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Ex-AU RB Dyer’s Gun Was Used In 2011 Robbery

Former Auburn running back Mike Dyer testified today that a gun used in an alleged robbery involving four other ex-Auburn players was his.  Former Tigers Antonio Goodwin — on trial now — Dakota Mosley, Shaun Kitchens and Mike McNeil were arrested in March of 2011.

Dyer — Auburn’s leading rusher the last two years and the MVP of the 2011 BCS Championship Game — testified that he and Mosely, Goodwin, and Kitchens were drinking beer and smoking synthetic marijuana while watching an NBA game when “Dakota asked me if I want to hit a lick.” 

“Hit it a lick” means — apparently — “let’s go rob someone.”

Dyer said he wouldn’t do that.  Yet it was his gun that was eventually used in the robbery that also involved McNeil.

Dyer has since followed Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State.

Auburn fans enjoyed a fantastic season in 2010.  But from L’affair Newton to a much-hyped HBO investigation to an NCAA investigation to the dirt that’s going to come out from these guys’ trials… all the memories of that team might not be good ones for Tiger backers.

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HBO Says Auburn Officials Wouldn’t Talk To Them

Gene Chizik has said that HBO’s “Real Sports” investigation — that aired last night and included four ex-Tigers making allegations against Auburn — was “pure garbage.”  He has said that HBO didn’t run comments from numerous people who denied the former players’ charges.

Ah, but HBO says it did give Auburn officials a chance to talk.  A spokesperson for the network says producers called the sports information department at AU and “read to them in detail” the allegations of a pay-for-play set-up on The Plains.  The school, however, chose not to comment.

Chizik said “absolutely not” when asked if HBO had contacted him for a comment.

Obviously there was a disconnect between the HBO, AU’s sports information department, and Auburn’s top brass.

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There’s One Charge From HBO Show That Auburn Should Worry About

Last night at MrSEC.com Headquarters, the ol’ TV was tuned in to watch the HBO “Real Sports” episode focusing on college athletes and their lack of pay last night.  Interesting work.  Better than I had expected when I first saw that both Billy Packer and Jason Whitlock would be joining Bryant Gumbel for an in-depth discussion of the college sports system.

Here are just a few thoughts on the show… including why Auburn folks should be worried:


1.  The four former Tigers who claim that money had changed hands at Auburn — Stanley McClover, Troy Reddick, Chaz Ramsey and Raven Gray — seemed credible.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they were telling the truth, but they did seem believeable.  With many sports fans across the nation already thinking AU cheats (because of the Cam Newton story), the credibility of these players doesn’t help the Tigers’ cause.

But that’s the court of public opinion we’re talking about and that court has no real bearing on the Tiger football program.  The NCAA court is the only one that matters. 


2.  Hundred-dollar handshakes go on in every major college town in the country.  I have several friends who played ball in the Southeastern Conference.  The majority of those guys say that, yes, they knew which boosters to turn to if they needed some meal money, some cash for a date, or even a vehicle.  And we’re not necessarily talking Lexuses here, either.  When a player is given the keys to a booster’s used truck, it’s still a violation.  And that type of thing goes on all… the… time.   There are restaurants where athletes get free meals.  Bars where athletes get free admission.  Heck, one former SEC footballer told me that in his naivete, he once reported himself to his coach for getting a free tanning bed session. 

There’s no way to stop freebies or hundred-dollar handshakes.  There’s also no easy way for the NCAA to track down the culprits and punish their schools.  Boosters don’t often give receipts with their cash advances.  For that reason, the bulk of the accusations made against Auburn — and other schools — will likely result in any real trouble.  (On a sidenote, paying players wouldn’t wipe out this issue either.  Someone will always try to do a little something extra for their gridiron and hoops heroes.)


3.  The major concern for Auburn stems from one accusation and one accusation alone.  Reddick claims that when he “started complaining and insinuating that I was ready to leave any day,” Auburn coaches sprung into action.  One coach allegedly told Reddick that he had “some mail for you up in my office.” 

Reddick says he “followed him up to his office and he gave me an envelope.  I didn’t open it there, I walked out to my truck, took off. … It was about 500 dollars.”

Worse, Reddick claims he received cash-filled envelopes “two or three more times” that season and “it happened about six or seven times my senior year.”

And that’s the area of concern — if true — for Auburn.  The NCAA will have a hard time proving hundred-dollar handshakes.  But if an AU coach actually handed cash to a player once (or eight to 10 more times), then the school could really land in hot water.  If Reddick tells NCAA investigators — who are sure to ask — which coach gave him money, then a full-scale investigation is likely to follow.  That would suggest a systematic payment plan and that would override any statute of limitations defense Auburn might be hoping to hide behind.  At that point, it would be Reddick’s word versus the claims of the coach.  And the NCAA would then start digging to find other former Tigers who’ll say that they were paid by AU coaches, too.

Auburn fans can pooh-pooh HBO’s story, claim the chatty players have axes to grind, claim the players were paid for their stories (highly, highly doubtful, by the way) or even suggest this kind of thing goes on everywhere.  But if a coach really handed cash to Reddick, this story isn’t going to have a happy ending.


5.  While some sites are harping on the claim by Ramsey and Gray that one Auburn coach told his players to put football ahead of academics, we have a hard time believing that that practice exists only at Auburn.  Does it help the Tigers’ reputation?  No.  But we don’t see that as a major issue.  Many, many coaches would prefer their stars study their playbooks over their chemistry books.  That goes all the way down to the high school level.


6.  Never thought I’d say this, but Packer was the voice of reason on the show.  While Gumbel and Whitlock talked about paying players and tearing down the system, Packer came armed with facts — most schools lose money on sports, two sports pay for all the other little sports, there would likely be no women’s sports at all if not for football/basketball revenue from the men, and not every athlete can be paid the same because of those aforementioned facts.

Everyone agrees the NCAA system isn’t perfect, but finding a new system isn’t as easy as tearing the old one down.  Kudos to Packer.


7.  Bernard Goldberg’s piece on paying players suffered one fatal flaw.  For hypothetical purposes he proposed paying players 57% of the revenue made by their schools off of their sport (which is the percentage of revenue NFL and NBA players receive).  Sounds good.  Only not all schools make the same amount of money.  Alabama and Texas make more money off of football, for example, than Boise State and Iowa State.  In the current scholarship set-up, the folks at Boise State and Iowa State can at least compete with the Bamas and the Texases of the world.  In a 57% pay model, just how many recruits would choose to sign with a smaller-revenue school?  Players would be fighting to get into the biggest-revenue schools in order to drive up their own paydays.


8.  The revelation that a number of NCAA officials make salaries of $300,000 or more was eye-opening.  We hear a lot about the NCAA’s small enforcement staff (little more than 40 people total).  That small staff requires the NCAA to use an “example” type system of discipline.  If a school is ratted out and caught, they will be made an example of.  If a coach lies or tampers with an investigation, he will be made an example of.  The NCAA has no way to get ahead of the curve because it lacks an enforcement staff.  There only means of prevention is to really make examples of those people they catch red-handed. 

But someone on HBO’s show should have proposed this realistic plan: Cut the salaries of some of those highly-paid NCAA officials and use that money to increase the enforcement staff by 50-100%. 


So who were the losers following HBO’s broadcast?

* Auburn University.  The Tigers didn’t need more accusations and yet another scandal.  Whether the claims of McClover, Reddick, et al are true or not, millions of people heard them last night.  The NCAA heard them last night, too.  And millions more people will read about them today.

* Tommy Tuberville.  The issues discussed last night trace back to the Tuberville era on The Plains.  He’ll be fielding a lot more questions about HBO’s report than he will Texas Tech’s spring drills in the coming days.

* Gene Chizik.  Chizik was on Tuberville’s staff at the time of some of these alleged events.  The NCAA might ask him a few questions about his first stop in Auburn.  And if the NCAA can find proof that an assistant once gave Reddick cash, Chizik’s program could be spanked for crimes committed on his predecessor’s watch.

Auburn’s coach was angered by the report and called it “pathetic and pure garbage.”  “That’s not who we are,” he said.  “That’s not how our program is going to be run.”

Chizik also said: “It’s very sad to me that HBO is going to air something that, admittedly, they have no proof on anything.  What is disturbing to me… they interviewed other former players that said the opposite, and they didn’t air (them).”

“When I was the defensive coordinator from 2002-04, all the allegations that are there are on this particular show, I can assure you I had no knowledge of any of that stuff.”

* The NCAA.  No one likes the NCAA to begin with, so a report trumpeting the destruction of it will naturally be met with cheers.  Of course, few people realize that the NCAA is made up of college administrators.  The NCAA is college football and basketball.  If they are the enemy, they’re appointed by the people they rule over. 

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McClover’s Auburn Accusations Being Called Into Question

Here’s how these things work:


* A former player makes claims that he was involved in cheating at his college.

* Fans attempt to debunk him by painting him as someone with an ax to grind.

* Teammates come out and say he’s lying.


Like clockwork, that predictable scenario is playing out in Auburn today.  AuburnSports.com — the Rivals site covering the Tigers — reports that a number of people who know former Tiger Stanley McClover well believe he is making up his share of the allegations HBO will air tonight during an episode of “Real Sports.” 

For the full story, you’ll likely need a subscription, but here are some of the highlights from their lengthy piece:


* McClover’s high school coach says that he “was shocked” during his HBO interview when his former player asked him to talk about Auburn coaches taking over his office and holding a private meeting with McClover.  Ken Scott says that never happened.  He also says the man who recruited McClover — Eddie Gran who is now at Florida State — “is a man of integrity.”  Of the accusation that Gran offered or provided cash for McClover, Scott said: “I don’t understand what Stanley is talking about because I know Eddie Gran well and I know it didn’t happen.”

* Gran himself said, “That absolutely, positively never happened.”

* A former teammate of McClover’s — Auburn All-American safety Junior Rosegreen — also shot holes in the claims.  “I told him that I am not going to be a part of that because it’s bull (crap).  He said he was going to talk about getting paid to go to Auburn and I know that is a lie.  I don’t believe a word he says.  He’s not a man you can trust.  I know him and I don’t want to be a part of anything he has going on.”

* Former Tiger player Jeris McIntyre says an HBO producer tried to get him to share some dirt on Auburn “off the record.”  “He said that about 10 times.  I said, ‘Fine.  You want me to tell you something off the record?  Here you go: Stanley is a damn liar.”  (Looks like that’s on the record now.)

* Rosegreen states the McClover is “already broke” following a four-year NFL career.  He says, “I was told Stanley got $20,000 (from HBO for the interview), and I know for a fact you don’t get that money until you give them something, until you tell them what they want to hear.”


The piece by AuburnSports.com is a strong defense… naturally.  Whether you believe AuburnSports.com or HBO’s “Real Sports” will likely be determined by your own team allegiances.

If HBO actually paid these men for their interviews, then you can count us among those who will give no credence to their claims.  And we’re already suspicious of them.

If nothing else, some serious doubts exist as to whether or not McClover and three other former Tiger players are making legitimate claims or simply attempting to smear their old school.

If the NCAA starts asking questions, these players are going to have to eventually provide some names.  If they don’t, it will be very hard for anyone — well, anyone not wearing crimson — to believe their accusations.

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HBO Show Details Mid-2000s Pay-For-Play Scheme At Auburn

HBO “Real Sports” is set to air its special report on college athletes and money tonight.  The website SportsByBrooks.com was given a chance to watch an early screening yesterday.  What that site saw will be yet another pain in the rump for SEC fans and administrators:


* Former Auburn players Chaz Ramsey, Troy Reddick, Stanley McClover and Raven Gray speak on the record about a pay-for-play plan on The Plains earlier in the mid-2000s.

* McClover also says someone representing LSU once gave him a $500 handshake at a high school all-star game.  He says there were money handshakes from Auburn and Michigan State supporters, too.  Ohio State boosters reportedly showered him with up to a thousand dollars and girls.

* He claims that he signed with Auburn when a bookbag full of cash was given to him.  “I almost passed out.  I literally almost passed out I couldn’t believe it was true.  I felt like I owed them,” McClover said.

* Reddick says he was “offered a large sum of money” by Auburn alumni.  The player said he didn’t take the money.  He also says he was unhappy on The Plains because AU coaches wanted him to change his major because his class schedule was interfering with football.

* Reddick claims an Auburn coach handed him an envelope containing $500 in order to get him to stay.  “Over that season it happened like two or three more times.  And it happened about six or seven times my senior year.”

* McClover claims that a booster game him $7,000 to buy a car.

* He says he earned $4,000 for a good performance against Alabama in an Iron Bowl game. 

* Ramsey says he received money handshakes during his year on The Plains.

* Gray says he received cash handshakes for “2,500 to 3,000 dollars.”

* Ramsey — who recently had a medical lawsuit against AU thrown out — says he’s coming forward so young players know “what college football is really about, it’s a business.”


For the record, Reddick and McClover were starters at Auburn.  Ramsey and Gray both signed with the Tigers and were on the team.

The school declined to comment on “these alleged claims apparently made by a few former football players.”  Auburn officials also told HBO that “compliance with all NCAA and Southeastern Conference rules is a major emphasis and top priority for all of our athletic programs.”

Someone close to the Auburn athletic department told The Birmingham News: “(The players) lied to somebody, either to Auburn or HBO.  It calls their credibility into question.”  Players are required to sign an NCAA document that affirms they did not break any NCAA rules.  (Uh, yeah… But not many players admit to cheating via NCAA documents.)

Other former Auburn players are now defending their school and attacking the claims of their former teammates.

Lee Ziemba — a star offensive lineman on last year’s BCS championship team — tweeted last night:


Funny HBO story just broke.  Couple former players lying to bring our past season down.  Keep dreaming fellas.


He also sent this message:


Was recruited by the same folks as the HBO star bums, walked out the same locker room doors as them after games…never a dime.


Two-time All-SEC defensive tackle TJ Jackson also discredited the claims.  “I’m not saying this to brag, but I made all-conference my junior and senior year, and I didn’t get paid.  And I wasn’t the only back-to-back, all-conference player and those guys didn’t get paid either.”

Jackson also had a warning for his former teammates: “Some guys don’t know how to let it go when it’s gone.  Don’t be infamous.  By dragging your school into this, you’re not getting famous.  You’re getting infamous.  Guys don’t forget things like this.  Don’t ever burn your bridges.  It’s a dangerous game to play.  You don’t want your business exposed.”


True or false these claims leave Auburn, LSU, Michigan State and Ohio State looking bad.  Ditto Tommy Tuberville — now at Texas Tech — and his former Auburn staff.  And the SEC once again looks dirty, too.

While the fans of the above schools will scream for proof — and these are simply claims — fans across the nation won’t be so patient in rendering a verdict.  Especially not after the Cam Newton fiasco last fall.

Fans of these schools will say that the claims are bunk.  But they have no idea whether they are or not.  Rival fans will take these claims as gospel truth.  But they have no idea whether they are true or not, either.

What we do have are damaging claims.  We’ll see how the media and the institutions involved and the NCAA decide to follow up.  NCAA president Mark Emmert has hopefully already instructed his investigators to sit down and talk with the Tiger Four. 

The Opelika-Auburn News reports that “McClover and Reddick’s alleged interactions lie outside the four-year statute of limitations for NCAA investigations.”  However, because Ramsey and Gray’s accusations fall within the window of investigation, the NCAA could extend its investigation backwards if it finds “the infractions to be systemic.”

At MrSEC.com, we’re going to see in which direction this thing heads before we declare guilt or innocence.

HBO’s “Real Sports” airs tonight at 10pm ET.

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Chizik Pays No Attention To The “Energy Vampires”

Maybe Gene Chizik has seen “Twilight” too many times on HBO.  Or maybe he just wished as a youth that he could hang with the two Coreys.





Whatever the reason, Auburn’s coach is no fan of vampires.  Specifically, “energy vampires.”

“Whatever people want to say or whatever somebody is comfortable talking about in terms of talk radio or other places, we have absolutely no control over that,” Chizik told ESPN.com’s Chris Low.  “But here’s what we know: We are the national champions, and we were the best football team in the United States last year.  There’s nothing I have to do to defend our honor for that.

“They’re going to say what they’re going to say and discuss what they’re going to discuss, and you have absolutely no control over that.  I call those energy vampires.  They’re not going to suck my energy out worrying about that.  That’s how we work.”

Good attitude.  And then he answered Low’s questions about Cam Newton (which, I suppose, makes Low an energy vampire by default).  “The kid was tarred and feathered for something he didn’t have anything to do with,” the coach said.  “I was always confident it was going to unfold that way it did.  Again, if you look and see how we proceeded during the year, it was evident that’s how I felt.  I just never thought any differently.”

He then attempted to drive a stake through… no, wait.  He just answered another question about NCAA allegations tossed by rival fans.

“That’s the way the world is.  That’s life.  We were the national champions, and just like probably everybody else that won a national championship, there are always people out there who’re going to say, ‘Well, they only won it because they did this or that… where they really shouldn’t have.’

“So, this isnt’ the first time that kind of thinking is out there.  It doesn’t make me mad, because there are always going to be people who are negative.  You can’t control that, but I can tell you we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

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HBO “Real Sports” To Air “Athletes And Money” Show Wednesday

HBO’s long-awaited, much-discussed “NCAA Athletes and Money” episode is set to debut next Wednesday.  You can bet a number of SEC coaches will be watching.

Over the past month, reports have claimed that former Auburn footballer Stanley McClover would admit on camera that he received illegal benefits from a Tiger coach in the mid-2000s. 

Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond — who’s dropped off the radar following Scott Moore’s departure from a Huntsville radio station — has said that HBO wanted him to talk about the Cam Newton situation.

So what did HBO ultimately find?  SportsByBrooks.com has already posted the trailer for the show.  And the network put out a release stating the following:


Two long-form segments anchor the program, setting the stage for an extended roundtable panel hosted by Bryant Gumbel and featuring former University of Michigan head football coach Rich Rodriguez, outspoken college basketball commentator Billy Packer, print journalist Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com and former Ivy League Athletics Commissioner Jeff Orleans.  The group will address a host of issues relating to the NCAA and the regulation of the its 1,055 member schools.


Gumbel, Packer and Whitlock?  Good to know that outrage, bitterness and exaggeration will be well-covered.  Expect a full-scale beatdown on the NCAA with plenty of calls to pay players… and no explanation for just how that might be done when most programs are already losing money.

The two long-form reports will be: “The Money Trail” in which Bernard Goldberg looks at “the notion of student-athletes remaining untainted amateurs while generating pro-type revenue for their schools” and “Pay To Play” in which Andrea Kremer examines whether paying players would “curb the headline-grabbing stories of inappropriate payments and benefits.”


Personally, I’ve always found the “pay the players” argument to be pretty thin.  Oh it sounds nice, sure.  But where does the money come from? 

Would the money programs break off so the Wake Forests of the world wouldn’t be forced to match dollars with the Floridas and Texases and Ohio States? 

Would all athletes be paid the same amount?  Or would a women’s crew member at one school make less than a star quarterback at another? 

And just because all players would be paid X, what’s to stop the bigger schools from offering Y under the table?  Seems illegal inducements would only become a bigger problem because someone will always be out to get an edge.

But hey, where’s the fun in questions like those?  It’s much easier just to yell, “Pay ‘em!” and move on to the next hot-button topic.

If you want to hear Gumbel’s voice rise — you may want to get your dogs out of the room to protect their ears — just watch these short teaser clips provided by HBO:






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Former Bama Player Keys Denies HBO Rumors

HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” is working on a story that’s expected to paint the SEC as a cheaters’ league.  Former Auburn player Stanley McClover is expected to say in the story that he received benefits from a Tiger coach back in the mid-2000s.  Former Alabama player Chris Keys — who was dismissed from the Tide team by Mike Shula — is rumored to be talking with HBO, too. 

He says those rumors are false.

“I haven’t even talked to HBO,” Keys told TideSports.com.  “My mom told me about it when she first heard about it, but there isn’t anything to it.  I’ve had some people ask me about it, but I don’t know what they’re talking about.”

A spokesperson for HBO would “neither confirm nor deny that the network’s ‘Real Sports’ show is working on a segment on recruiting practices — or players being paid to play — in the Southeastern Conference.”

So far, former MSU quarterback John Bond and radio host Scott Moore have said that HBO wants to talk to Bond about the Cam Newton scandal.  And Former Auburn running back Ronnie Brown has said that he did talk with McClover and that his former teammate is talking to HBO.

Who’ll actually go on the record — and with what — remains to be seen.

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It’s Time For Bond And Moore To Put Up Or Shut Up On The Newton Saga

As Huntsville radio host Scott Moore continues his media tour, dropping allegations and “here’s what I heards” in an effort to drum up cash for his pal John Bond, it might be time for someone to share an old saying with these two:

Put up or shut up.

But before everyone starts accusing this site of being pro- or anti-some school (it’s inevitable), let’s make a couple of things clear before we go any further.

1.  This site has no ties to Auburn.  Personally, I think Cecil Newton is dirty.  I think it’s highly unlikely that his son didn’t know anything about his father’s business dealings.  And I think there’s a helluva lot of smoke around AU’s program for there not to be some sort of fire somewhere.

2.  There is also zero evidence — hard, tangible, could-stand-up-in-a-court-of-law evidence — that Auburn representatives did anything wrong in their pursuit of Cam Newton.  Nothing.  Bupkes.  If the NCAA’s got proof, they’re not acting on it.  If Bond or Kenny Rogers or Bill Bell’s got proof, they’re too busy asking for cash to share it.

3.  College football is a cesspool.  The vast majority of people go about their jobs and careers the right way, I’ll grant you.  But there are enough hangers-on and ne’er-do-wells to ruin the sport for everyone else.  When people ask me why I don’t pull for a college team, I usually give the same response: “If you went through an Oscar Meyer plant, you wouldn’t want to eat a hot dog for a while.”  So I don’t find it at all outrageous that a number of schools might have really offered up cash for Newton.


All that said, Bond is getting dangerously close to Cecil Newton in terms of overall scumminess. 

If the man wants to take a stand for right versus wrong, he should release his tapes to the NCAA and/or to the world.  But by leaking hearsay from his tapes through a second party in order to start a bidding war for them, well, he’s just showing that dollars are his motivation, not right versus wrong.

Cecil Newton tried to make some money for himself.  Bond is trying to make some money for himself.  Cecil Newton tried to sell his son’s football services.  Bond made secret tape recordings of private conversations.  All those acts tend to run together in my view.  In terms of a ballpark, Newton’s sitting squarely at the 50, while Bond’s got tickets down in the end zone.  But they’re both season-ticket holders at I Don’t Trust Ya Field.

And not just because they’re money-grubbers who’ll bend some rules to get the cash they desire, either.

Isn’t it interesting that Moore is making the rounds pushing this story right at the same time HBO is trying to pry Bond’s tapes from him?  It’s as if Moore’s trying to drive up the value while a buyer’s on the lot.  What?  You don’t think Bond or his reps have told HBO the info will cost ‘em?

And is it really a surprise that the tapes — according to Moore — show no evidence of wrongdoing by Mississippi State?  Would anyone really expect a former MSU quarterback and Bulldog booster to share any conversations that might sully State’s good name?  In other words, don’t be surprised if there’s an 18-and-a-half minute gap in Bond’s tapes.  After all, Moore says that MSU officials have told Bond not to get involved in this mess.  If State is 100% in the clear, why wouldn’t the school want Bond’s (or Bell’s or Rogers’) tapes released?  I’m just asking.

And isn’t it an interesting coincidence that Moore’s radio co-host in Huntsville is William Barger, a man who played football at Alabama?  Now Moore’s talking about information that implicates Auburn and Tennessee — Bama’s two biggest rivals — in a pay-for-play scandal.  That’s not a coinydink?

Look, would I be shocked to learn that Auburn or Tennessee offered cash for Newton?  Uh, yeah.  About as shocked as Captain Renauld when he “learned” that there was gambling going on at Rick’s Place.  (See #3 above for my reason.)

But the fact that these folks won’t simply hand over their tapes makes me very, very suspicious of their claims.  Turn over the unedited tapes — and unedited is a key if you want me to believe MSU wasn’t involved — and then I’ll start giving a bit more credence to the claims of Bond and Moore.

Until then, Bond is no different than someone selling a story to The National Enquirer.  And while The Enquirer might buy it, I’m not.  Not until he turns over the goods at least.

Put up or shut up, boys.  Put up or shut up.

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Mullen Regrets Nothing In Newton Recruitment

As he lay on his death bed, former president Zachary Taylor uttered his last words: “I regret nothing.”

Well Dan Mullen basically threw out a big ol’ ditto when asked about his recruitment of controversial ex-Auburn superstar Cam Newton.  MSU’s coach had mixed emotions when he recently discussed the situation with Brandon Marcello of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

“I don’t regret how we handled his recruiting situation at all.  How the situation kind of stained almost everybody, I don’t like that, because I care about Cam a lot.  I’m proud of him and I’m happy for all of the things he’s accomplished.”

Mullen says he knows he’ll see Newton again at some point and that their relationship will still be okey-dokey.  “Like I said, if Cam called me today and said, ‘Coach, I need a favor,’ in a heartbeat I’d do whatever I could to help him as a former player.  I’ve always thought we were very, very close.  In my opinion, nothing has changed in my feelings toward him.  I don’t feel any different today.”

As for his old boss Urban Meyer’s recent comments about the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is college football, Mullen said little.  “He’s allowed to talk a little bit more freely because now he’s paid give his opinion.  I’m paid to monitor our program and one of the things we try to do at Mississippi State is make sure we are doing everything the right way. … I can’t really worry about other programs.  If people are doing things better than us, we’re always going to try to improve and do things better but we’re always going to do things legally and do things ethically the right way.”

All this in light of the fact HBO is digging around MSU’s pursuit of Newton for an investigative piece on it’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumble” franchise.  Mullen says he’s not been contacted by HBO about the report.

As for doing things ethically, Mullen better hope there’s no truth to the rumors that Newton “handler” Kenny Rogers has an audio tape that would shine a bad light on MSU’s involvement in Newton’s recruitment.



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