Tag:NCAA Investigations
Posted on: July 14, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Georgia Tech announcing alleged NCAA violations

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: The NCAA will make an announcement at 3 p.m. with the information related to the alleged violations.  University president Bud Peterson and athletic director Dan Radakovich will respond to the charges at 4:30 p.m..  Keep it here at the Eye on College Football (and follow us on Twitter) for updates throughout the day.
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Georgia Tech
was informed Thursday morning of some alleged violations by the NCAA. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the violations occurred in the football program "within the past several years."

An official announcement of the findings has been scheduled for 3 p.m. today.

The Yellow Jackets are only a half-decade separated from their last NCAA sanctions, which were tied to a misunderstanding of an academic eligibility rule. In 2003, the school learned that 17 academically ineligible players competed during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. As a result, the Yellow Jackets self-imposed a two-year probation, scholarship cuts and a reduction in signing classes in 2005 and 2006.

The NCAA recommended that Georgia Tech also vacate wins, but the school won its appeal and the victories stood.
Posted on: July 13, 2011 8:32 pm
 

NCAA investigation of Auburn isn't over

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you thought that the NCAA's investigation of Auburn and its recruitment of Cam Newton was over, then it seems you'd be wrong. At least, that's the impression NCAA Vice President of Enforcement Julie Roe Lach gave Auburn head coach Gene Chizik last month. That's when football and basketball coaches from the SEC were in Destin, Florida where Lach made a presentation to the group.

According to a report in the New York Times, after Lach opened up her presentation for discussion, Chizik had quite a few questions for her and then she dropped a bombshell on him.
[Chizik] peppered Roe Lach with a flurry of questions about the N.C.A.A.’s investigation into Cam Newton and why the N.C.A.A. had not publicly announced that the investigation was over. Chizik complained that the inquiry’s open-ended nature had hurt Auburn’s recruiting and he followed up at least three times, leading to a testy exchange.

“You’ll know when we’re finished,” Roe Lach told Chizik, according to several coaches who were at the meeting. “And we’re not finished.”
Well then!

While neither the NCAA or Auburn would confirm the exchange between Chizik and Roe Lach, according to the New York Times report, four fellow SEC basketball coaches -- Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings, Arkansas' Mike Anderson, LSU's Trent Johnson and Ole Miss' Andy Kennedy -- did confirm the exchange to the paper.

Of course, just because the investigation isn't over, that doesn't mean the NCAA is going to find any new evidence than what it has already and use it to punish Auburn. Still, the fact that the NCAA is still digging around can't be all that comforting for Auburn faithful.


Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:05 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 2:58 pm
 

Buckeye players keeping rings, but trophies to go

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So it appears that while you can erase history, you can't erase a ring.

Even though Ohio State announced on Friday that it would vacate every one of the school's victories from the 2010 season -- which includes wiping out a share of a Big Ten title and a Sugar Bowl victory -- a report in the Columbus Dispatch says that Buckeyes players will not have to return their rings.

Even though the record book won't show [Bryant] Browning's Big Ten title, his ring will. The Buckeyes already have received their Big Ten championship rings, and athletic director Gene Smith said they won't be recalled.

"They'll keep those," Smith said. "We didn't feel we needed to take those back."

Browning, a senior lineman, said he appreciated the gesture.

"I guess it does show they care about our senior class, that we did earn those rings," he said.

Feel free to make your "they can get some sweet tattoos for those rings" joke here.

Of course, just because Ohio State players will be able to hold onto their rings, that doesn't mean all the championship hardware that Ohio State earned in 2010 will remain. The school will remove the Big Ten trophy and the Sugar Bowl trophy from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, though it's not sure whether or not Ohio State will return the trophies to Chicago and New Orleans respectively.

Some may take offense to the fact that players will be allowed to keep rings for a title that we're supposed to pretend never happened, but I think in a case like this, it's more important that the school bears the weight of the punishment, not the players. After all, while a few members of the Buckeyes roster broke NCAA rules, the overwhelming majority of players followed NCAA guidelines and shouldn't be punished for the actions of others. After all, it wasn't the players who decided to sit on this information for nine months and deliberately send ineligible players onto the field to play every week. 

Posted on: July 9, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Cal, LSU paid less for Lyles' packages

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Oregon is not the only school that has paid Complete Scouting Services director Willie Lyles in recent years, though it appears the school was paying much more than the others that Lyles worked with.

According to a report in The Oregonian, Lyles sold similar packages to both Cal and LSU, though neither school paid nearly as much.

Lyles billed California $5,000 for what is described on the invoice as the Complete Scouting Services' "2010 National Package."

On the invoice, it appears nearly identical to the CSS "2011 National Package" for which Oregon paid Lyles $25,000.

The invoices indicate that both the 2010 and 2011 packages include game film and highlight film from the same 22 states.

LSU paid Lyles $6,000 for what the invoice detailed as the "2010 JUCO perState Package" that included game film from California and Kansas junior colleges.

Obviously, this is yet another revelation that doesn't look very good for Oregon. Lyles has already said that what Oregon was paying him for was his access and influence with highly recruited players like LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk, two players Lyles claims to have helped steer toward Oregon. The fact that Oregon paid five times as much as fellow Pac-12 school Cal did for essentially the same package gives Lyles claims a bit more weight behind them.

That is, unless we're supposed to believe that Oregon just tips really well. 

Posted on: July 8, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 4:19 pm
 

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

By Jerry Hinnen and Tom Fornelli

Jerry Hinnen and Tom Fornelli of the Eye On College Football blog discuss Ohio State's decision to vacate wins from the 2010 season and the bus it has decided to drive over Jim Tressel.

Jerry Hinnen: The first question that comes to mind reading the Ohio State response to the NCAA is this, Tom: what part is most laughable? I feel like we've got so many options here. 

Tom Fornelli: Where to begin? There's a lot to mock here.

If anything, I'll just start with the entire concept of vacating wins in the first place. What does that even mean when you really get down to it? The Buckeyes no longer beat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl? Well, Arkansas didn't beat Ohio State either. So did the Sugar Bowl just not happen, because I remember watching it. I mean, if you're going to vacate wins, it should just be a symbolic move to make along with other self-imposed sanctions you're making. It should not be the only punishment you're imposing on yourself.

Yeah, according to Ohio State's history books, that win over Arkansas never happened, but are they returning the money they got from the BCS for playing in the game? Nope. I mean, this is like if I were to rob a series of banks, and then one day the police caught me. Then, when they showed up at my door, I just screamed "I'm vacating the robberies! They never happened! Wipe them from the books! Oh, but I'm not giving the money back to the banks I no longer robbed."

It's a joke. 

JH: It is, and it would be a funny one if one of the nation's largest universities and most respected football program's integrity weren't at stake. But for my money, the most jaw-dropping aspect is the school's treatment of Jim Tressel.

On the one hand, the response calls Tressel's actions "embarrassing" and claims he acted alone without any other Buckeye administration member aware of his decisions. Clearly, after the coddling Tressel received from Gordon Gee and Gene Smith in previous press conferences, the school is trying to distance itself from its former coach. He's smeared the institution's good name. He's a pariah. They've forced him to resign (after the part where he'd done it voluntarily).

Or, as it turns out, they've allowed him to retire with benefits, waived a $250,000 fine they'd previously sworn to collect, and paid him an extra $50,000 on top of that. OSU hates Tressel and everything he stands for ... except for the part where they've rewarded him for his loyalty with hundreds of thousands of dollars and a retirement in the school's good graces.

If you're the NCAA, where do you begin to make sense of this? Is there any way to interpret these kinds of actions other than a desperate hope the NCAA will pay attention only to what the response is saying, rather than what the program is actually doing?

TF: As far as the treatment of Tressel is concerned, if I'm the NCAA I'm not buying a single word of it. That is, unless they want to turn a blind eye to reality. How is anybody really supposed to believe that Tressel was doing any of this on his own after the way Ohio State has treated the entire situation?

I don't think paying the guy who you're blaming for everything is the move you make unless you really want him to go along with that stance. Let's be honest, Tressel is the fall guy here and now Gene Smith and Gordon Gee are doing everything they can to save their own behinds. If you think about it, though, no matter how this went down, is Gene Smith somebody who should survive all this?

He either knew about everything and is pretending he didn't -- he's vacating his memory -- or he really knew nothing! How can you argue that you should keep your job as an athletic director of a school when something of this scope is taking place under your very nose without you having a clue?

Ohio State just really doesn't seem to get it, or they're in a deep state of denial. The NCAA isn't going to see that the school has vacated it's wins from last season and move on. There will be scholarships lost, and there will be a postseason bowl ban for a year or two. It's not fair to the players on the team or whichever coach eventually takes over for Tressel, but unfortunately for Ohio State, the NCAA knows that you can't just erase the past and fix things.

JH: We're assuming they do. Since we're discussing the NCAA's Committee on Infractions here, there's no way to know exactly what they're going to do until they do it. Precedents mean nothing and logic is frequently tossed aside like so many babies in so much bathwater.

But if the COI ever wants to be taken seriously, rubber-stamping OSU's self-imposed "punishment" and giving the Buckeyes a pat on the head just can't be an option. Without subpoena power, the only thing standing between the NCAA and utter investigative helplessness is honesty and cooperation from those involved. What it got instead from from OSU was Tressel lying through his teeth with Gee and Smith nodding genially at his side. The NCAA tried to be lenient with the Buckeyes once already--and was repaid with a sham of a Sugar Bowl and a carton's worth of egg on its face for its troubles.

And now OSU wants to pin the entire thing on the coach it enabled at every step (up to and including the pillow-laden step right out the door), expecting the NCAA to look at its meaningless dabbles in the history books and declare "OK, we're cool." Judging from the sledgehammer dropped on USC, I'll be beyond stunned if the NCAA is feeling very cool at all.

TF: Agreed. Any predictions on what the NCAA adds if anything? Personally I'm thinking around 10 scholarships and a two-year postseason ban.

JH: Sounds about right--plus a show-cause order for Tressel. His college football coaching career is over.
Posted on: July 8, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Report: Oregon's Josh Gibson relieved of duties

Posted by Tom Fornelli

UPDATE: Oregon has since denied the report that Gibson is no longer the school's assistant director of fooball operations.

It looks like the fallout at Oregon has begun.

Josh Gibson, Oregon's assistant director of football operations, was named in a Yahoo report last week detailing the relationship between the school and Complete Scouting Service director Will Lyles. In that report, Lyles said Gibson knew about and helped him petition the grandmother of running back Lache Seastrunk to sign off on Seastrunk's letter of intent to attend Oregon. There were concerns that Seastrunk's mother wouldn't want him to attend the school.

Now, according to DuckTerritory.com, it seems that Gibson is no longer employed by the school as its assistant director of football operations.

Multiple sources close to the Oregon football program tell DuckTerritory.com that Assistant Director of Football Operations Josh Gibson is no longer working in the football office. It is unclear if Gibson has been fired, if he resigned or if he has been reassigned.

Multiple messages left on Gibson’s cell phone have not been returned.

When contacted by phone Wednesday afternoon by DuckTerritory’s Matt Prehm, Oregon spokesman Dave Williford said. "I can't confirm or deny that."

This could be the first of many dominoes to fall at Oregon in the coming months as the NCAA continues to investigate the school's relationship with Lyles -- especially considering that Lyles said recently he plans on cooperating with the NCAA investigation. 

Posted on: July 8, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Ohio State to vacate wins from 2010

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ohio State submitted its reply to NCAA charges Friday, and according to the Associated Press, the school is going to wipe its 2010 season from the record books. Though the school did not mention any plans to lose scholarships or impose a bowl ban.

Ohio State says it's vacating its wins from the 2010 football season, including the Buckeyes' victory over Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

Responding to NCAA allegations over a memorabilia-for-cash scandal that cost former coach Jim Tressel his job, Ohio State says Friday it also is waiving a $250,000 fine it had imposed on Tressel and changing his resignation to a retirement. Through the school, the ex-Buckeyes coach says that he is taking responsibility for the NCAA inquiry, which developed after it was learned Tressel failed to report players receiving improper benefits.

The university also is imposing a two-year probation period on the program, which means there would be harsher penalties if any further wrongdoing is discovered..

Of course, while vacating its entire 2010 season is a good first step for Ohio State, this does not mean the school will escape the loss of scholarships or a postseason ban. After the school's date in front of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions next month, the NCAA could decide to institute both punishments, if not more.

And speaking of that meeting next month, word also came today that Jim Tressel will be appearing in front of the Committee on Infractions as well. My guess is that any further punishment that may come Ohio State's way could have a lot to do with whether Tressel is willing to fall on his sword as the school seems to hope he will by saying he was the only school official who was aware of any violations.

You can read more about my thoughts, along with Jerry Hinnen's, about Ohio State's decision here

Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Will Lyles could cost Oregon a lot more than 25K

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Oregon has already paid Will Lyles $25,000 for his scouting services, the school's relationship with Lyles could end up costing a lot more than that. And I don't just mean the possible scholarships lost or the probation that the school might find itself on once the NCAA is done with this case. I mean the lawyer fees the school will have to pay to fight this case.

Oregon has hired Mike Glazier and three other attorneys from the law firm of Bond, Shoeneck and King to represent the school. Glazier is referred to as "The Cleaner" thanks to his work with schools in NCAA investigations, as Glazier is a former NCAA investigator. The man doesn't just help clean up the situation at your school, but he tends to clean out your wallet while he's at it.

It's estimated that hiring Glazier and company could end up costing Oregon upwards of $150,000, and that's just for the first seven months.

According to records obtained by The Register-Guard, maximum compensation for Bond, Schoeneck & King is capped at $150,000 during the initial period of the contract. The contract, which began March 7, is scheduled to conclude September 30. If it is extended, the maximum compensation could increase.

Glazier is making $330 an hour. Three other attorneys will bill amounts ranging from $205 to $300. Travel expenses are included in the maximum compensation.

That's six outdated recruiting reports that Oregon is going to end up paying Glazier and company, and he can't even help bring a blue chip running back or two to Eugene. 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com