Posted on: November 15, 2010 6:20 pm

Crime and Punishment in the NCAA

Auburn is guilty.

That is an easy conclusion to come to. Auburn is guilty of committing some type of recruitng violation. Not because I think Auburn cheats but because I think the NCAA has so many just plain ridiculous rules that it would be virtually impossible for someone being recruited to not be given some type of improper benefit.

Just a couple weeks ago, a college basketball program was guilty of improper benefits when they had recruits visiting and watching a game accidentally meet Demi Moore. Really. That qualifies as a recruiting violation.

So, you can't tell me that Auburn didn't do something illegal. Almost impossible not to.

Auburn's biggest problem now is twofold. Let's call it the USC Syndrome.

There are two reason USC was hammered so hard by the NCAA. One was of their own doing and one was because of a circumstance beyond their control.

First, what USC, or more specifically Mike Garret, did wrong. Arrogance. The former USC AD refused to cooperate with the NCAA, refused to act any bit remorseful and basically ticking the NCAA off. It's no wonder USC got the heavy penalization it did. Had Garret been just a tid bit humble during the entire mess, Maybe USC would not be trying to appeal a case of possible overkill in punishment.

This is where Auburn can learn from USC's mistake. Do not act all high and mighty when the NCAA comes a-calling. Say 'yes sir' and 'no sir'. Show the investigators everything they ask for. Apologize profusely for the terrible confusion that has brought the ncaa to their campus. Do not act like an arrogant jackwagon.

And hope for the best.

Because, even that might not be enough.

Again, looking back at the USC case. And the thing they could not control. Publicity. The saying "any publicity is good publicity" is not so much true in the case of a college sports team under the microscope. The Reggie Bush situation was very high profile and was an opportunity for the NCAA to make a statement. Coast to coast, people knew what was going on, and it went on for several years, and the NCAA had to come down the way the did for the sake of public perception as much as anything else.

This is the bad news for Auburn.

Because Cam Newton is becoming as big a story as Reggie Bush was. So, a simple slap on the wrist is not going to make the NCAA look very good when it comes to public perception. So, when they get the evidence they need, they are going to hit Auburn. How hard they hit will depend a lot on how remorseful the Auburn AD appears to be and how much the story dies down over time.

The good news for all this, if you are an Auburn fan, is that that probably won't happen until around the year 2015. If, Newton is a non-story 5 years from now, Auburn has a chance to get just a slap on the wrist. If, on the other hand, he is still at Reggie Bush publicity level....

Auburn might have to forfeith the 2010 season.
Posted on: January 20, 2010 12:19 am

Runaway Lane

I found this quite hilarious and figured many people, especially SECers, would enjoy it as well:

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Kiffin, Tennessee, USC
Posted on: January 11, 2009 3:22 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2009 3:25 pm

Toxic Stew For the Week of January 4-10

This past week in the sports world was dominated by football talk as the BCS Title Game was played and the NFL playoffs got underway. Here is my take on the past week in sports:

1. Disputedly Undisputed. The Florida Gators captured the BCS Title with a win over Oklahoma and was also named the AP Champion. Undisputed champions? Don't tell people in Austin, Provo or Southern California that. Utah is the only unbeaten FBS school in the country and, since the regular season is "like a playoff", then that means the Utes went undefeated in "like a playoff" games. Texas beat OU by 10, the exact margin Florida beat them by. The Trojans one loss at Oregon State is equal in footing to Florida's home loss to Ole Miss. The only undisputed thing in this whole mess is that we all know they current system is flawed. As long as computer programs and voting booths determine how good a team is, the championship will be forever known as the mythical national championship. It will never be a true championship until it is decided by on the basis of on the field play alone! That being said, under the current system, the Florida Gators did what they had to do to become BCS Champions. And OU didn't. Bottom line for the Sooners: Two first and goal situations resulted in zero points. In a game decided by 10 points, you can only look back and those two missed opportunities and kick yourself for failing to capitalize. One of the most overused phrases in sports is "making plays". There are some players out there that think that catching a 6-yard out pass for a touchdown in a 31-10 game is "making plays". No. "Making plays" is throwing a running back for a loss on 4th and goal in a 7-7 ballgame in the BCS Title Game. And Florida made plays all game. The plays that determined who won.

2. The Toxic One is about to brag! When  it was determined that the Titans and Giants were the #1 seeds in the NFL playoffs, the Toxic One guaranteed that there would not be a Giants-Titans Super Bowl. The Toxic One even started a thread stating as much: http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/messa
ges/chrono/12446537 The replies to the thread were insulting as the Toxic One was called the Village Idiot and, even worse, a Cowboys' fan. The replies are right there for you to read. Well, guess what! The Titans have been eliminated. Meaning there won't be a Titans-Giants Super Bowl. The Village Idiot was right! For all you out there who posted on that thread, allow me to pour you a nice big cup of I TOLD YOU SO!

3. Speaking of the NFL Playoffs: The Toxic One has been a huge supporter of the salary cap and parity in the NFL. Until now. The Toxic One is now beginning to believe that parity is killing the product on the field. What has changed my mind? The Arizona Cardinals are one win away from the Super Bowl. Normally, I would not think this is a bad thing. But these particular Cardinals are 9-7 with losses by the scores of 56-35, 48-20, 35-14 and 47-7. That's pretty bad. And for them to be one win from the Super Bowl does not bode well for the quality of football being played in today's National Football League. And so much for the notion that the NFC is overtaking the AFC as the superior conference. Not when this Cardinal team is playing for the NFC Championship. Not when two of  these listed blowout losses were at the hands of AFC teams that missed the playoffs. I would sure hate to see the NFL become MLB, where wins and losses are in direct proportion to amount spent on players' salaries, but something needs to change to put a better product on the field. Mediocrity....and worse....is starting to win in the playoffs. And that is never a good sign.

That's all for today. Next week, we'll look at the conference championship games and dig deeper into the NBA and college basketball.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 27, 2008 9:25 am

We're Not On Life Support

When I first began to watch sports, the NBA was a couple years away from obtaining Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. And the league was on life support. I can clearly remember the NBA Finals Game 6, which would be the deciding game, between the Lakers with Magic Johnson and the 76ers with Dr J being telecast on tape delay. We knew who had won before the game ever began on television.

But things changed. The NBA grew as fans piled upon the Bird and Magic bandwagons. But Bird and Magic did not last forever and neither the Lakers nor Celtics won the Finals in the 90s. But the NBA did not collapse. No. In fact, it got even more popular as everyone piled upon the Michael Jordan bandwagon and off to the races they went.

But Jordan didn't last forever either. And the NBA had to deal with the Jerry and Jerry dissection of the Bulls and a lockout at the same time. If anything could have killed the NBA, that would have been it. But, the NBA just hitched its wagons to Shaq and Kobe and kept on rolling. Shag and Kobe had a nasty divorce that had such backstage drama that it could have made pro wrestling proud but the NBA has marched on as the Lakers and Celtics met in the last finals and the whole thing went full circle.

Now, you ask yourself, why the history lesson in the NBA? Because we have these people whom believe that if the current bandwagon isn't at the top of the world in sports, the sport would die. People like Colin Cowherd from ESPN Radio. He thinks that MLB needs the Yankees in the playoffs. Or the NBA needs the Lakers in the Finals. The NFL needs the Cowboys and Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Guess what folks. Baseball is going to survive just fine with the Yankees sitting at home and watcging on television. The NFL? Oh please. There have been so many bandwagons come and go in my lifetime and the NFL is still the most popular sport in America. From the Steelers and Cowboys in the 70s, to the 49ers in the 80s, to the Cowboys in the early 90s, then to Brett Favre, then to John Elway, then even the Rams got into the act with the Greatest Show on Turf. And, when the Patriots eventually tumble back to the bottom...and they will. All teams in the NFL eventually hit the skids and dive back to the bottom. When that happens, the NFL will be just fine because someone else will hop up and take their place.

That even goes for college football. College football isn't on life support just because USC lost to Oregon State Thursday. Even golf is surviving without Tiger Woods.

So, don't worry about the health of your sport just because the current bandwagon team has suddenly fallen on hard times. There will be plenty of other bandwagons for people like the Colin Cowherd's of this world to climb upon and then claim that their sport has to have that team on top forever and ever for it to survive.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com