...For reported NCAA violations. With the college football season over for months and the basketball season winding down to it's conclusion, now is the time where fans are bombarded with reports of programs coming under investigation for reportedly violating the myriad NCAA rules. While a lot of these reports turn out to be unfounded and ignored, one of them seems to have legs. If true, it could mean devastation for one very prominent SEC program, the Auburn Tigers.
It has been reported that the Auburn Tigers, under the direction of then-Head Coach Gene Chizik, had the grades changed of up to nine players during the team's 2010 National Championship run, including RB Michael Dyer, who went on to become the offensive player of the game. While there have been allegations against this particular program before dealing with Cam Newton, this report seems to have much of a bite to it. The report uses quotes from former Auburn Tiger players and outlines a culture of blatant disregard for the rules of the NCAA. If the changing of players grades was not bad enough, the report also alleges that the program paid upwards of several thousands of dollars to players who were draft eligible in an attempt to persuade them to forgo the draft and come back to Auburn for one more season. Further on in the report, it is also alleged that then-Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp, who is now the Head Coach at the University of Florida, paid a player $400 after the player had a bad day. As would be expected, both Gene Chizik and Will Muschamp vehemently deny all of the allegations levied in the report.
If these allegations are proven to be true, this might be the best case for the "death penalty" that I have ever seen. I was not alive during the events at SMU that led to them being the only program to receive such a stiff penalty, but from what I know of the situation, the current situation at Auburn comes as close to those circumstances as I have ever heard of. Paying players to stay at the school is eerily similar to SMU paying players to come there. Impermissible benefits are impermissible, period. Paying players is paying players, period. While I do not think that the NCAA will have the gall to ever hand down such a stiff penalty ever again, I think it's the only way to stop not only Auburn, but many other programs who are doing the very same thing. Anyone who watches college football is pretty aware that most of these programs are, at the very least, bending the rules so they can maintain a competitive edge. The fact that the NCAA hands down penalties that, in most cases, amount to a slap on the wrist just encourages these programs to push the limits to see what they can get away with. The only way that this is going to stop is if the NCAA grows a backbone and hands down a "death penalty".
Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.