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SEC Headlines 5/5/2012

1. Premature commenting has cost Georgia coach Mark Richt some telephone privileges.

2. If either Georgia or Clemson want to cancel their 2013-14 football series, it’s going to cost millions.

3. Florida sophomore linebacker Graham Stewart will transfer.

4. LSU fan files a lawsuit against an Alabama fan over a BCS championship post-game incident.

5. Ole Miss officials hit the road to rally and unite the fan base.

6. Former Tennessee running back Bryce Brown gets a chance at a fresh start in the NFL.

7. The city of Jacksonville wants to be a player in any expanded college football playoffs.

8, Gary Parrish: “The Kentucky-Indiana series ending is another blow to one of the things that makes college basketball fun in November and December.”

9. Kentucky coach John Calipari gets a raise and a retention bonus

Extras

10. So is new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby a puppet for conference power brokers? “I would suggest you do your homework,” he said. “I haven’t been good at being a puppet over the years.”

11. If you missed change-your-conference-affiliation-Friday – here’s your update.

12. So exactly how did the horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby get their names?

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Fallout From Yahoo! Report Spreads Across SEC

Yesterday evening, Yahoo! Sports released its findings from an 11-month investigation into the University of Miami athletic program.  In the process, the names of several coaches and players with SEC ties were covered in a bit of dirt, too.

Below is some of the fallout from yesterday’s report:

Florida — implicated: receivers coach Aubrey Hill, receiver Andre Debose, offensive lineman Matt Patchan

UF released a statement saying: “While we declined comment for Yahoo’s request, Coach Hill indicated he was very comfortable with, and very confident in how he conducted himself while at the University of Miami.”

Obviously, if it’s found that Debose and Patchan did receive illegal benefits, both could face eligibility concerns.

Debose’s father says he has no knowledge of his son accepting illegal benefits.

Georgia — implicated: tight end Orson Charles

Athletic director Greg McGarity said this morning that UGA “is checking into it.”

Here’s how Charles was tied to Nevin Shapiro, the man who’s now ratting out Miami.

The story does not suggest that Charles took any illegal benefits, so his eligibility does not appear to be in question… for now.

Alabama – implicated: offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, director of football operations Joe Pannunzio

The two men Nick Saban hired this offseason are accused of breaking NCAA rules while coaching at Miami.

The school released a statement last night saying: “The University of Alabama is aware of the story but will have no further comment.”

Pannunzio has also coached at Ole Miss and at Auburn in the SEC.

Tennessee — implicated: former running back Bryce Brown, now at Kansas State

Bryce Brown and his brother Arthur (who began his career at Miami) were both named in the Yahoo! report.

The brothers might face eligibility issues at Kansas State, so Tennessee fans can be glad that Brown transferred out last summer.

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Miami Investigation Leads To More Dirt Being Tossed At SEC Schools

I hope you weren’t thinking we could all start talking about football at some point this month.  Obviously that’s just not going to happen.  Sure Expansionpalooza 2011 has diverted everyone’s attention from the gridiron, but it’s also stolen airtime away from our Summer of Scandals.  And let’s face it, the world was talking more about scandals than football when the Texas A&M chatter started.

Well, now we can talk about both.  Expansion and scandals!  ‘Cause nobody wants to talk football, right?

Yahoo! Sports has just wrapped up what it calls an 11-month investigation into University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro.  Shapiro — in jail because of his involvement in a $930 million Ponzi scheme — claims to have provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010.  That’s one reason the NCAA is digging into Miami athletics right now.

But all of the athletes involved with Shapiro weren’t Miami Hurricanes.  Try these names on for size:

Bryce Brown — former Tennessee running back
Orson Charles — current Georgia tight end
Andre Debose — current Florida wide receiver
Matt Patchan — current Florida offensive lineman

Also, Florida assistant coach Aubrey Hill and former Auburn and Ole Miss assistant Joe Pannunzio have been implicated in taking part in Shapiro-backed schemes to land recruits while at Miami.  Pannunzio is the director of football operations at Alabama currently.

Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland has also been accused of illegal recruiting practices while at Miami. 

The lengthy — and I do mean lengthy — report can be found right here.  Take a look.  And then be ready to hear much more about this one in the days and weeks to come.

On a personal note, I’m really, really tired of having to write about and summarize scandals.  Clearly it’s time for the NCAA to just start lopping heads.  If a coach is implicated in a cheating scandal, give him a lifetime ban.  If a player takes a $50 bill, end his career. 

At this point, I see nothing short of death penalty-type punishments curtailing this never-ending nightmare of violations, infractions and scandals.

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