Posted on: September 13, 2011 4:00 pm

Boise State guilty of, well, nothing really

You know what would have been appropriate in the case of The NCAA vs. Boise State? It would have been appropriate for the NCAA to look over the violations and say, "You know what? This stuff was clearly inadvertent, and more to the point, it was nothing. No sanctions for you. The NCAA isn't into sanctioning schools for inadvertent piles of nothing."

Instead, the NCAA justified its existence, not to mention its hundreds of man-hours into the Boise "case," by giving the Broncos three years of probation along with some small scholarship and practice restrictions. All in all, the NCAA slapped Boise State on the wrist. Which is nice, but this would have been nicer:

Patting Boise on the head, telling the Broncos, "No harm, no foul," and calling it a day.

That would have been appropriate, given that Boise already had self-imposed penalties on itself, including some lost scholarships and lost practice time. The NCAA then added to the scholarship-and-practice reduction, and wrapped a bow on the whole thing by imposing three years of probation -- as if Boise is guilty of something nefarious, something North Carolina-like or Ohio State-like or Miami-like.

Nonsense. Boise State basically committed some bookkeeping errors in terms of housing and transportation for athletes in the summer, including the ridiculous sin of allowing one athlete to bunk on the couch of another athlete.

Anyway, Boise State will survive this, especially if it stays out of trouble over the next three years. Then again, according to this very case, the NCAA has defined "trouble" with a bit too broad a brush.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Boise State, NCAA
Posted on: August 30, 2011 8:51 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2011 11:45 am

2 Guys and a Podcast: Danny Sheridan talks bagman

Danny Sheridan says he's sorry. He's sorry he ever opened his mouth about Auburn. Sorry he said a word about Cam Newton and the infamous bagman who paid Newton (allegedly) to go to Auburn.

Do I believe him? Sure. I believe Sheridan is sorry he spoke about this stuff, because USA Today isn't thrilled that their oddsmaker guy who makes odds is making headlines for bizarre reasons. I believe his reputation is taking a beating, and I believe he's starting to realize that.

Do I believe he knows who the bagman is, or even that there is a bagman? Nope. I believe all of this was a ploy for attention for his real job -- and now that the attention has gotten out of control, Danny Sheridan is sorry he ever brought it up.

I said something along those lines to Sheridan in this edition of Two Guys and a Podcast -- and when I did, he complimented me! True story.

Will Brinson, meanwhile, was merciless in his pursuit of the truth. You'll know what I'm talking about when Brinson asks the most blunt question of the podcast. Good thing the question was for Sheridan, not me, because I swallowed my tongue at that point.

Listen by hitting play below and don't forgot to Subscribe via iTunes!

If you can't listen to the podcast, download it here.

Posted on: August 26, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: August 26, 2011 12:11 pm

Les Miles is in an impossible position

LSU football coach Les Miles is in a brutal position, the kind of situation they don't teach anywhere. This is on-the-job learning right here -- and whatever Les Miles does, he's wrong.

If he suspends star quarterback Jordan Jefferson because of reports that Jefferson did (but maybe did not) kick a prone victim during a fight outside a Baton Rouge bar, Miles runs the risk of hurting his player, his team and his school for something Jefferson never did.

If he doesn't suspend Jefferson, as he has not done so far, Miles runs the risk of allowing a potential felon to play, and all the national tut-tutting that such leniency produces.

Meantime, no charges have been filed. Forgive Les Miles for not knowing what happened outside that bar, seeing how the cops themselves still don't seem to have a grasp on it. Witnesses are offering contradictory accounts, but what's known is this: Jefferson and a large handful of teammates were out too late, busting curfew, hanging out at a bar. It was a stupid move, and it deserves punishment.

But how much punishment? What would be fair? Maybe we should let the facts come in, shall we? This isn't a case like -- to name just one -- Miami football, where the alleged scumbag isn't an alleged scumbag. He's an admitted scumbag. Nevin Shapiro says he helped scores of UM players violate NCAA rules. It's up to the school and the NCAA to figure out just how truthful Shapiro has been, but in the meantime it seems reasonable to believe the worst. Or even a fraction of the worst. Because a fraction of the worst would still be pretty damn bad.

As for LSU, well, shoot. Believing the worst -- believing that Jefferson is the reason a man has cracked vertebra after that fight -- would mean suspending Jefferson before the police have done their job. It would mean suspending Jefferson for something he possibly didn't do.

One of these days the cops will figure out what (they think) happened. And when charges come down -- as charges surely will come down against someone, or multiple someones, on the LSU football team -- Miles must act decisively. And I'm sure he will. Until then, though, I'm not sure he should suspend Jordan Jefferson.

Not sure I could do that, if I were Les Miles.

Go ahead. Call me an SEC shill. But you better ignore this story.

And this one.

And this one.

And ...

UPDATE, 11:52 a.m.: An arrest warrant has been issued for Jefferson (and linebacker Josh Johns). Now, it is absolutely time for Les Miles to suspended Jefferson (and Johns).

UPDATE, 12:12 p.m. And now there are reports (on Twitter!) that Jefferson and Johns have been suspended indefinitely. So it all worked out as it should have, in the end.

Posted on: August 22, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 5:30 pm

Podcast with Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports

So we had a special guest, reporting wrecking-ball Charles Robinson of Yahoo!, which made it a banner day for Two Guys and a Podcast if not a banner day for punctuation in this sentence. What with the exclamation mark after Yahoo! and yet the sentence wasn't over. It happened again!


Anyway ...

The whole podcast is on the Miami scandal, but once we kicked C-Rob to the curb we might have gone in on Dan Le Batard and Jason Whitlock a little bit. Maybe. You better listen and find out!

All that and much, much more just by hitting play below. Also, Subscribe via iTunes!

If you can't listen to the podcast, download it here.

Posted on: August 19, 2011 3:31 pm

Nice year you're having, Kirby Hocutt

Think for a minute about the year that Kirby Hocutt has enjoyed. And by enjoyed, I really mean, "Has foisted upon innocent victim after innocent victim."

Hocutt is the athletics director who left Miami for Texas Tech in February. His most notable recent moves were these:

1. Allowing booster-from-hell Nevin Shapiro access to the Miami football team.

2. Firing football coach Randy Shannon, the only person on campus who looks remotely clean after the Shapiro crisis.

3. Hiring Al Golden to replace Shannon, but never telling Golden about the atomic bomb ticking underneath the UM athletic department.

4. Leaving for Texas Tech, presumably never telling the Red Raiders about the atomic bomb he was leaving behind at Coral Gables.

I could be wrong there on No. 4. I suppose, when Texas Tech asked him during the interview process what he had accomplished at Miami, that Hocutt responded like so:

You mean other than letting Nevin Shapiro run wild at Miami?

Nah. I suppose not. So I'm back to this:

4. Leaving for Texas Tech, presumably never telling the Red Raiders about the atomic bomb he was leaving behind.

That's been Kirby Hocutt's year. By golly, compared to that, Adam Dunn is having a hell of a 2011. And Adam Dunn is hitting .168.

Look, I was onto Hocutt a year ago. I blasted him here, possibly the strongest takedown I've ever written, and definitely the strongest takedown anyone's ever written on Kirby Hocutt. He was so taken aback that he called me at home the next day, and then the damndest thing happened. He never mentioned the story I'd written about him a day earlier. Didn't tell me I was wrong. Didn't tell me I was unfair. Didn't tell me anything.

Never mentioned it.

Instead, Hocutt said he "wanted to reach out" to me and that he wanted to "form a relationship" and that he wanted "open lines of communication."

I translated his passive-aggressive call to mean this:

"Next time you want to rip me, you'll remember how nice I was today and you'll go easy on me."

After that awkward conversation ended, I thought to myself, "That guy is running one of the most complicated athletic departments in college sports? That guy?"

If I were a Miami booster with $50,000 burning a hole in my pocket, and Hocutt came calling for a donation, he couldn't have finessed a nickel out of me. Unless I was a booster like Nevin Shapiro, I guess. A jock-sniffer who wanted access to the jocks. Maybe then I'd have cut Kirby a check.

Lord knows Hocutt wouldn't have been able to see through a jock-sniffing booster like that. He'd have no clue -- and Miami is about to have the major NCAA sanctions to prove it.

This is your athletics director, Texas Tech. The guy who hired Al Golden -- and then dived off that sinking ship for Texas Tech -- without telling either party about Nevin Shapiro.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:00 am

SEC snubs A&M ... might A&M snub back some day?

Most schools, I'd say this won't change anything. The SEC puts off Texas A&M, snubs Texas A&M, embarrasses Texas A&M? Most schools, it wouldn't matter. When the SEC calls in a few weeks or months, or maybe in a year or two, most schools would get over the snubbing, the embarrassment, and accept an invitation to join the SEC.

Texas A&M isn't most schools, and this is one of the things I really like about those folks from College Station.

Texas A&M has pride, and I don't mean pride in the false sense of staring at itself in the mirror and sighing. No, Texas A&M has pride as in dignity -- the same pride that led Texas A&M to try to leave the Big 12 in the first place. Texas A&M had too much pride to compete in a league that allowed Texas to make up the rules as it went along.

And so the Aggies looked to leave for the SEC, even if the move technically didn't make a lot of sense for Texas A&M.

Now the SEC has hung the Aggies out to dry, allowing the Aggies to get so close to joining the SEC that the school's trustees hurriedly moved up a meeting and put "SEC" on the list of discussion topics ... before the SEC decided, nah, we're fine at 12 schools.

Yes it was a cosmetic move by the SEC. If Texas A&M's departure causes the Big 12's enormous television contracts to fall apart, the SEC wants no part of the litigation that could come. So the SEC is distancing itself from Texas A&M until the Aggies can somehow extricate themselves, legally, from the Big 12. And then the SEC, presumably, would invite Texas A&M to join.

Well, knowing Texas A&M as I'm starting to know Texas A&M, I'm not sure the Aggies would say yes to the SEC. Not after this snub, this embarrassment. The SEC has allowed the Aggies to face national ridicule while at the same reaffirming that, yes, we're the SEC and all of you losers aren't.

I'm not sure Texas A&M's pride will allow it to forget this.

I'm not sure it should, either.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: SEC, Texas A&M
Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 4:40 pm

Reggie Bush's Heisman: Return it? Or not?

Pretend for a minute that you are Reggie Bush. No, you're not spending that minute with her. Or her. Or them. You're spending that minute in contemplation of the 2005 Heisman Trophy, and you're asking yourself a question:

The Heisman Trust wants me to return it. So do I give it back?

Hey, your call. Me, if I'm Reggie Bush? I'm keeping the SOB, and here's why:

I won it fair and square.

Yes, I did.

I didn't take steroids. Didn't steals signs from the opposing sideline. Didn't do anything but take the football and steal down the sideline for long, explosive runs into the end zone.

Now then, you can say I never should have been on the field in the first place, that my dealings with marketers while in college made me a professional and therefore made me ineligible. That's all true, but that's after the fact. And the fact is, when I was eligible, I was the best player in college football.

It's the NCAA's way, and now the BCS' way and the Heisman Trust's way, to vacate games and honors, as if they never happened. Southern Cal's 2004 BCS national championship? Never happened.

My Heisman Trophy in 2005? That happened. I was on that field. I saw it. I felt it. I won it.

And now I'm supposed to give the trophy back? Nah. The school gave back its copy. The official Heisman website says there was no winner from 2005. The public knows the Bush family had its hand out. We've suffered, all of us. I've suffered personally, and my reputation is in tatters. Returning the trophy won't give me back my reputation, and I'm not buying the idea that keeping the trophy can only make it worse. Not sure that's possible.

So I'm keeping the damn trophy. You want it? Go win one of your own. On the field. Just like I did.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:48 pm

Mike Slive has ideas, and they're not stupid

SEC commissioner Mike Slive's ideas for improving college sports are so sensible, they won't possibly work.

For example, Slive's idea of turning a scholarship into a multi-year commitment from the school to the player, which would prevent coaches from correcting their recruiting mistakes by simply running off players ... that idea is so nice, so decent, that it can't be allowed to happen.

And who would ever want to let schools admit partial-qualifiers onto campus, where they can be slowly indoctrinated into a college's academic ways without the burden of competing as true freshmen? Much better to shuffle those at-risk kids to junior college to play football right away while attending inferior classes.

And toughening the academic requirement for a student-athlete from a 2.0 GPA in high school to 2.5. Crazy. We like our student-athletes to have as little "student" as possible, please.

And adjusting the restrictions on technology like cell phones and social media ... nah. The world changes, but not the NCAA rulebook!

And finally, a whole separate category for intentional cheating -- the kind ex-LSU assistant D.J. McCarthy engaged in -- to differentiate it from the inadvertent violations of the mammoth NCAA rulebook? That idea is so perfect, it's cuckoo. Can't happen. Makes too much sense.

But thanks for the laugh, Mike.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: SEC
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or