriend hoax story will get even weirder before it’s over



Yesterday produced what is being described as the most bizarre sports news stories ever. We’ve heard about the mind-blowing story from the website Deadspin, which lays out a damning case against Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, his family and possibly some of their associates in conducting an elaborate hoax involving a dead girlfriend that never existed. There’s no way that story ends here.

Unfortunately for Te’o, his family and the perpetrators of the hoax, there’s also no way that this story has a happy ending.

There’s also no way that the days ahead won’t leave you shaking your head, jaw agape and wondering if this is all real or a hoax about a hoax within a hoax. This strange story is probably about to get weirder.

There are just too many holes to fill and too many loose ends to tie off, and there are too many journalists caught flat-footed in failing to do basic research. Some of the country’s most prominent sports media organizations have been Played Like a Champion Today, and they’re not going to let that good deed go unpunished. There are many high value targets and angles of attack now, and with the 2012 college football season now in the books, lots of journalists were sitting around and looking for something to do.

That was yesterday.

Beginning today, some of those holes are going to be poked, just to see what scurries out. Some of those loose ends will get tugged, just to see what might unravel. Given how bizarre this story already is, you can lay long and strong odds that something even more mind-boggling will be sanitized by sunshine. More contradictions will be found and more people will be exposed.

The more elaborate the lie, the more difficult it is to remember your story and keep it straight with all the other stories being told by all of the other people involved. It’s easy to remember the truth. It’s difficult to remember a lie and that difficulty grows exponentially with the number of lies told.

The ease with which so many prominent journalists were fooled by the Lennay Kekua hoax won’t be quickly forgotten and if these organizations want their pound of flesh for having been deceived, then have it they will.

This is going to get very interesting. Bank it.

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Morning Six Pack: January 17, 2013

Satisfy your Thirsty Thursday cravings with these six college football stories from around the country, and not one is about Manti Te’o’s undead girlfriend!

Tana Patrick contributes to Bama's success

Playing time increased this past season for Alabama weakside linebacker Tana Patrick, as did his stash of national championship rings.

UGA's Malcome decides to leave

Georgia third-string tailback Ken Malcome has decided to play his final two seasons at another school.

John L. Smith to become head coach at Fort Lewis

John L. Smith will take over at tiny Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., after being let go as Arkansas' football coach. Smith will start his new head coaching assignment on March 1, the school announced Wednesday.

Former Florida QB Jacoby Brissett transferring to North Carolina State, according to report

Sophomore will have to sit out 2013 before joining Wolfpack on field in 2014.

Chip Kelly lands in Philly, explains his decision

Chip Kelly wanted the job as the Philadelphia Eagles head coach the last time he spoke to the team, but he didn't want to leave Oregon. Tuesday, he did, accepting the NFL job many thought he was destined to take a week ago.


The local favorite to win the award — Sumlin was a 2011 finalist at Houston — coached quarterback Johnny Manziel to the Heisman this season. Bryant coached at A&M when John David Crow won the Heisman in 1957.

“(Sumlin) had a great year in the first year in the SEC,” event chair Dave Roberts said. “No one expected that. A lot of buzz, a lot of excitement, delivered another Heisman Trophy winner, and oh, by the way, the last one was one of coach Bryant’s players when he was at A&M.

“And then of course, (Bill) O’Brien did such a marvelous job at Penn State and had a very good season on the football field but really stabilized that program. So those two are really solid candidates.”

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blarney: Deadspin story says Mant Te'o Dead Girlfriend Story Was an Elaborate Hoax

Manti Te'o's Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax
Published on Deadspin | shared via feedly
There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te'o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te'o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te'o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te'o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te'o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te'o that she was dead. Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest. 
Lennay Kekua's last words to Manti Te'o were not "I love you."
Mash here for the exclusive.

If this story is accurate, then Notre Dame, the South Bend Tribune and the Irish's most celebrated football player of the 2012 season led the nation and the national sports media on an elaborate and shameful hoax.

Everyone--including ESPN,Sports Illustrated and the New York Times--bought the story and ran with it.

Update: Notre Dame has released a statement.

On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te’o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.
Update II: Te'o has also issued a statement.

This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating. It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother's death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life. I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been. In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was. Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.
Do you believe the statements from Notre Dame and Te'o?

Nope. Me, either.

Manti Te’o snubs Senior Bowl

Somebody is giving Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o bad advice. After his disappointing play during the BCS Championship Game on Jan 7, Te’o could have used the opportunity to work out and meet with NFL coaches and front office personnel during Senior Bowl week.

It’s not the game itself that’s important. It’s that whole week of practices, drills, interviews and meetings. Missing that will be a mistake that could cost him millions.

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Morning Six Pack: January 16, 2013

We hate getting up as much as you do, but you gotta get started early on your six pack of college football stories from around the country.

More Than Half of All 2012-2013 Bowls Show Increase in Attendance

Eighteen of the 35 Football Bowl Association member bowls had increased attendance during this year’s bowl season. Overall, attendance at bowl games fell 2.4 percent this year compared to the same games last year, the Football Bowl Association announced yesterday.

Nine freshmen eligible for spring practice - Alabama

Nine incoming University of Alabama football players have enrolled for spring classes and will be eligible for spring practice.

Don't write off Virginia Tech's Thomas just yet

Logan Thomas decided to remain at Virginia Tech for a final season of college football, and the quarterback could not have made a more wise decision.

Former Penn State receiver lands at Marshall

Over four months after “parting ways” with the Penn State program, Shawney Kersey has found himself a new school to call his football home.

More mock drafts that love the Crimson Tide

Alabama had four guys taken in the first round of the last two NFL drafts, and is predicting it will happen again.


That decision has caused an angry reaction from some Auburn fans. That happens a lot these days, given the access that fans have to recruits on social media. (No, there is no way to turn back the clock, and even if we could, recruits were probably getting angry letters via Pony Express.) The same thing happened to Cyrus Kouandjio and T.J. Yeldon when they flipped to Alabama and to Reuben Foster and Craig Sanders when they reversed commitments to Alabama and opted for Auburn instead.

Neither side has a monopoly on fan immaturity.

The late loss of blue-chip recruits to Alabama has been a particular frustration for Auburn recently, and it is not hard to see why. Just look at the aforementioned Kouandjio and Yeldon. Would their presence on Auburn's offense have made a difference for the Tigers? Absolutely. Even if those two wouldn't have entirely reversed the 49-0 verdict in this year's game with Alabama, just keeping them away from the Crimson Tide might have made the difference in close UA wins over LSU or Georgia. That might have been enough to keep Alabama from winning the BCS title, and that would have made things easier for AU as it attempts to even out the talent imbalance.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prized recruit decommits from Auburn, fans take to Twitter and blast him

Here we go again, sports fans. A bit more than a year after Daphne’s TJ Yeldon went “Benedict Arnold” on teh famby, top defensive line recruit Dee Liner has decommitted from Auburn and taken the school off of his list. Auburn fans reacted quite predictably, and delivered us some entertainment yesterday.


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