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: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:49 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

LSUSMC, I don't think anyone is defending what McCarthy did.  This is a mistake that LSU should pay for and is.  But I think that the point that many of us are trying to make is that the process to resolve it worked.  We caught it, reported it, punished it and now people think that we got off easy when, in reality, we handled the situation as well as anyone could have.  Yes, we would all like for this to never happen but it did and we have owned up to it.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:20 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

While I am happy with how LSU handled the situation after the issue, the bottom line remains that there was an issue, and that is nothing to be proud of.  Unlike many fans out there of different schools, I have no interest in defending the guilty party here.  McCarthy put LSU in a negative spotlight and there is no excuse for that.  Like a JUCO player is worth getting put on probation for.  Actually, there is no player out there that is worth the risk of probation.  I am a big advocate of doing things the right way, and McCarthy did not.  Sadly enough, he was representing LSU at the time.  All head coaches need to make sure they are hiring quality guys, and Miles failed with McCarthy.  All it takes is one rogue assistant coach or booster and a school can get in big trouble.  That is why  you have to surround yourself with good people.  I trust Miles has now learned that. 

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:18 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

I have to commend LSU for how this issue was handled, but the way OSU handled the issue is not as bad as you make it out to be.  First off, if the NCAA says the kids can play in a bowl game, you would have to be crazy to not play them.  Everyone knew the kids would eventually serve a 5 game suspension whether it began with the bowl game or not.  Second, OSU never tried to act like nothing was wrong.  Tressel was clearly wrong to not report what he knew, but OSU never shied away from what the Tat-5 did.  When OSU found out about the e-mails that proved Tressel knew of the violations, OSU immediately reported it to the NCAA.  I admit OSU did not announce self punishment as proactively as it could have, but keep in mind that OSU was in no position to summarily fire Tressel.  OSU did that when O'Brien got the basketball program in trouble, and it cost OSU $2.5 million in a wrongful termination lawsuit due to contract language.  OSU had no interest in repeating that mistake with Tressel.  Contractually, OSU was left in a position of having to wait until NCAA probation was announced before it could fire Tressel.  It took a couple of months, but OSU was able to convince Tressel to resign.  In the mean time, OSU had to publicly back Tressel.

So yes, LSU and OSU took different paths when it comes to handling their respective NCAA violations.  But in the end, both have been fully cooperative with the NCAA.

Since: Jul 2, 2011
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:08 am

LSU now on NCAA clock


Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 8:50 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

'Defending champion Auburn is being investigated on two fronts.'


That's just my school...the whole article is full on innuendo that seems 'understood' but not at all truth or proven.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 8:01 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

LSU player never played a down.  5 OSU players participated in bowl after everyone knew of their discretions.  The LSU assistant coach was fired abruptly while Tressel (Head Coach I might add) lingered for a few months even receiving backing and support from AD.  LSU imposed self-imposed sanctions including loss of scholarships while OSU tried to act like nothing was done wrong.  This is not about Big 10 vs. SEC vs whoever.  It's about one school stepping up immediately and forthcoming to the NCAA while the other school was trying to hide and dance around the facts. Big difference. 

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 7:43 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

What?  Isn't Dodd going to blame Tressel for LSU's problem?

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 7:28 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

That is because this is a false statement intended to cloud the reality that Lyles only got paid $6000 for materials that he delivered to LSU (reports and DVDs) and then LSU, in turn, turned this material over to the NCAA in its entirety.   So you are likely correct that there is nothing to see here except what people like Dodd want to make up/distort out of it.
Dodd has been an LSU hater for years.  His twisted, negative slant on the program has been in his articles for some time now and it's sad.  It's sad how he can have so much hate for one school.  Dodd, you're pathetic.

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: July 20, 2011 12:38 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

McCarthy was trying to enhance his reputation as a go to recruiter. He went over the line. As soon as any wrongdoing was noted, LSU did everything possible to correct the situation. Any single company in the entire world will have a few rogue employees. It's the actions of the organization as a whole that count.

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: July 20, 2011 12:04 am

LSU now on NCAA clock

Hey, you people ... You need to get a grip..!!!!

Just sit back and wait for LSU and Oklahoma in the title game to be played in ... you know where.. Nawlins...!!!

Ain't nothing like the Tigers in the BCS Champ Bowl in NOLA every four years....... 

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