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From One SEC To Another: Ex-UGA Coach Donnan Charged In Ponzi Scheme

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.

 


6 comments
dylan7m
dylan7m

@SicEmTom I always thought Donnan was sort of a weasel.

Bocktean
Bocktean

Can we stop already trying to connect everything back to Penn State?

 

If the University of Georgia knew its coach was defrauding investors, and if the NCAA knew that Georgia's President, Vice President, and Athletic Director knew about said fraud, and if the University of Georgia football program was a prominent component of the criminal lure, and if the University of Georgia's response was to request that the coach not bring investors on campus, and if that cover-up extended over a decade and remained on-going, and if....

 

But NONE of those ifs apply here. The NCAA is not bound by its Penn State ruling to step into every criminal matter  - or any criminal matter, for that matter.

 

"But people will say...." People have been saying the NCAA stinks every time it acts and every time it doesn't. We can debate "what ifs" all day and the dangers of precedent in every NCAA action or inaction. Because choosing not to act is just another precedent with its own dangers.

 

Love the blog. Getting tired of this theme.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @Bocktean 

 

Has anything in two weeks been tied back to Penn State?  Not sure how you're sick of the theme if the theme hasn't appeared in two weeks or so.

 

As for dealing in hypotheticals, I suspect you won't be voting this year in the presidential election... because all we're going to hear from the two campaigns is what COULD happen if the other guy is elected.  It's all hypotheticals.

 

I'm glad you like the site and I appreciate you reading us.  Sorry you're tired of us -- and others, like the final link in this post -- pointing out that the NCAA stepped into a criminal issue that might well be repeated at some other school in some other way on some other day.

 

All the best,

John

Bocktean
Bocktean

 @John at MrSEC I'll be voting. That doesn't mean I don't roll my eyes at all the ridiculous hypotheticals being put out by both sides and point out the tenuous nature of the comparisons attempting to be made by the two campaigns when I think those comparisons take it a step too far.

 

I did sort of lump you in with every other blog/columnist who opposed NCAA action at PSU and now connects that case to every NCAA matter to hit the headlines. Sorry about that. I'll spend a few more minutes thinking next time before I vent.

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @Bocktean 

 

No problem. 

 

I thank you for reading the site on a regular basis.

 

John

scooter
scooter

Eight million or Eighty Million?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Pennington asks exactly the same question that popped into my mind when I learned that Jim Donnan had been charged: All of this took place [...]



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