Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Auburn has a new headache to deal with (UPDATED)

((ht: sportsbybrooks))

Our pal Brooks got a look at the upcoming episode of HBO's Real Sports, set to air today (Wednesday), and let's just say, it makes Auburn, along with a couple of other schools not look to good.

The segment in question is a piece done by Andrea Kremer talking about "Pay to Play" in College Football. And according to 4 former Auburn players featured in it, they were given money to play. And yes, Auburn fans, if you read the doesn't sound so good for you. And there is a mention of LSU in this as well, for you folks in Baton Rouge

Read the Sports by Brooks story RIGHT HERE

For their part, neither the NCAA or Auburn responded to the story though they were apparently contacted about it.

The story quotes each of the players, talking about the varying amounts they would receive, either by handshake or in book bags. Some players got more than others, it would appear, though they all got something.

As for Real Sports, this story is a part of an hour devoted to the problems inherent in college football. And it isn't necessarily kind to the NCAA, or others.

Though they aren't totally breaking new ground with the in depth look here, they are bringing to light several issues that have been simmering just under the surface for years. There have always been allegations, particularly in the SEC, that things like what Auburn is now being accused of have gone on for a long, long time.

This by far is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. We have, for years advocated that the players need to be getting a stipend for living expenses while at school. Just look at how much money the schools and the NCAA make off the players likenesses. There is no rational argument that can justify them doing this. Most college football players come from backgrounds that make it virtually impossible for them to afford doing the things that most college students do on a daily basis. That has always been an issue.

We hope this story and others will open some eyes, not as much on Auburn, although, if true, they need to be punished. But more the NCAA, an entity that for years has been making money hand-over-foot, exploiting and taking advantage of college age athletes.

They'll argue, they re-invest the money they make. We'd argue that they don't do enough of it. Prove that you are as altruistic as you claim and then maybe we'll change our tune, but not until then.

Here is the video preview of the upcoming episode. Thanks HBO:

ADDENDUM: While it would be astronomically naive to have the HQ put its fingers in its collective ears about the subject, there are a few points to look at with the Auburn witch hunt ((it seems)) by HBOSports, Brooks and others...

First, McGlover was confronted by teammates and asked why he would go ahead and say what was divulged on "Real Sports." He told Ronnie Brown that it was for his foundation- and, as strange as it seems, HBO Sports cut a PSA for McGlover's "Foundation" after the interview was completed. Brown could openly refute what McGlover asserted if asked, but he wasn't by Gumbel and Company.

So much for alleged journalistic integrity...

Second, regrettably, the statute of limitations for charges such as these is four years. There are no members of the Auburn staff from the Tuberville era still employed on the Plains- unless you count Chizik's assistantship in 2004. Therefore, the NCAA can do only one of two things:

1) Still go ahead and punish the university for the environment they've created as something along the lines of repeat offender/culture of deceit status- which they've done to schools in the past because they felt like it or,

2) Go after Tuberville in his current environment and have the entire town of Lubbock commute to Indianapolis with torches, pitchforks, and firearms in tow.

Chaz Ramsey and Raven Gray talk about "anonymous" this and "unidentified" that. Troy Reddick talks about "unidentified" assistants after he was turned down for a GA job with the school.

The HQ has its journalistic side and its "poke the bear" side, too. And we're admittedly split on this particular element. If the "anonymous and unidentified" finally are given names and faces, then we're cool with what goes down in the long run. If college busts and those desperate for the reclamation of their 15 minutes are doing it just for that- then it's a shame you feel like ratting out your alma mater for something you put on your self in a time of your life you can't get back.

The Sporting News' Ken Bradley caught up with a few current-past Tigers...

Lee Ziemba says he didn't get a dime...

"I remember trying to figure out—I was just talking to my girlfriend about this yesterday—I just got my first credit card yesterday and I was talking about how nice it was not to have to choose between eating food and putting gas in my truck for once. Even though now I have money, I told her that would be helpful back when I was in college. That’s the way things were. They were late giving us our scholarship checks, we were getting money on the 17th or something like that, late on our rent checks and stuff. We struggled in college. As much as you whined and complained and tried to get money, you weren’t getting a dime. So I don’t know where all this is coming from.”

Ramsey was injured in his time on the Plains, and was recently a loser in a lawsuit against an athletic trainer who Ramsey claimed screwed up his rehab.

Charles Goldberg wrote in an article that McClover's high school coach, Ken Scott at Fort Lauderdale-Dillard says that Auburn never paid any of the players that came from there.

Goldberg also details the exchange between Brown and McClover:

"I found out that Stanley was talking about he had a choice to go to different colleges, and one of the reasons he chose Auburn was because they offered him money," Brown said. "So I called him. I said, 'Whoa, what is this? What is this about?'

He said, 'Well, it has nothing to do with Auburn. I was just telling my story about me trying to help kids. I figured it would be good to tell my story.'

"I said, 'What are you talking about? If you tell that story, people are going to say you were paid.' He said, 'This has nothing to do with the school. This is about me and my story, and trying to help kids.'

"I said, 'You can't implicate a school eight or nine years later. Why would you say that anyway?'"

Brown said McClover didn't have an answer.

PROGRAMMING ALERT: Quentin Groves is also letting the free world know that, after the HBO Sports program, he's hosting a live event on UStream to debunk what they're going to divulge...

Apparently, the number of players disputing everything-HBO is now up to 14...

More when we know more...

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