Vanderbilt Archives

Saban campaigns for extra SEC game

He may be called The Devil, and he may be called a lot of other worse things by college football and Miami Dolphins fans alike, but you can’t fault Nick Saban for campaigning for something that he sees is right.

In 2013, it’s the thought of adding one team to every team’s existing nine-team schedule.

On the Crimson Caravan’s stop in Mobile, he said: “I’m for playing nine conference games; I was the only person that spoke out in favor of it last year…If you increase the size of the league and the number of teams you have in the league then you’ve got to play more games.”

He added at a press conference at the SEC Media Days in Destin, FL. today: “If we all played good teams it would be easier to quantify who the best teams are“. We don’t agree a lot with Saban, but we certainly agree with him on this point.

He also said that a lack of a ninth game would be detrimental to the SEC’s already-falling stadium attendance: “They’ll just stay home and watch it on TV.

This hasn’t been one of the best weeks for the SEC, speaking of attendance: Figures were released before the Memorial Day weekend which showed average SEC attendance fell for the fourth year in a row.

If teams get an extra SEC game, it might see the end of at least one of the FCS schools that SEC schools seems to think it really important to schedule. Saban’s Alabama plays Georgia State and Chattanooga in 2013.

Oh, and he also ensured that he had a barb ready for old foe Urban Meyer, who’s in charge of Ohio State. ESPN college football reporter Brett McMurphy reported that he said: “How many would they have won against those top 6 (in SEC) last year? Would they have won three? I don’t know.”

Ohio State finished 12-0 last year, but didn’t go to a bowl game due to the administration’s decision to forgo a bowl game in 2013 instead of 2012 after ‘Tattoogate’- one that didn’t exactly prove to be a wise one.

Oh, and he also had a barb ready for LSU coach Les Miles, who has been complaining relentlessly about LSU playing Florida year  in, year out. Again, McMurphy on Saban: “When he was at LSU it didn’t bother [me] to play Florida every year.” Saban’s record against Florida? 1-3.

SEC Media Days: Richt suspends Georgia starter

It’s not Spring if a Georgia starter hasn’t been arrested before an important game.

Last year, it was Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree. This year, Georgia coach Mark Richt suspended starting safety Josh Harvey-Clemsons was suspended for marijuana use, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The player was implicated was implicated in an incident involving the use of marijuana in a UGA dorm room on May 15,” the AJC reported.

Also in the mix is sophomore tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith, who was arrested on another charge in February, and had been advised by Coach Richt to transfer, the AJC reported.

BOTTOM LINE: With the loss of Ogletree and Rambo to the pros (amongst other players), Georgia was already going to find it difficult enough against Clemson. Now, the Bulldogs will face Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins & Co without a player who had 14 tackles in his first 14 games and was seen as one of the rising stars of the Bulldogs team.

Mike Gundy: Behave Like A Man

Mike Gundy, behave like a man.

Your young and talented quarterback Wes Lunt decided he didn’t want to play for you anymore, so he handed in a transfer request, which you agreed to.

He looked great for a couple of weeks of Oklahoma State’s 2012 season, then busted his knee. You put in J.T. Walsh in his place after that, and Lunt decided he wanted to go to another school.

No problem there?

OK, so you then got upset that he might go and play for some competition, so you stopped him going to ANY Big-12, Pac-12, or SEC school. Or Southern Mississippi, where your former OC’s now the head coach.

Now why should we, a SEC blog, get involved in a Big XII affair.

First off, it’s actually a little self-centred. We can think of half-a-dozen schools in the SEC that could do with a good quarterback from you, ranging from places even as good as Florida to bottom-feeders like Kentucky, Missouri, and last season’s poor neighbour, Auburn.

Secondly, he’s a kid. You can’t stop a guy playing for his career, and getting the chance to perform. The way Oklahoma State seems to ALWAYS screw things up, you’re not going to a National Championship anytime soon, anyway. So why not let him play somewhere where he’ll be in the public spotlight? Sorry, but Illinois simply isn’t a place where a kid this talented should end up. And do you really think that he’s go to a place like that if you hadn’t blocked him from a better school?

Anyways, grow up and be a man, Mike Gundy.

Mike Gundy is a man. He’s 40 (ish).

The SEC’s most frightening LIVE mascots

On the back of LSU fansite ‘And The Valley Shook’ ‘s excellent article with Mike The Tiger’s keepers, we decided to go for a 1-14 of the SEC mascots you’d LEAST like to come face-to-face with.

1) Mike The Tiger (LSU)

Mike may have a friendly, family name, but in reality, Mike is a grumpy, 400-pound bengal tiger. No, don’t pet him. No, don’t try and be his best friend. BECAUSE HE WILL RIP YOU TO PIECES. And if you’re wearing Georgia red or Alabama crimson, then it looks like blood – so you’re going to be lunch first. That’s our bet, anyway.

2) Tusk (Arkansas)

Here is the description for Wikipedia. “Russian boars are extremely strong and surprisingly quick and fast for their size. Tusk II repeatedly jumped over a four foot gate, at a weight of almost 500 pounds.”

By the way, Tusk at Arkansas is actually a Russian boar, not a wild razorback hog. Still, he’s quick, strong, and will bulldoze you. And provide lunch to Mike The Tiger.

3) =UGA (Georgia)

One of the grumpiest animals of the dog world is the bulldog. UGA has, through the years, been known to bite opponents. Especially Auburn players.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foGHh14uvKk

4)  Spirit, The War Eagle (Auburn)

Nova made me laugh hysterically a few years ago when it flew straight into a luxury box at Jordan-Hare. Don’t get me wrong, the War Eagle entrance is one of the coolest things in college sports, and we think he takes Smokey or Reveille. But we don’t think it takes UGA, Tusk and Mike The Tiger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgF6UJ5UgUs

5) Bully (Mississippi State)

Yes, we know that UGA’s a Bulldog, too. But UGA seems more ferocious than Bully, who’s very excited until about half the way through a season. And then cowers as his team falls apart, led by their once-feared owner, Dan Mullen. Harsh?

6) Smokey The Dog (Tennessee)

Er, I’m sure Smokey the Tennessee Volunteers’ mascot has learned to drink well. It certainly hasn’t learned to cheer a lot – the Volts haven’t had a winning season in 3 years.

7) Reveille (Texas A&M)

No disrespect to Lassie, but I’m taking all three over Texas A&M’s very pretty mascot. Reveille should also bark out orders to get Texas A&M some female cheerleaders.

8) Sir Big Spur (South Carolina)

There is no question that a Gamecock would beat the crap out of other Gamecocks, and probably get some good pecks in a fight with most of these other mascots. But as a non-flying bird, it loses and becomes dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s got the SEC’s easiest non-conference schedule?

The SEC is always getting yelled out by those college football heathens for not putting out the best teams on the non-conference, and although we always come back with “Florida vs Florida State”, as well as last season’s “Alabama vs Michigan” (SEC teams won both), it’s really important this blog works out who’s got the EASIEST, so we can then work out who deserves some criticism for their schedule, and who doesn’t.

Each team’s non conference schedule is ranked in order of difficulty from 1-4, and given an end-grade. The crappiest team graded is first. So don’t be upset if your team is last. It’s a good thing.

1. TEXAS A&M

1) Rice Owls

2) SMU

3) UTEP

4) Sam Houston State

Non Conference Grade: F A lot of people talk up SMU, because they are playing in a BCS conference. Frankly, SMU, which will be a very poor AAC team . Meaning that there is quite simply nothing else nice to say about Texas A&M’s non-conference schedule.

2. AUBURN

1) Washington State

2) Arkansas State

3) Western Carolina

4) Florida Atlantic

Non Conference Grade: E Any Auburn fan who goes crazy after Auburn beats Washington State on Opening Weekend should go and seek help: The Cougars are pretty dreadful – even with Mike Leach doing the coaching. Arkansas State is still recovering from the loss of Gus Malzahn, and Western Carolina and Florida Atlantic aren’t that great. Plus, all four games are at Jordan-Hare.

3. VANDERBILT

1) Wake Forest

2) UAB

3) UMass (at Foxboro, Mass.)

4) Austin Peay

Non-Conference Grade: D- Sorry, no-one’s convincing us that any of these teams are a) any good and b) will pose a problem to Vandy. This schedule’s been arranged so the Commodores can go to 3 bowl games in a row.

4. MISSOURI

1) At Indiana

2) Toledo

3) Arkansas State

4) Murray State

Non-Conference Grade: D Indiana’s the only team that should pose any problems to Missouri going 4-0 in the non-conference scheduling. Indiana’s a poor Big Ten school, people.

5. ARKANSAS

1)  At Rutgers

2) U-Louisiana Lafayette

3=) Samford (At Little Rock)

3=) Southern Miss 

Non-Conference Grade: D The only thing saving this schedule is that Rutgers is on the road and ULL had a winning record last year, but really, it’s pretty laughable.

6. OLE MISS

1) At Texas

2) Troy

3) Idaho

4) Southeast Missouri 

Non-Conference Grade: D+ Despite all the love for Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss, the trip to Texas won’t be easy. But the rest? We’re ranking Troy as the Rebels’ second-hardest non-conference game. That’s a crappy rest-of-NC-schedule, yo.

7. ALABAMA

1) Virginia Tech

2) Colorado State

3) U-T Chatanooga

4) Georgia State

Non Conference Grade: D+ It’s only marginally better than Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Missouri’s because the Virginia Tech game is better on schedule than Indiana and Wake Forest. So why the ‘D+’ grade? Because the other three games – all at Bryant-Denny – are a joke.

8. LSU

1) TCU (At Cowboys Stadium, Arlington)

2) Kent State

3) UAB

4) Furman

Non Conference Grade: C-: LSU at TCU would definitely be worth licking lips over. LSU vs TCU at Cowboys Stadium with a lot of the place in purple and gold? Not so much. Kent State shouldn’t pose too much problem. UAB and Furman won’t.

9. KENTUCKY

1) Louisville

2) Western Kentucky (Nashville, Neutral Field)

3) Miami (OH)

4) Alabama State 

Non-Conference Grade: C+ This is mainly because this is the University of Kentucky, so we don’t trust them to win any of these four games. Louisville – a National Championship contender – and Western Kentucky – on fire under Bobby Petrino – could well both beat the Wildcats, while it would a shock if Miami (OH) (4-8) last year and Alabama State did the job.

10. TENNESSEE 

1) At Oregon

2)  Western Kentucky

3) South Alabama

4) Austin Peay

Non-Conference Grade: B- Going to Oregon is one of the toughest trips in college football. But playing Western Kentucky, South Alabama and Austin Peay at home, the Volunteers should go 3-1 in the NC schedule. If they don’t, then warm up the seat for Butch Jones.

11. MISSISSIPPI STATE

1) Oklahoma State (Houston, Texas)

2) Bowling Green

3) Troy 

4) Alcorn State

Difficulty Grade: B Despite the game being on a neutral field, We wouldn’t be surprised if Oklahoma State scores the upset over Mississippi State on August 31st. Bowling Green had a winning record last year. Troy and Alcorn State shouldn’t worry. And as usual with SEC schools, 3 out of 4 of the games are at home, and one is on a neutral field. I’m getting tired of writing this.

11. FLORIDA

1) Florida State 

2) At Miami (FL)

3) Toledo 

4) Georgia Southern

Difficulty Grade: B- Florida State and a revamped Miami – on the road (although Sun Life is a bit of a joke when it comes to an away game) – ain’t going to be easy. Toledo and Georgia Southern will be, unless Wil Muschamp’s offense has the same problems as it did last year.

13. SOUTH CAROLINA

1) Clemson

2) North Carolina

3) At UCF

4) Coastal Carolina

Difficulty Grade: B+ South Carolina – like a lot of SEC schools  – is blessed by the fact that the game against Clemson and North Carolina are both at home this year. But it will not make them easy. UCF and Coastal Carolina, however, will be a different kettle of fish.

14. GEORGIA 

1) At Clemson 

2) At Georgia Tech

3) Appalachian State

4) North Texas

Non-Conference Grade: A- Although the game at Clemson’s going to be hellish for the Bulldogs, a road trip to Georgia Tech won’t be as hellish – even if this rivalry’s called ‘Good Ole Fashioned Hate’. Marks taken off to Appy State and North Texas at home, which Georgia should win by 40 in each game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danny Wuerffel named to College Football Hall of Fame

Florida’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel has been named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Wuerffel threw for over 10,870 yards and 114 touchdowns in a storied career for the Gators, for whom he won the Heisman Trophy in 1996.

Under Steve Spurrier’s offence, he won four straight SEC Championships for the Gators, but never the National Championship. After a mediocre-to-poor NFL career, he won’t be making the NFL Hall of Fame anytime soon.

Also making it from the SEC was Steve Meilinger, who played end at Kentucky from 1951-53.

Here is the full list of players who were voted into the 2012 College Hall of Fame  and congratulations to them all….

Stunningly, Eric Crouch, the 2001 Heisman-winning quarterback from Nebraska, Brian Bosworth, the great linebacker from Oklahoma, nor Eric Dickerson, the great running back during the controversial times at SMU was not voted in. Nor were nine SEC players, including the late, great Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas.

-TED BROWN – TB, North Carolina State (1975-78)
· TEDY BRUSCHI – DE, Arizona (1992-95)
· RON DAYNE – RB, Wisconsin (1996-99)
· TOMMIE FRAZIER – QB, Nebraska (1992-95)
· JERRY GRAY – DB, Texas (1981-84)
· ORLANDO PACE – OT, Ohio State (1994-96)
· ROD SHOATE (deceased) – LB, Oklahoma (1972-74)
· PERCY SNOW – LB, Michigan State (1986-89)
· VINNY TESTAVERDE – QB, Miami, Fla. (1982, 1984-86)
· DON TRULL – QB, Baylor (1961-63)
* Selection from the FBS Veterans Committee

Coaches

· WAYNE HARDIN – 118-74-5 (61.2%); Navy (1959-64) and   Temple (1970-82)

· BILL McCARTNEY – 93-55-5 (62.4%); Colorado (1982-94)

The new SEC Network: What We Should Expect

The new SEC Network was announced with all the bells and whistles that greets every ESPN announcement.

The deal, which is thought to be worth billions of dollars to the SEC, was not discussed by ESPN CEO John Skipper or SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, but is thought to be worth a heck of a lot more than the current 15-year, $2.25bn deal signed between the conference and the network back in 2008.

The deal will be for 45 college football games, 100 men’s basketball games, and lots of other sports, plus 24-7 programming about the SEC and all the fun and games. We would love to ask the network to hire us as special director for a ‘Wild Girls of the SEC’ documentary, because we doubt it will go ahead.

For those of you in love with Verne and Gary, we doubt that the SEC will walk away from its deal with CBS, which currently shares rights to the big games with the SEC, and seems to get first choice on the ‘biggies’ throughout most of the season for the 3.30pm kick-off and a couple of night games, too. The SEC still needs CBS as its national cable carrier, and we doubt that people watching ABC all over America will want to see the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and LSU week in, week out.

But here’s what we expect for this season, even before the SEC Network is launched in August 2014:

  • Even more blanket SEC coverage on College Gameday. Last season, ESPN was almost ESECPN with the amount of coverage SEC schools were getting on College Gameday. The first three games of Gameday were involving SEC teams. Four games after that involved SEC teams – and we think the reason for that was the rise of Notre Dame, who frankly saved College Gameday from even bigger accusations of bias. Don’t get us wrong, we love the SEC coverage, but it was getting a little dull. Especially without any love for the USC Song Girls. We’ll put an outside bet on a SEC school getting the College Gameday ad, too – like Texas A&M did last year.
  • The SEC to get a permanent spot on College Football Live: Watch College Football Live carefully, and the SEC is almost always heading up the headlines for Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. In fact, other schools should be honored to get a look-in. This coverage will get even MORE SEC-biased in 2014, because it becomes within ESPN’s interests (they own 100% of the SEC Network) to pitch SEC, SEC, SEC to non-SEC football fans (would you believe it, they exist folks!) – because they’ll need the customers. If you don’t believe us, remember how much Texas and the Longhorn Network was pitched prior to the 2013 season?
  • Prepare to get hammered with ‘Buy The SEC Network’ Marketing: It won’t stop. If you love the SEC, you’re probably going to get it anyway, but by God, it’s going to get driven down your through. Chris Fowler and the gang should get special dividends from Disney for pitching the Network day in, day out. Because by God, they’ll do a lot of it

What we should expect after 2014:

  • The schools will be a ton richer. Which will mean more money for weight rooms and for other athletics other than football. This is a good thing. Also expect some of the money to go into the general scholarship funds, which can only help the universities – particularly those that aren’t your Vanderbilts of this world.
  • The ESPN exposure will mean even more great recruits come to play in the SEC. Thanks to ESPN, other conferences are going to be left in the dark. Unless their big teams have big former National Championship-winning SEC coaches, or have a lot of former players on their staff, like, you know, Ohio State.
  • The SEC will continue to dominate. Don’t be surprised if the SEC wins National Championships year in, year out until either the Second Coming happens, or the powers-that-be- in college football start to change rules about non-conference scheduling, so we see better non-conference games for big SEC schools, which will bring it more into line with NCAA Basketball. This will be no bad thing.
  • We eventually say goodbye to the CBS deal. Tradition may be one thing, but dollars is another. And CBS would quite happily forgo college football for The Masters, which at some point they are going to have to go for. ESPN will soon collect the top 3.30 game too, and we’ll have to go to one company to watch SEC football – and that’s exactly what ESPN will want you to do, because you’ll then pay for their channel.
  • More Les Miles and Steve Spurrier. Which is no bad thing.
  • More Wright Thompson. Which really, really, really is no bad thing.
  • More shots of beautiful SEC co-eds. Which really, really, really, really, is no bad thing. At all.
  • Paul Finebaum: The SEC’s most controversial talk-show host has just signed a contract with ESPN and the SEC Network. Some people have recommended he get a sports social media show with Skip Bayless and call it ‘Dislike’. Which is a little uncharitable. Anyways, you’re going to hear a lot of Auburn-baiting on national radio, folks.

Athlon Sports: Saban the best in 2013 coaching class

Nick Saban got more recognition for his great coaching ability (although we doubt he’ll care!) from Athlon Sports, who said he was the best coach in the 2013 class of 125 college football coaches.

It espoused: “Saban is without question the best coach in college football. He started his career as a head coach in 1990 with Toledo, then spent the next four seasons as the defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns. In 1995, Saban was hired as Michigan State’s head coach and guided the Spartans to a 34-24-1 record under his watch. Saban left East Lansing for Baton Rouge and LSU in 2000 and led the Tigers to a 48-16 record in five years, including a national championship in 2003. Saban had a two-year stint with the Dolphins but jumped at the opportunity to lead Alabama in 2007. After a 7-6 record in his first season, Saban is 61-7 in his last five years with the Crimson Tide, which includes three national championships. At 61 years old, Saban is still at the top of his game and should have Alabama in the mix for a SEC and national title every year he is on the sidelines.”

Also on the list was:

Steve Spurrier (South Carolina) – 5th

Mark Richt (Georgia) – 11th

Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) – 16th

James Franklin (Vanderbilt) – 17th

Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) – 23rd 

Les Miles (LSU ) – 24th

Bret Bielema (Wisconsin) – 25th

Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss) – 30th

Will Muschamp (Florida) – 36th

Butch Jones (Tennessee) – 41st

Gary Pinkel (Missouri) – 42nd

Gus Malzahn (Auburn) – 53rd

Mark Stoops (Kentucky) – 71st 

Chizik denies allegations

Gene Chizik, the former Auburn coach, has denied allegations from blogger Selena Roberts that he manipulated players grades, ignored drug tests and paid players.

He said in a statement: “During my tenure at Auburn, the NCAA conducted a multi-year investigation into the Auburn football program that they called “fair and thorough.” The NCAA focused intently on widespread accusations about Auburn players being paid and other alleged recruiting violations. The NCAA conducted 80 interviews. In October 2011, the NCAA rejected “rampant public speculation online and in the media.” Unfortunately, the recent story published by Selena Roberts is more of the same. It once again portrays Auburn University, current and former coaches, professors, fans, supporters and community officials in a false light.

Unfortunately, Ms. Roberts’ story is long on accusation and inference, but short on facts and logic. It is noteworthy that the story comes just days before a player mentioned most prominently in the article is set to go to trial for felony armed robbery. The statements are very generalized accusations devoid of substance. During my time as Auburn’s head coach, I never authorized, instructed or directed anyone to change any player’s grade or provide any type of illegal payment to any student-athlete. Likewise, I am not aware of any alleged grade change or illegal payment by any member of my coaching staff, support staff or anyone else.

As for logic, the notion that the conduct inferred by Ms. Roberts was occurring under the NCAA’s nose, at the very same time the NCAA is conducting its thorough investigation, lacks merit. Further, the notion that there was ever an attempt to sabotage any Auburn student-athlete’s attempt to play professional football is outrageous. Auburn’s success in transitioning student-athletes to the NFL benefits both the student-athlete and the Auburn program.

I remain part of the Auburn family and take these attacks on myself, the University and community seriously. During my time at Auburn, the administrators, professors and academic staff were of the highest integrity. Additionally, the inference that there was academic support staff that worked together with professors to change grades is absurd. As an Auburn resident, I take great pride in the quality and integrity of our police department. They enforce the law equally and fairly and my dealings with police Chief Tommy Dawson and his staff have been nothing short of excellent. He has handled many high profile cases with the upmost integrity and professionalism. To imply anything otherwise is simply wrong.

If there is a sad truth here, it is that there are no repercussions for bloggers who blast out widespread, venomous allegations and inferences in such an irresponsible manner. To make bold and outrageous conclusions on such thin support is a travesty.

During my tenure as Auburn’s head coach, we kept the well-being of our student- athletes at the forefront of every decision. We ran our program with the highest level of integrity and accountability. Period. I make absolutely no apologies for that. I stand firm in my statements, my support of Auburn University, its student- athletes (present and former), faculty, staff and community officials. As I stated during the NCAA investigation, I am comforted knowing that the truth always prevails.

 

Report: Auburn paid players, changed grades under Chizik rule

If you’re an Auburn fan and think that things couldn’t get worse than they were after a winless SEC season and the firing of your head coach – plus a sea of off-season troubles, then think again.

Selena Roberts, a reporter who has written for Sports Illustrated, brought out a report today that stunned not only this writer, will stun a lot of SEC fans.

In the report – which is essentially an interview with former safety Mike McNeil – Auburn changed grades, paid players to host recruits, saw more than 40 players test positive for “recreational drugs” after their National Championship win in 2011, and offered money to players to keep playing at the school.

Here are some stunning revelations from the report, and we’ll let them speak for themselves:

1) Player payments: “Receiver Darvin Adams, a star player with NFL dreams and a family to support, wrestled with whether to turn pro after the championship season. He discussed his plans with teammates and told them how much pressure he was under by Auburn coaches to stay. McNeil and Blanc say Auburn coaches offered Adams several thousand dollars to stay for his senior year. “It was sugar-coated in a way,” says Adams, who confirmed he was offered financial incentives, but declined to detail the exact amount. “It was like, we’ll do this and that for you. But I’d rather do things the right way. I am happy I didn’t say yes to that stuff. That’s what I’d tell kids.” Adams turned pro but went undrafted, a result, one NFL scout says, was due to negative reports on him from Auburn coaches. Adams plays for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and refuses to be bitter. “I play the cards I’m dealt,” he says. Other players tell stories of in-season cash payments to players. “Coaches would say, ‘Don’t tell anyone where you got it from,’’’ says Blanc. McNeil recalls having a difficult day at practice in 2007 and then-defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp, calling him into his office. “I had no clue what it was about because I’d never directly asked him for anything,” says McNeil. “He slid about $400 over to me. He went into a drawer and gave me money and said, ‘Is this enough? Is this good?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m good.’” Muschamp, now the head football coach at the University of Florida, denied the payment through a spokesperson.

McNeil says he was also paid $500 to be Dre’ Kirkpatrick’s tour guide. It didn’t work so well – Kirkpatrick went to play – and star – for hated rival Alabama.

2) Drug use: A trailer home on Wire Road was a hotspot for drug activity, players say. “From everything I know, drugs flowed freely from there, says [former Auburn player Mike] Blanc. “It wasn’t a secret that, if someone wanted something, they could get it there.”  The report added: “As players recall, more than 40 players tested positive for recreational drugs after the national championship.

3) Grade tampering: Players’ grades were changed to ensure players did not miss games – especially the National Championship Game against Oregon – which would turn out to be one of the best games of the season. Here’s what the report says: “Three players say that before the BCS Championship game the team was told that as many as nine of their teammates would not be able to play in the title game because they were academically ineligible……Before the season, McNeil says he was given an F for attendance in a computer science class. “I had B work but I missed too many classes; and I went to the instructor and said, ‘I really need this grade,’” says McNeil. “He said that he was sorry but he wouldn’t change it. I went to the person over him. She was in a position of power and backed up the instructor. I then told my counselor with the athletic department.” Within days, McNeil says, the grade was changed from an F to a C and he did not miss a game.

What worries this blog is that this sort of thing doesn’t just happen at the University of Auburn. We’ve heard stories from contacts all over the SEC of players getting beneficial treatment (such is the nature of being gods of campus). Our question: What is the NCAA – and in particular the Mike Slive and SEC – going to do about this sort of issue? It’s not good for Auburn, it’s not good for the NCAA, and it’s certainly not good for the reputation of the Southeastern Conference.

Blanc was quick to deny the story. He told Mike Svzetitz, sports editor of the Opelika-Auburn News: “None of that stuff that she said I said is true. None of it is true.”

Bates also denied the story to Weigh In Sports’ Brian Tarvin.

Auburn has not commented on the story.

You can read the whole of Roberts’ report here.

 

 

 

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