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: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: July 19, 2011 8:52 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.

Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: July 19, 2011 8:37 pm

LSU now on NCAA clock

Props to the LSU athletic department for cooperating.  Given the minor infractions that occurred with Ga. Tech, along with their stone-walling, it is good to see the NCAA take the administrations cooperation into coniseration.  I hope that bides well for my Heels this coming year, although, it sounds like we may have a few more issues to contend with than LSU did.  

Last year we questioned how to reign in unscrupulous agents.  Should we now be asking how to reign in unscrupulous assistant coaches?   Should the NCAA start tagging each one of these folks with a moniker that keeps them from advancing to the next level?  We do that in athletics is a business.  Just a thought....

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2011 8:06 pm

LSU now on NCAA clock

While i am not happy with the fact that LSU committed a major Violation I am happy with the way they handled it. They basicly took the golf approach they admitted the rules infraction took the 2 stroke penalty and now need to move on. Every NCAA program has the potential for vioaltions, thier are people both directly and indirectly connected to the programs which can cause problems. Just like every other multi billion dollar industry some people try to take short cuts or cheat to get ahead. they are like a cancer when you find them you need to get rid of them before they spread.

Since: Sep 30, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2011 7:35 pm
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