Blog Entry

LSU now on NCAA clock

Posted on: July 19, 2011 7:23 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 8:15 pm
There's no arguing about the timing of LSU's first major violation in football in 25 years. It's fantastic. Coming a day before the start of the SEC media days, the gossip is sure to be flying in the halls of the Wynfrey Hotel when the interviews kick off on Wednesday. Flying like the anticipated quips from South Carolina's Steve Spurrier.

But let's focus. For now this is about LSU. The present is somewhat uplifting. The NCAA threw roses at the school's proactive approach during the investigation. The future, NCAA-wise, looks murky.

Certainly Tuesday's penalties are nothing more than embarrassing: probation, a couple of scholarships. Nothing really damaging -- for the moment. It's the way LSU got there. A former assistant coach was charged with unethical conduct in the recruitment of a juco receiver who never saw the field.

That adds up to a major violation which opens up a whole new world to NCAA wrongdoers. If you're counting, that's two former SEC coaches charged with the most serious of NCAA crimes -- unethical conduct. Tennessee's Bruce Pearl is the other. SEC commissioner Mike Slive cannot be amused. Neither can the NCAA. Suddenly, the clock is ticking on LSU. 

If you're not familiar with the term, "repeat violator" it was installed by the NCAA in the 1980s. It was meant to be a deterrent to habitual cheaters like SMU. Two major violations within a five-year period and you're eligible for the death penalty. Since 1987, though, no other school has been hit that hard in football. So much for being a deterrent.

LSU is in a unique position. For years it took pride in being one of only two SEC schools not to have a major football violation in the last quarter century. The other was Vanderbilt, which has never had a major violation. LSU's last big screw up was in 1986.

But these are different and possibly treacherous times for the Tigers. They are perceived to be SEC and national title contenders. But at the same time the penalties were announced on Tuesday, the football program was simultaneously under investigation because of Will Lyles. The infamous mentor/talent scout has reportedly been paid a combined $26,000 since 2008 by the school for recruiting information.

Nothing wrong with that if, in fact, Lyles provided recruiting info on the up and up and didn't guide players to Baton Rouge. Les Miles told me in April that he didn't know who Lyles was until December. That's plausible but strange considering Lyles reportedly had a long-term relationship with the program and had been paid five figures in the last three years.

That's fishy enough. Let's not forget Lyles is at the center of the Oregon investigation as well. Cal has been linked to him too. That possibly makes Lyles the Hart Lee Dykes of his generation. The former Oklahoma State receiver put four schools on probation after his recruitment. There is still the possibility that Lyles damns three BCS programs to the fiery hell of NCAA probation.

Those two particular violations (Tuesday and Lyles) wouldn't qualify LSU as a repeat violator because the Lyles case started before Tuesday's was completed. But two major violations so close together -- if indeed it comes to that -- aren't going to be looked favorably upon by the NCAA. 

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Vanderbilt is now the only SEC school without a major violation in its history . Maybe that's life in the SEC. Maybe its winning percentage reflects that fact.

So let the gossip begin in the halls of the Wynfrey. Sure, it looks like business as usual in the SEC. Alabama is on probation. Defending champion Auburn is being investigated on two fronts. Slive won't be happy having to deal with more transgressions.

How bad is it? Since we started our series on college football wrongdoing on July 6, LSU is the third school (from three different conferences) to be hit with a major football violation. That's three in 13 days. Three is the average number of such violations nationally PER YEAR since 1987.

There's still five months left in the year to make those numbers even more alarming. Meanwhile, the NCAA has all the time in the world. Maybe it's not an SEC thing, it's just a college football thing.
Category: NCAAF

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: July 22, 2011 12:48 pm

LSU now on NCAA clock

they actualy received up to date recruiting info.
You Tiggers can keep lying, and we'll keep calling you on it.
You Tiger haters can keep lying, and the NCAA will keep calling you on it.  Of course the story breaks today that teh film that was "old" was to reveiew Mettenberger. Swing and a miss...come on, this isn't the Pac-10(12).  It isn't like LSU pays players ala USC.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: July 21, 2011 5:40 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:23 pm

LSU now on NCAA clock

I have said it before, I applaud LSU for their handling of this situation. Most notably, I am impressed with the self-punishment that they proposed to the NCAA. For that reason alone, they should have been left alone, and Ohio State should be treated more harshly. The OSU proposal for self-punishment was lighter than LSU's was, and I think it is fair to say that the violations at OSU are much, much, worse. Having said that, LSU would seem to have a real problem with the Lyles thing and I am sure are collectively praying that it goes away. If that investigation grows legs, then LSU gets repeat offender treatment. The way this whole violation/investigation thing is going. I would not want to be next up in front of the NCAA as a repeat offender. The good news for them is that Ohio State should be in there and treated as a repeat offender first. Maybe the NCAA will spend some of their pent-up aggression on the Bucks, which would be the right thing to do.

Since: Jul 12, 2011
Posted on: July 21, 2011 1:02 pm

LSU now on NCAA clock

Georgia tech and LSU: whose next Notre Dame? That's all three of my favorite CFB teams. Maybe, I am the reason.
I almost wish the NCAA police was terminated . then let them pay kids and cheat. We , would see how deep those pockets are for boosters and when kids would get cutoff for lack of production on the field. How ugly would it get? I'm sure very ugly.

Since: Jul 21, 2011
Posted on: July 21, 2011 11:26 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

Sounds like someone is trying to make the story more sensational than it is.  "Three violations in three days"?  This one has been cooking for three years and they just announced it now.  Everyone has known about it for years.  So if they make and announce several decisions at once, then all of a sudden there is a deluge of violations?

Since: Jul 20, 2011
Posted on: July 20, 2011 11:56 pm

LSU now on NCAA clock

All I am hearing regarding the Lyles case is that is is no smoking gun and essentially there is nothing there.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:05 pm

LSU now on NCAA clock

Gee, its nice that LSU knew it was guilty.  But Boise State also knew it was guilty and no assistant coaches were involved in any recruiting violations.  Of course, it received a harsher penalty than LSU since it did not get to apply the loss of scholarships to years that were not awarded to begin with.  Clearly, the NCAA had the SEC in mind when it passed that crazy rule saying due process does not apply to all schools.
Of note is that LSU paid $26000 to Lyles while Oregon paid $25000 to Lyles.  Hmmm, nothing to see in Baton Rouge but time for an investigation in Eugene.
Wrong, LSU paid $6,000, not $26,000, and they actualy received up to date recruiting info.  remember, none of Lyles "kids" signed with LSU.  They all went to Oregon...

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:59 pm

LSU now on NCAA clock

I guess this is a major violation because the NCAA says so, but firing the guy who was being shady and not allowing his recruit to enroll should be applauded rather than punished.  This is such a non-issue when you compare it to other programs.  Remember, this was a rogue assistant who was fired as soon as LSU found out what he was doing, and they did so without NCAA pressure or prodding.  In fact, if LSU hadn't self-reported the violations it probably never would have even come to light.  That isn't unethical, its the epitome of ethical.  It isn;t like they bought a free-agent quarterback like Auburn, and nothing even close to the institutional cheating of a USC or Ohio State.  Let us all see this for what it is, a slow news day.  Dodd loves stirring the pot and slinging sensationalism, and he is doing so yet again. Major violation?  No, major integrity.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:32 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

sardog12--In my post, I said fans from different schools defending their coaches.  I have not seen any LSU fan defend McCarthy, and that is a good thing.  I do agree with everything else in your post. 

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:27 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

It seems clear that what needs to be taken away from this situation is that the NCAA has pointed out a road map to other schools showing them how to deal with potential NCAA violations if and when they occur.  LSU was very proactive in their approach when the compliance department noticed things that seemed a bit suspicious about the recruiting of a particular player.  The player never played for LSU and the coach whose conduct was determined to be unethical was asked to resign.  And most importantly, LSU took the initiative in those actions and also in reporting the violations to the NCAA. 

The lesson to be learned for other schools is that your compliance department needs to be aggressive in its efforts to discover potential NCAA violations, and to deal with them openly and honestly.  Following that approach is the surest way to minimize potential NCAA sanctions for any violations that may be uncovered.  If a school does not act agressively and proactively to discover and handle its own violations, and does not cooperate fully with the NCAA during any investigation of potential violations, the penalties can be much more severe (ask USC).  Only time will tell how the NCAA will view tOSU's actions regarding the TAT-5 scandal, but it certainly makes sense that Tressel's inactions and dishonesty regarding that situation, when he was notified of potential NCAA violations, will be dealt with harshly in order to send a message that such conduct is NOT how a school should handle investigating and reporting potential NCAA violations.

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