The rumors and reports have been bubbling for a while, but today the SEC — that’s the Securities Exchange Commission, not the Southeastern Conference — charged ex-Georgia football coach Jim Donnan with orchestrating an $80 million Ponzi scheme. Yes. Eighty. Million. Dollars.
He is accused of using his own prominence to get high-profile college coaches and former players to invest. The Securities Exchange Commission claims Donnan and a business partner violated federal securities laws.
Donnan coached at UGA from 1996 through 2000 before being ousted in favor of then-Florida State assistant Mark Richt. Among the coaches Donnan lured into his plan were former Alabama and current Texas State coach Dennis Franchione, former Auburn and current Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, as well as Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer and former Okahoma/Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer.
All of this took place since Donnan’s dismissal from Georgia, but — but — what if it hadn’t? What if the head coach of at Georgia had helped bilk $80 million dollars from investors across the country by lending his name and recruiting efforts to a Ponzi scheme? And, now, let’s just suppose that people at the school knew of the coach’s actions. Would Mark Emmert and the NCAA punish Georgia for covering up such an enormous crime?
Just another way the NCAA’s ruling on Penn State has opened Pandora’s Box.