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SEC Headlines 6/14/2013

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1. Possible season-ending injury for Georgia freshman cornerback Reggie Wilkerson. Reportedly undergoing ACL surgery today.

2. Two Missouri freshman players treated and released with minor injuries following a car accident in which they were passengers. Tackle Chris Freeman has left the team for personal reasons.

3. Auburn assistant Scott Fountain on H-Back Jay Prosch: “Since I’ve been in coach Malzahn’s offense for four or five years, he’s the best I’ve seen in the system.”

4. Danny Sheridan has Alabama as his favorite to win another national title but he does have a question for Nick Saban:  ”Why don’t you ever play two quarterbacks?’

5. What about the Alabama schedule? The toughest part of the season comes in November.

6. One take on Tennessee’s prospects: “Back-to-back September visits to Oregon and Florida will be an early reminder how far the Vols have fallen since their last SEC East title in 2007.”

7. David Climer on Tennessee: “More and more, we are finding that Dooley fixated on the minutia of his job while failing to grasp the big picture.”

8. John Adams: What’s next? An advertising campaign promoting UT as “The Vanderbilt of East Tennessee”?

9. What impact will  freshman wide receiver Quincy Adeboyeje and sophomore wideout Cody Core have on Ole Miss this year?

10. Meet Les Miles and his family.  ”Father’s Day is a joy at our house.”

 SEC/College News

11. First Toomer’s Oaks at Auburn and now Howard’s Rock at Clemson.  When will this college football crime spree end?

12. Alabama fraternity gave up property to the University.  Now the Alabama athletic department is helping to pay for a new fraternity house.

13. Ed O’Bannon lawsuit could be headed to a trial by next year at this time.

14. Lousville as a preseason No. 1?

15. Preseason basketball scrimmage costs an Old Dominion guard an entire season.

SEC Basketball

16. Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings blocked Sheldon Jeter from transferring to just one school - Pitt. He can still attend Pitt – but would have to pay his own way for a year.

17. Missouri coach Frank Haith meets with the NCAA Committee on Infractions – timeframe on report release could be anywhere from six weeks to four months.

18. Tennessee’s Derek Reese will play on  Puerto Rico’s national team.

19. Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua will coach the Dominican Republic national team. John Calipari stepped down from the role last year.

20. Bring back the jump ball.  One man’s five-step plan to rescue college basketball includes eliminating the alternate possession rule.

Extras

21. A parking spot a block from AT&T Park in San Francisco sells for $82,000.

22. ESPN’s Bill Simmons not happy with ESPN.

23. Bonnie and Clyde at 33,000 feet. “So, what do I wear to a hijacking?”

24. The rapper from Antioch, Tennessee who loved Waffle House too much.

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SEC Headlines – 4/18/12 Part One

1.  Oddsmaker/Bagman-finder Danny Sheridan favors LSU to win this year’s national title over Alabama and Southern Cal.

2.  Keep an eye out for this Wisconsin transfer whose had just about every school but those in the SEC blocked by Badger coach Bo Ryan.

3.  Three suspended Bama players can return “if they do what they’re supposed to do,” but one other player has elected to exit.

4.  Nick Saban wants folks in the Yellowhammer State to focus on the future, not the past.

5.  This writer says new UAB coach Garrick McGee was only doing what all coaches do when he danced around questions regarding Arkansas’ vacancy.

6.  Razorback players have remained focused despite the stuff going on around them (in part — from what we hear — because none of them got particularly close to Bobby Petrino to begin with).

7.  LSU is already planning new ticket promotions tied to new coach Johnny Jones’ old Tigers jersey number (12).

8.  Enthusiasm was the word of the day at Ole Miss practice session yesterday.  (Not to be confused with “entusiasms… entusiasms… entusiasms.”)

9.  The Rebels should have plenty of talent at cornerback this fall.

10.  It was a “sloppy” practice at Mississippi State on Tuesday.

11.  Care for an extra early look at MSU’s 2012 season?

12.  A botched Texas A&M-to-the-SEC t-shirt continues to make headlines… even though the school wasn’t involved.

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Hayes Takes A Small Shot at Sheridan And Auburn In One Sentence

In his weekly college football recap, Matt Hayes of The Sporting News might’ve penned the line of the day. 

As you may or may not know, no one has come down harder on Danny Sheridan for his unproven claims — though he’d take a lie detector test! — of an Auburn bagman than Hayes.

Well, in light of the Tigers’ woeful defensive performance against Utah State on Saturday, Hayes has written this:


“If there really is a bagman, maybe he can come up (with) some dough to find 11 guys who can play defense at Auburn.”


You gotta admit, that’s kind of funny.

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Sheridan Defends Self; Still Big On Polygraph Tests

In the past few weeks, Danny Sheridan has become a punchline for sports columnists and many college football fans.  The USA Today oddsmaker tried to defend himself yesterday with a statement released via Twitter.  Sheridan was reacting to the fact that he was blasted by the NCAA on Friday.

“The NCAA statement about me is total propaganda and an absolute misrepresentation of the facts,” the statement reads.  “For the record, I do have sources at the NCAA and that’s why the organization has chosen to shoot the messenger.

“I spoke with two NCAA investigators last Wednesday for almost an hour.  I was consistent with them as I have been with the media and the public in refusing to divulge my sources.

“I also politely declined to share the name of the individual I have been told gave money to Cecil Newton.  For the NCAA to claim I did anything else is specious, deceitful, disingenuous and completely false.  I will be happy to take a polygraph test on these specific issues and challenge them to do so as well.”

First, the NCAA was pretty damning and pretty detailed in its statement regarding Sheridan.  It also put the statement front and center on its website.  There didn’t seem to be much worry on the NCAA’s part that it was defaming Sheridan’s character.  That is why we — and most thinking adults outside the state of Alabama — tend to believe what the NCAA said about its dealings with Sheridan last week.

Second, what’s up with all polygraph offers from Sheridan.  He’s offered during the Paul Finebaum radio show to take one.  Now he’s offering to take one in a statement released on Twitter.  Doesn’t he realize that we all know lie detector tests can be beaten:

Naturally, there are still a few Tide fans out there who want to believe Sheridan simply because they despise Auburn.  Their conspiracy theory goes like this: “If Sheridan didn’t have real dirt, why did the NCAA attack him so roughly?  They haven’t done that with anyone else!”

As if the NCAA’s slapdown of the oddsmaker’s claims somehow proves those very statements in a roundabout way.

That fact is — of course — that no one else has made claims nearly as outlandish as Sheridan’s.  Even Scott Moore spoke of having heard someone else’s tapes.  He didn’t claim to know the name of a bagman and he certainly didn’t suggest that an NCAA mole gave him audio tapes or information regarding Cam Newton.

Also, it’s a mighty long way from Sheridan’s “I have a name” claims to the photo-based scandals that pop up on websites like SportsByBrooks.com and OutkickTheCoverage.com.  Those sites are basically showing pictures and suggesting something’s fishy.  They’re not claiming that the photos were given to them by NCAA officials.

In the end, Sheridan may well turn out to have been telling the truth all along.  But unless he’s willing to put up, it’s definitely time for him to shut up.

And offering to take a lie detector test isn’t “putting up.”  Especially when laws in the state of Alabama protect him against any suits that might be filed against him by someone he chose to name as Auburn’s bagman.  There’s absolutely no reason for him to not give up the name.  The fact that he’s decided to remain silent anyway… speaks volumes.

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The NCAA Puts A Beatdown On Sheridan

After meeting with USA Today oddsmaker Danny Sheridan regarding his claims that an NCAA source had told him a bagman in the Auburn-Cam Newton case had been found, that same organization has published on its website a scathing rebuke of the man:

“Danny Sheridan continues to make vague, unsubstantiated claims without backing them up with proof.  Contrary to his claims of having an inside source with details on the Auburn investigation, the NCAA has not provided information to Sheridan or anyone else.  As a matter of due diligence, the NCAA spoke with Sheridan this week to determine if he had any facts pertaining to the investigation.  Sheridan, however, did not provide any information to the enforcement staff and certainly did not provide a name.  Instead, he unsuccessfully attempted to gather information for his own use.”

Wow.  And that appears on NCAA.org.

Some thoughts…

On Sheridan:  Sheridan has made a career out of setting gambling lines for ball games.  It doesn’t take much credibility to do that, just a knack for projecting said ball games.  Good thing.  Because any actual “news” credibility Sheridan might have had is gone with the wind this afternoon.

On the NCAA:  Think college sports’ governing body is tired of scandals and accusations?  They have a tough enough job trying to monitor hundreds of schools with a small team of investigators.  With today’s media, every $50 handshake becomes a mega-scandal.  The last thing they need is to have someone suggest that a) they have information they’re not acting on and b) that they themselves leak information to someone tied to sports gambling.

Kudos to the NCAA for stepping on Sheridan and his nonsense.  They should do this kind of thing more often.  Then again, for all the sleazy people making scurrilous accusations in the media these days, no one else has gotten as specific with his malarkey as Sheridan.

On Alabama fans:  I can’t count the number of emails and comments this site has received from Tide fans angry that we would dare question the motivations of a man like Sheridan.  “Why would he lie?”  “He’s got to worry about his own reputation!”  “If the NCAA wants to talk to him that means he’s got the goods on Auburn!”

Uh, no.  The lesson — should any of you now feel ridiculous for publicly backing Sheridan — don’t believe something just because you want to.  Wanting something to be true doesn’t make it so.  I’d like to think I’m a pretty good looking guy.  But the mirrors in my house tell me otherwise.  We all know you hate Auburn, but that doesn’t mean every crackpot with a baseless accusation against AU is telling the God’s honest truth.

On Auburn fans:  Don’t laugh too loudly, folks.  The NCAA hasn’t closed its investigation into the Tiger program.  Sheridan might not have had a clue regarding what they’ve found — if anything — but they are still looking.  And as we say when the NCAA starts snooping around any SEC school… uh-oh.  You don’t want NCAA investigators nosing around on your campus.  Ever.

Also, how ’bout taking a lesson from the disappointment Bama fans are feeling right now.  For all the photos floating around of Tide players sharing dinner with a booster — a booster who wasn’t even banned from UA at the time of the dinners — there’s no hard proof that the owner of T-Town Menswear was paying players in cash or in clothes.  It doesn’t mean that those players — in the NCAA’s eyes — were promoting the man’s business.  Just because you want it to be true, doesn’t make it true.

In the end, the NCAA will rule on what is and what isn’t legal.  If history is any judge, they’ll have no problem smacking around Alabama or Auburn if one of them is actually cheating.  Lord knows they’ve done so quite a few times in the past.

And as has previously been the case, if they do spank one of those schools, they’ll likely do so without giving Danny Sheridan a heads-up.

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NCAA Wants To Talk To Sheridan About “Bagman” Comments

The odds are pretty good that Danny Sheridan — oddsmaker for USA Today — will soon be meeting with a representative from the NCAA to discuss his much-publicized “bagman” story.

Sheridan has appeared often on Paul Finebaum’s radio show claiming that a source inside the NCAA has gotten word to him that investigators are aware of a “bagman” who helped shuttle money from Auburn to the family of Cam Newton.  Just a week ago he appeared on the show and said that he actually knew the name of the go-between… but he would not reveal that name.

Well now he’ll get to share his story with the NCAA.

“I let them know that if they wished to talk to me, I will talk to them on or off the record about subjects of mutual interest,” Sheridan said.  “I have no idea if the allegations against Auburn are true.  I only know that what I reported was exactly what I was told.”

Yeah, allegedly by someone inside the NCAA.  So why would a group that already knows the name of this bagman want to talk to Sheridan about the same guy?

Either a) Sheridan’s source had no connection to the NCAA in the first place or b) the NCAA is trying to determine who in their operation is leaking info to Sheridan.

Or c) Sheridan ran with a bunch of nonsense and now the NCAA wants him to back up his nonsense, if he can.

Uh, we’ll go with c.  At least for now.

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Sheridan Talks Newton “Bagman” On Finebaum

Ah, and the pot is about to be stirred a bit more.  USA Today oddsmaker — and Alabama grad — Danny Sheridan is a guest on Paul Finebaum’s radio show this afternoon.  Late last week he claimed to know the name of the alleged “bagman” who acted as a cash-running go-between for Auburn and the family of Cam Newton.

We’ll keep you posted on what he says right here…

* Sheridan wants to address some of the criticisms aimed at him.

* Finebaum is also going to have an attorney take part in the interview.

* Sheridan has been told the name of the person the NCAA believes is the bagman.

* Asked to give the name, Sheridan said: “No, sir, I will not give you the name.”

* Sheridan said that his attorney — Vince Kilborn, who is on the show with him — warned him about going public with the name.  He told him that the “truth” would protect Sheridan in a defamation lawsuit, but he would have to give up his NCAA sources.

* The spin: Sheridan is protecting his sources inside the NCAA.  What a guy!

* Sheridan says that he knows there is a witness to all of this and he knows where that witness works, but he does not know the witness’ name.  And he will not share information on where the witness works.

This is ridiculous.  Yet another person hurling accusations with absolutely no proof to offer.  “But I really have the proof, I just can’t share it,” doesn’t hold water.  Just more BS.

* Sheridan wants his internet critics to “man up” and to stop hiding behind the anonymity of internet messageboards.  That’s an odd thing to say for a guy who himself is hiding behind the threat of lawsuits.

* Sheridan also said he would not comment on whether or not the NCAA is still investigating the Newton situation… on the advice of counsel.

That’s all I can stand, folks.  I’m tuning out before Finebaum moves on to his usual roster of screaming, angry, insult-tossing callers.

Twenty minutes of my life… that I’ll never get back.

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