1 Replies | 783 ViewsOn 09/07/2011 08:13 AM in NCAA Football
If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. That’s the mantra in college football these days.
The insatiable greed of the sport’s marquee programs and an NCAA that lets any cheater not named USC off the hook has created a cesspool never before seen in - ahem - amateur athletics.
And although the season has started, off-the-field events will continue to dominate football discussions around the country. Just imagine the chatter next week when Ohio State plays Miami in the "Infractions Bowl".
To keep pace with all the shenanigans, here are the Wiz’s odds on the teams most likely to be next in line for a hearing before the NCAA committee on infractions:
Nevin Shapiro will haunt the Canes for a long time.
Miami Hurricanes (2/1): Payments to players and impermissible benefits from 2002-10. Cash bounties on opposing players, trips, jewelry and prostitutes — all of these allegations make the Southern Methodist scandal of the 1980s look tame. Booster Nevin Shapiro is at the center of this scandal and to top it off, all of this activity is said to have taken place under the nose of athletic director Paul Dee, who was chairman of the NCAA committee on infractions that put the hammer down on USC. The Trojans look like choirboys next to the unfolding developments at Miami. Imagine how USC fans feel about Dees, his former school and the committee on infractions.
Oregon Ducks (5/2): The Ducks are being investigated for a $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service. Lache Seastrunk, a player Lyles is said to have mentored, ended up signing with Oregon last year after the alleged payment. Lyles, in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, said Oregon asked him to send retroactive player scouting reports so it would have paperwork to match the $25K payment. In August, Seastrunk transferred to Baylor. I guess $25K doesn't get you much these days.
North Carolina Tar Heels (7/2): This started over a year ago when offensive line coach John Blake was accused of working for late sports agent Gary Wichard. The NCAA got involved and a bunch of players were suspended. Then the school launched a probe and uncovered academic improprieties. Butch Davis held onto his job through all of this and defended his program at the ACC media days in late July. Two days later, he was fired. The investigation continues.
Auburn Tigers (4/1): By now, you know the story. Cecil Newton, father of quarterback Cam Newton, was shopping his son around to the highest bidder. Although the school has not received an official letter of inquiry, coach Gene Chizik reportedly had a testy exchange over the summer with Julie Roe Lach, the NCAA vice president for enforcement. Chizik wanted to know why the NCAA had not publicly announced the investigation was over. “You’ll know when we’re finished,” Roe Lach reportedly said. “And we’re not finished.”
LSU Tigers (5/1): Another program that got involved with Lyles. The Tigers paid $6,000 to Lyles and his scouting service. The NCAA has to decide if the money went to secure access and influence with top players or for scouting information. Lyles’ scouting service is now out of business.
Florida, Georgia and Alabama (8/1): As the saying goes, you can’t spell cheaters without S-E-C. Shaprio, the disgraced Miami booster, has implicated assistants or players at the three schools in wrongdoing. Although it appears to be minor stuff compared to what they were getting away with in Miami, it’s enough to make the list. Besides, anytime I put NCAA and Alabama in the same sentence it gets the Crimson Tide fans fired up.
Now if you are asking about Ohio State or Michigan, each school has already appeared before the NCAA committee, so they are off the board. But stay tuned because, in the current world of college football, it’s only cheating if you get caught.
Week 1 impressions: Watch out for Arkansas and Mississippi State in the SEC West. The Razorbacks play at Alabama on Sept. 24. The Bulldogs play host to Auburn Saturday and LSU Thursday, Sept. 15. And yes, we need more cowbell....
It's clear that Stanford is the team to beat in the Pac-12 after Oregon was exposed by LSU….
Missouri’s level of play at the quarterback position is taking a hit after a brilliant run of Blaine Gabbert, Chase Daniel and Brad Smith, all of whom are in the NFL. The Tigers opened as slight underdogs at Arizona State Friday.