This whole hear-no-evil-see-no-evil approach with the NCAA looking past major crimes as if they were parking ticket violations puts the integrity of college football squarely in harm’s way. The latest being that Ohio State’s fearsome fivesome will, indeed, be allowed to dress and probably play in the Sugar Bowl — even though they will sit the first five games of the next season.
First though, somehow the whole Cam Newton issue gets swept under the rug so Auburn doesn’t miss its BCS title date with Oregon. I don’t have any proof, but as sure as O. J. Simpson murdered his wife and got off, we’ve not heard the last of this mess. And when the other shoe does finally fall, the checks will be cashed and only the taillights of guilty parties will be visible.
Funny thing is that if Auburn wins and winds up vacating the title, and if Newton has give the Heisman Trophy back, what about the money? No mention is being made of what will happen to the Brinks trucks that went to Birmingham and the Southeastern Conference. They may give back the trophies, but not the cash. And Mike Slive, who fined Urban Meyer $30,000 for questioning a hit by Georgia on his quarterback, doesn’t even issue a slap to Auburn on the wrist for Cecil Newton’s part in this corrupt scheme? And Cam didn’t know about it?
Maybe Jesse James should have used that defense, saying his brother Frank never told him the money they stole from those banks and trains belonged to someone else.
I think the NCAA should have hired Gordon Gekko as its new president, because it’s all about the money — always. He could have this famous quote of his put in all the locker rooms: “The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
The blatant admission of Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan that he lobbied for a delay in the suspension of Ohio State five players so they could play Jan. 4 against Arkansas smacks of improper influence. And then he bragged about it.
“I made the point that anything that could be done to preserve the integrity of this year’s game, we would greatly appreciate it,” Hoolahan said. “That appeal did not fall on deaf ears, and I’m extremely excited about it, that the Buckeyes are coming in at full strength.”
Jim Tressel would only say that if the players hadn’t promised to return next season he wouldn’t haven’t flown them to New Orleans and dressed them for the game. And will they play? Well, says Tressel, it depends on “how they practice.” I’m going to take a wild stab and this and predict that Terrelle Pryor and his mates are going to have a great few days of practice.
Also, I’d like to suggest somebody look up the meaning of the word “integrity” in the dictionary. Something got lost in the translation by Mr. Hoolahan.
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It was not the time and place to ask — or get an answer — from Steve Addazio about his new job at Temple or whether he might be taking any Gator assistant coaches with him. The Florida offensive coordinator had just come from “Senior Tackle Day” where last-year players are honored and talked about by their teammates, each other and their coaches.
Addazio’s eyes were red and his throat raspy, so he begged off talking about the new gig. He said it was “hard to say goodbye.”
“I just want to talk about the Gators right now — the Gators and my guys,” he said. He did briefly reminisce about his first day at The Swamp, in all its glory, where the state high school playoffs were underway, the sun was shining and the new-car smell of the Urban Meyer era was an overwhelming fragrance he will never forget. He said he sat in the stands thinking, “wow, I am so fortunate to be here at this place at this time with these people.”
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Whatever the Outback Bowl lacked in glitter it has compensated for in sociability.
Meyer getting a chance to go out coaching against the legendary Joe Paterno, one of his all-time favorites.
Former Gator head coach Galen Hall, unceremoniously dumped in 1989 for what some people still think were bogus charges, coming back to the state and being welcomed by Jeremy Foley, who wasn’t in charge then but remembers Hall fondly.
“We revisited old times,” said Foley. “We talked about old friends, and I think time always takes care of those situations . . . Galen’s a good guy, and he’s a good person.”
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As The Gator World Turns: Count Jeremy Bates out as a candidate for offensive coordinator job at UF — and it’s doubtful he was ever really in, because he’s an NFL guy . . . Apparently Dan McCarney has hired Indiana State offensive line coach Mike Simmonds for the same job at North Texas . . . It is expected Will Muschamp will waste no time announcing his staff – probably Monday, but maybe even Sunday. He is respectfully staying on the sideline to allow his predecessor a graceful exit.
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The media is starting to get the message about its irrelevance and reduced role in coverage of programs like Florida’s. And it was reminded again Thursday when more than a dozen reporters waited 40 minutes past the scheduled time for a press conference with Gator coordinators, was allowed all of about six minutes and a half dozen questions with Addazio and Teryl Austin, during which nothing of news value was uttered. “Drove over a hundred miles to get here for this,” said one disenchanted scribe. Sometimes one must be grateful, I guess, for a few crumbs when they are hungry.
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Mish-mash-dot-dash-internet-trash: Reports that Mississippi State gave Dan Mullen with a new four-year contract that will average $2.65 million per year, just under Muschamp’s. Mullen will have a $1.4 million buyout . . . How long is this alleged interview with Mike Leach at Maryland going to last, anyway? . . . Ralph Friedgen was fired, they say, because he wasn’t able to fill up the new luxury boxes. You think coaches aren’t in the entertainment business? Besides, he just wasn’t pretty enough.
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