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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Auburn allegations: And the offseason fun continues for the NCAA

If you want to watch HBO tonight, tune in at 8 p.m. to watch "Cop Out," a ribald comedy starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan that got a 19 percent rating from

And if you wait a couple hours later, HBO will also air allegations from four former Auburn football players that they received cash.

I'm sure you've heard or read about it already. If not, here's a link on the web site.

The SEC released a statement Wednesday night in advance of the program:

“We are aware of some of the information to be aired during this evening’s HBO Real Sports. Representatives from Auburn University, representatives from LSU and the SEC office have communicated with the NCAA Enforcement Staff. The involved institutions and the NCAA staff will pursue the allegations in a timely manner.”

This is obviously another knock against Auburn, which doesn't exactly enjoy a pristine reputation. And it's another knock against the SEC, since LSU is included in the allegations - but so is Michigan State.

Indeed, the offseason headlines continue to be negative for college football.

You have the Fiesta Bowl fiasco, where its longtime CEO has been fired because of lavish expenditures for strip club visits and his birthday party, all billed to the bowl. The BCS reacted by saying it would review the Fiesta Bowl's spot in the BCS.

Of course, as Yahoo's Dan Wetzel points out, the Orange Bowl conducts its own lavish cruise party - attended by one of the members of the panel that filed the report on the Fiesta Bowl.

Meanwhile, the PBS program also weighed in on the NCAA, with an interview of NCAA president Mark Emmert that ... well didn't make Mr. Emmert look too great, from all accounts. You can watch the program here.

And you have the ongoing saga of Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Despite the best efforts of Tressel - who keeps suspending himself, only to have something else come out - this story isn't going away yet. That's because the NCAA hasn't weighed in on Tressel's impropriety.

Most of the illicit stories are just involving college football. Of course, it bears pointing out that one of the national semifinals involves one coach suspended for three games next season (Jim Calhoun) and another whose previous Final Four trips have been vacated (John Calipari).

So all of this is bad, obviously, and leads to a lot of righteous indignation. It leads to a lot of talk about more investigations, and reform, and all that good stuff.

But who among us thinks anything will actually come of that? What's the motivation for change with all that money the NCAA and its schools are making?

Believe it when you see it.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to watch "Cop Out." Mindless comedy. Reminds me of something.


Anonymous said...

I'm all for banning college sports. Universities are meant to educate, not win football games which is something that people seem to forget.

Go ahead with the name-calling, I know it's coming.

Anonymous said...

If the Fiesta Bowl is stripped of its BCS Bowl status, do you think the BCS will take a serious look at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl? The ole Peach Bowl has made great strides in recent years in payout, viewership, etc. The only problem I could see with this move is that it would put three of the four BCS Bowls in the Southeast. But who else would be a serious contender?

dawg521 said...

I think the Cotton Bowl will get a look before the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. It keeps the game out west (sort of), it's housed in Jerry Jones' new palace, and the Cotton Bowl has been mentioned as a Plus-One Format addition in some circles. It's just got the history that the Peach/Chick-Fil-A Bowl doesn't quite have. I think the CFA Bowl could eventually take the Cotton Bowl's place in stature and prestige if the Cotton goes to the BCS...or the Fiesta takes its place.

Will said...

I won't call names because everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but I wonder why you read a blog about college sports when you don't approve of college sports.

Unknown said...

Anon @ 7:56 - doesn't this seem a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater? There is a minor level of corruption I think we will have to live with. Department stores, for example, plan for ~5% losses from shoplifting in prospective budgets. Similarly, I think we'll have to live with $100 handshakes, as distasteful as they may be.

On the other hand, we obviously need a stronger governing body regarding punishment. Clearly the NCAA is not up to the task.

As a second point, don't these stories make you glad to have Mark Richt as a head football coach? Clearly he's not above making mistakes or cutting it close with some rules (i.e. Isiah Crowell), and perhaps I'm naive or willfully oblivious, but I buy his integrity and can't picture him doing what Jim Tressel did. Clearly another season like 2010 will justify his continued employment, but I'm certainly glad we've given him the chance to turn things around this year.

Lacide said...

Seth - were you at the Albany Herald when Troy Reddick was playing down there?

Anonymous said...


I'll admit that I do like basketball, and since UGA is my alma mater, I try to keep up with their success.

However, hearing all of the stories about corruption makes me loathe college sports. I think the thing that gets me most is the whole debate about whether they should be paid. I took out $15,000 in students loans and worked for the rest to pay for my education. When people talk about paying student-athletes, that's when I really don't understand college sports. So if they were to end college athletics, I would be okay continuing to watch the Hawks.

Thanks for not name calling.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't even Barkley admitted to getting paid. The other national championship Auburn won in the 1950's, Auburn was on probation and when they went undefeated in the 1990's, they were on probation and then last year, oh well you get what I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

Auburn football on probation in 1957,1958,1959,1960,1979,1980,1993,1994,1995,2011? Also, the basketball and tennis teams have had turns on probation. Devil be messin' at Auburn.

Anonymous said...

Those lavish nights in Atlanta got Damon in trouble via pantygate and too many drinks while operating a BMW. "Good People" are all around in Athens though.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't do nothing illegal or anything like that."- Cadillac Williams. You left out Auburn being on probation in 2004 and 2005 when they went undefeated for academic shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:14. They're not doing HBO specials on middle aged men's drunken infidelities, they are doing one on football players getting paid at Auburn which has been going on for decades. Just ask Terry Bowden.

Anonymous said...

Shady college boosters!?! What else is new?

Seth, which film do you hold in higher regard?

Cop and a Half
Turner and Hooch
Stop or My Mom Will Shoot
Kindergarten Cop

UGA69Dawg said...

After reading that interview I am convinced that the NCAA went out of their way to hire the dumbest MF in the history of College Sports for their commissioner. The only reason he was hired was to help with the cover-ups.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight Dawg521. Valid points, especially the venue the Cotton Bowl now enjoys.

-anon 8:03

Doug said...

Quote- "Anonymous UGA69Dawg said...

After reading that interview I am convinced that the NCAA went out of their way to hire the dumbest MF in the history of College Sports for their commissioner."

The runner up was our own Michael Adams. Obviously, it was between dumb and dumber.

Atticus said...

Michael Adams is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Adams did not come off to intelligent last night on the real sports report. Seems to me the pannel was in agreement that the only way to fix some of the corruption is to have the NCAA and the bowls lose their tax exempt status.

I thought some other good points that were maid.
- NCAA profiting from the likeness of the players via video games and highlights to the tune of it being a 4 billion $ industry. This lawsuit will go to the highest courts.
- 7on7 summer passing leagues are becoming a shady under belly of college football much like the AAU basketball leagues.
- Rich Rod is a desperate idiot.
- The idea for a creation of a 60 team College football league that pays its players, essentially creating a "recognized" minor league for the NFL.

There's too much money involved for the system not too get fixed. ABC/CBS/ESPN/NBC/VS. The media controls the flow of information and most are profiting big time from College football. Kudos to HBO for having Real Sports. I hate most of their liberal "specials" and series, but this is a good one.

Anonymous said...

Ed O'Bannon just represents our entitlement culture nowadays. He didn't cut it and now he thinks he is owed something. Get over it. If the college kids don't like it then don't partake in college sports. This was nothing but a few liberal journalist who hate capitalism and someone or business making a profit. If you make it in college sports and are good enough to get into the pros then you will get paid well. If you dont make it to the pros then take your free education and your opportunity and do something with it. Life is not fair sometimes and there is also no guarantees. Does the NCAA need some tweaking on other matters? Yes they do just like a lot of things need tweaking.

Anonymous said...

How and where are some of these college athletes getting the money for elaborate body art and diamond ear rings? Has this ever occurred to the NCAA that something could be wrong here? I bet those studded ear bling aint zirconia.

Anonymous said...

Don't the Duke boys have their ears on? They'll get to the bottom of all this.

Anonymous said...

In light of the avalanche of negative news concerning college football (Auburn's various troubles, Ohio State, USC, Tennessee/Kiffin, bowl corruption and abuses, etc.), and the NCAA's repetitive showings of incompetence (disparate treatment of similar cases or worse, incredibly slow and ineffective responses, etc.), don't you think it is fair to say that the NCAA, itself, lacks institutional control? If the NCAA was viewed as a single college program, and the universities subject to its authority were viewed as its collection of ADs, coaches and players, the NCAA would not fare well under its own rulebook. I'd love to see you take that comparison on, Seth, discussing the pertinent rules and facts as we know them. And when a university is found to have the dreaded "lack of institutional control," what always seems to happen? The university cleans house at the top (AD, coach of troubled program) and dedicates itself to rule compliance (unless you're Auburn of course), at least for the immediate future.


PTC DAWG said...

The Peach Bowl sells out EVERY year. I'm not sure why they would want UConn/BC type matchup other year or more. Imagine the clamor for tickets.

Taylor said...

I would be okay continuing to watch the Hawks.

Aside from all the other things you said, this let me know you are ridiculous.

Chris said...

Hmm, have the Cotton Bowl be the next BCS bowl? Because Jerry did such a good job hosting the super bowl this year.... right. Just be careful where you buy tickets to the game.

Anonymous said...

Auburn is a total rogue program/school and has been for a long time. There's really nothing else to say unless you're an Auburn fan and just want to argue for the sake of arguing. Hopefully, the NCAA will actually investigate and do something about it.

Having said that, college football and basketball is so dirty and corrupt. Something has to be done - I think everyone would agree with it. The question is...what?

Anonymous said...

By the way, I think Auburn is faking the tree poisoning story to garner sympathy. They need it badly and I don't believe anything that comes out of that town/"university".

If those trees actually die, I'll eat crow.

Anonymous said...

ESPN reporting they have tapes of Chizik setting up payment drops with Cam Newton. Should get interesting.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah and April Fools.