this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Presenting without comment. Have a few blockquotes below with choice info. Click thru for the full scoop. Evidence against Fluker and Bray seems to be the most comprehensive and damning...
I will edit this post as I find additional information, etc.
Five Southeastern Conference football stars violated NCAA rules by receiving extra benefits prior to completing their collegiate careers, a Yahoo Sports investigation has found. The benefits – which in some cases came from multiple individuals – were conveyed to University of Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, Tennessee defensive end Maurice Couch, Mississippi State Universitydefensive tackle Fletcher Cox and Mississippi State wideout Chad Bumphis.
[Former Crimson Tide defensive end Luther] Davis declined to comment for this story. However, Yahoo Sports was able to authenticate text message records,Western Union fund transfers, banking statements, flight receipts and other financial material linking both Davis and the five college football players. Yahoo Sports also found that three NFL agents and three financial advisers engaged Davis in transactions totaling $45,550. The three agents were Andy Simms, Peter Schaffer and John Phillips. The financial advisers were Jason Jernigan, Mike Rowan andHodge Brahmbhatt.
Break down of the text messages:
Slideshow of documents: http://sports.yahoo.com/photos/sec-investigation-slideshow/
The NCAA is expected to hand down its notice of allegations against Miami this week. Missouri coach Frank Haith is expected to be hit with with charges of unethical conduct and a failure to promote an atmosphere of complaince. This could result in a multiple year show cause penalty, similar to the 3 year show cause penalty Bruce Pearl received. Considering the basketball program was reported to be in much less trouble then the football program is it leads me to believe they are going to get hit hard.
I have no idea about the veracity of this information. But, given this qualification, it seems plausible enough to post.
April 13 tweet from:
@PSchrags (FOX SPORTS, FOX NEWS, ESQUIRE.COM)
"Didu kno Jim Tressel hired his brother Dic onto Ohio St. Staff as designated bagman for extra bennies for players? You will soon."
Some may question the sources of this information (and RT), but I I would not be surprised if it is true. I remember when, during the MoC scandal, JT replaced an apparently less "trusted" staff member with his own brother. I asked at the time, why he would do so. The question now seems rhetorical.
If the info in this tweet is true, and JT's brother is now found to be involved in the extra benefits,is this a repeat violation for Ohio (he's still on Meyer's staff, isn't he) ?
I wonder if the predicted revelation of JT's brothers' role has anything to do with new info from the ESPN-Ohio lawsuit.
EDIT ADDITION BY OP: quote from SI's Pulitzer prize winning, George Dohrmann:
"A year later, after he left the university, Clarett told ESPN that he wasn't forthcoming with the NCAA because it would have meant ratting on teammates and coaches. He alleged that Tressel had arranged cars for him to use and that the coach's older brother Dick, who was then the Buckeyes' director of football operations (he is now the team's running backs coach), arranged lucrative no-show jobs for players. (Jim and Dick Tressel have denied the allegations.) Clarett added that coaches connected him with boosters who gave him thousands of dollars.
The NCAA never sanctioned Ohio State for any of those allegations. Clarett didn't respond when investigators tried to contact him after the ESPN story, so they weren't able to proceed. Like the Youngstown State whistle-blower years earlier, Clarett was dismissed as disgruntled."
Beyond the 6 departing senior starters at Ohio, 10 more starting positions could be lost if juniors declare for the NFL or transfer to another school (which they can now do without penalty, due to the bowl ban). Apparently, John Simon is considered a candidate for the NFL jump. I am not sure about the others.
My questions are:
What effect will the bowl ban and coaching changes have on their decisions?
Are other schools contacting these juniors to assess their interest in leaving?
In addition, I wonder how many Ohio players were getting illegal payments under the table. No doubt there are more than the NCAA has so far acknowledged, since a key informant refused to talk and implicate the other players. Moreover, if these players were getting payments and the payments stop due to the increased scrutiny, will these players bolt? Will they worry what other details about them will gradually leak out (eg if ESPN wins the lawsuit and gets access to Smith and Tressel emails)?
Starting Junior Players
54 John Simon (6-2, 270, Jr.)
53 Garrett Goebel (6-3, 290, RJr.)
32 Storm Klein (6-2, 230, Jr.)
6 Etienne Sabino (6-3, 242, RJr.)
7 Travis Howard (6-1, 190, Jr.)
44 Zach Boren (6-0, 252, Jr.)
11 Jake Stoneburner (6-5, 245, RJr.)
17 Ben Buchanan (6-0, 180, RJr.)
7 Jordan Hall (5-9, 195, Jr.)
7 Jordan Hall (5-9, 195, Jr.)
ADDITION: as suggested by a poster below (Vivz), RS Soph players also are eligible to leave. So, if we include three starters, who are RS So, the total losses for Ohio could, in theory, rise to 19 starting positions. (see discussion below regarding how many ACTUAL losses are likely
93 Adam Bellamy (6-4, 302, RSo.)
4 C.J. Barnett (6-0, 190, RSo.)
74 Jack Mewhort (6-6, 303, RSo.)
Ohio State compliance about to get overhauled.
"Perhaps consider moving towards a more centralized function for compliance while developing more checks and reporting within the system that ensure and promote maximum objectivity," Schottenstein said.
I don't know about "centralized". The location is part of the problem. How do you hire anyone who is an Ohio native to live near Columbus and demonstrate maximum objectivity with respect to compliance and investigations? Very hard to maintain objectivity with people making arson and death threats if you don't see things a certain way. Having an OSU degree, being a former player, or a fan does not exempt you (Herbstreit, Spielman) from such threats.
In this case, since "maximum objectivity" is the desired outcome, I think it's best to have the entire Ohio State compliance department fired and re-staffed with Nepalese Ghurkas. They swear loyalty to no one but the government of Nepal and the Queen of England. They would be virtually impervious to bribery, free car deals, extortion, tats and local threats of violence. The Ghurkas have a tough, physical consititution, they're great at all kinds of guerilla warfare and secret ops, and can live off of "things that would make a billy goat puke".
Oh my. This was dumb.
Not only was Oregon's All-American CB Cliff Harris arrested for driving 118 MPH on Sunday, but he did it in an Oregon employee's rental car.
"So, I rented the car for my own purposes on Friday. Cliff Harris and his licensed friend, who showed me his license, asked to borrow it and paid me the full amount in cash that I paid for the rental," said the woman, who agreed to speak to KEZI, on condition of anonymity.
Man, there's a lot of smoke at Oregon too.