Heading into an R&R weekend of college football, here is your Five for Friday…
1. Uncovering corruption in college football isn’t necessarily about who’s dirty and who’s not. It might simply be about where people are willing to dig and who is willing to dish dirt on others.
After reading three parts of the five-installment Sports Illustrated feature on Oklahoma State, I can honestly say there isn’t much that’s all-in-all surprising. The fact that college football players use drugs doesn’t surprise me, although it does bother me. The fact that college football players misbehave doesn’t surprise me.
What bothers me most is the administration’s consent to these actions through indifference or flat-out acceptance. That is what separates these accusations from others about random players taking money from unaffiliated agents. That’s what separates these accusations from what comes next.
2. Alabama should be very afraid of the NCAA right now. Yahoo! Sports has an exceptional array of evidence that D.J. Fluker took money from a former Crimson Tide player acting as a runner for an agent. Vacating a pair of national championships isn’t out of the question for Alabama, and repeat offender status is in play here. That means the death penalty, which nobody in the NCAA would even suggest using against Nick Saban’s program.
Comparing this report with the Oklahoma State stuff offered up by SI is interesting. The paper trail concerning Fluker, along with the Tennessee and Mississippi State players, is damning. It’s too much to ignore. The Okie State allegations are based on eyewitness testimony and very few provable pieces of evidence.
Tennessee has already ruled one player ineligible this week against Oregon. How long before the Tide feel the weight of allegations that seem, from this vantage point, to be a tidal wave threatening to take down a national championship or two.
3. So, what’s fair here? Seriously. I don’t have a good answer. Oklahoma State seems to have a ton of program-level issues that have been unearthed by Sports Illustrated. But others have raised issues with the credibility of the witnesses and the overall investigation, so simply taking the report for what it is seems dangerous. Still, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I’m sure the Cowboys are guilty of at least some of these things as a program.
Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com wrote this piece on what he feels should be the outcome of the eligibility debate raised by the Y! Sports piece for the five SEC players. I agree with him—if the program didn’t know, it’s tough to penalize the whole program for a rogue booster and a rogue player.
But still, something must be done. What that something is, in both of these cases, will be fun to watch as it comes screaming down the pike.
4. Charone Peake’s absence deprives Clemson of a weapon, but it doesn’t make the Tigers less capable. It’s really tough to lose a starter at any point in the year, but Chad Morris can deal with it. He has more weapons at his disposal at tight end, at running back in Zac Brooks, and in the slot in Adam Humphries and Germone Hopper.
Don’t get me wrong. The Tigers look better when Peake is out there. He is a consistent threat with his combination of skill and size. However, Morris has done more with less before. Barring a slew of additional injuries, expect some adjustments and business as usual for the Tiger offense.
5. It’s good to have a week of rest. Man, that Georgia game wore me out! I’m still trying to recover from a long night of writing and the stress of the buildup to the matchup. South Carolina State was a step back in hype, but not for the people whose livelihoods depend on the game.
So it will be fun to wake up without an alarm for once. I’ve been a little bit under the weather this week, so it will be good to try to heal. I’m looking forward to watching games as a fan, and I hope you are too.