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SEC Headlines 5/1/2011

1. Is there a drug problem at the University of Florida?

2. The Florida legislature decides against deregulating the sports agent business in the state – after a call from Gator AD Jeremy Foley.

3. Florida’s Ahmad Black gets drafted close to home while Gator guard Maurice Hurt is headed to Washington D.C.

4. Saturday meant more tornado cleanup and more work for Alabama coaches and athletes as the NCAA loosens the ruleson providing benefits to student-athletes in extraordinary circumstances.

5. Everyone’s an Alabama fan now.

6. Alabama’s Greg McElroy is headed to the New York Jets.

7. Mark Ingram and the New Orleans Saints deliver a message to Reggie Bush.

8. A roundup of Auburn, Alabama and Georgia players taken on the draft’s final day.

9. The Auburn players that were drafted – and those that were not.

10. Cam Newton’s latest battle – his jersey number.

11. From obscure player to fourth round pick, Georgia wide receiver Kris Durham has come a long way.

12. Saturday Draft Day Georgia- three more Bulldogs selected.

13. Saturday Draft Day Mississippi State - three more Bulldogs selected.

14. Saturday Draft Day Kentucky – undrafted Cats in limbo.

15. A total of six LSU players got the call during the draft.

16. Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams goes to the Green Bay Packers.

17. Tennessee tight end Luke Stocker gets drafted by Tampa Bay and wide receiver Denarius Moore is bound for Oakland.

18. Derek Dooley and the Tennessee football team – a coach’s work is never done.

19. Tennessee tackle Ja’Wuan James is bouncing back from mononucleosis.

20. South Carolina DB Chris Culliver is a 49er while defensive end Cliff Matthews goes to the Falcons.

21. Basketball and baseball tickets will be free next year for Ole Miss students.

22. Faculty rep at the University of Kentucky – “priorities at UK are so screwed up.”


23. Organized  by team – every draft pick – every round


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UK Re-Enters Kanter Eligibility Plea To NCAA

Over the weekend, the University of Kentucky dropped its appeal of the NCAA’s Enes Kanter ruling and instead decided to re-work its initial case citing “new information.”

A little background:

* Last month, Kanter was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA because his family had accepted $33,033 in excess of what is permitted while playing for a foreign professional team.

* It was expected that UK officials would have their appeal of that decision heard by the NCAA last week, but it’s not clear whether or not that hearing ever took place.

* Last Wednesday the NCAA ruled Auburn quarterback Cam Newton eligible because — though his father asked for money — Newton supposedly knew nothing of the plan.

* New information is not permitted in an NCAA appeals case, so UK re-started the Kanter process from scratch.

* According to Jerry Tipton of The Lexington Herald-Leader, if the NCAA’s reinstatement staff again rules Kanter ineligible — despite the “new information” — then UK would be able to appeal that decision.

Most people — myself included — believe that Kentucky has wisely decided to re-file its case with this spin: “Kanter didn’t know that he was making too much money.”

Last week, in explaining its Cam Newton ruling, the NCAA said “we must consider the young person’s responsibility.”  That loophole — since questioned by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney and ACC commissioner John Swofford — is now open for all to challenge.  Including Kentucky and Kanter. 

Mike Slive and NCAA president Mark Emmert even stated last week that they need to push new legislation to close that loophole.

Of course, the loophole exists in the NCAA’s ruling, not in the NCAA’s rulebook.  The rulebook states that individuals or entities are not allowed to represent a prospective student-athlete for compensation to a school for an athletic scholarship.  The NCAA’s and SEC’s interpretation of their ruling included the part about “the young person’s responsibility.”

Indeed, if Newton’s father had accepted money for his son’s signature, Newton would have been suspended for some amount of time whether he knew of the plan or not.

Kentucky understands this.  It appears that they’re challenging the NCAA to apply the same logic to Kanter’s case that it applied to Newton’s.  If the athlete is aided by not knowing in the Newton case, then the athlete should be aided by not knowing in the Kanter case.

However, you can expect the NCAA to say — as it has in regards to the Reggie Bush case — that the difference between Kanter’s case and Newton’s case is that money did change hands.

Which will only prove that their “Newton didn’t know” defense had more to do with spin than it did with their actual decision.

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Haden Wonders When “The Parent Is The Child” And When He’s Not

The NCAA had better be ready. 

Yesterday’s Cam Newton ruling has paved the way for school administrators across the country to say two things when hit with NCAA sanctions:

1.  How is our player’s case different from that of Cam Newton?

2.  Can you prove that our player knew about the alleged violation?

Southern Cal athletic director Pat Haden — a former Rhodes scholar and a well-respected man in college athletics — is already wondering why the NCAA ruled one way in the case of Newton and another in the case of Reggie Bush.

Haden told The LA Times: “In the Reggie Bush case, when the parent (did) something inappropriate the kid and the school suffered. … I was always told the parent is the child.  That’s what we’ve been telling our kids.  If the parent does something inappropriate the child suffers the consequences. … Our kids are 18, 19, 20 years old.  Are they really responsible for their parents behavior?”

Before you say, “But Bush’s family took thousands of dollars while Newton’s family did not,” stop and think for a second.

Is this about the money… or a player’s knowledge of a crime?

As I wrote just a few hours ago, the Newton case does not and should not have anything to do with what Cam Newton knew.  The issue is — and should be — whether or not money changed hands.  (And that still leaves plenty of debate over whether or not solicitation of cash should be a violation in its own right.)

The “but the player didn’t know” argument only blurs the issue.  It’s puts a “woe is Cam” spin on the situation.  What about a “woe is Reggie” spin?

Remember that Bush and his attorney claimed he did nothing wrong.  Of course, Bush never met with NCAA investigators which pretty much spells out G-U-I-L-T-Y.

But by making a player’s knowledge of a violation part of its deliberations in the Newton case, the NCAA has opened itself up to the types of questions Haden will ask.  Even about a guy like Bush who was most likely guilty as charged.

After all, if the NCAA is telling one school that “the parent is the child” and telling another school “the parent isn’t the child,” then we’re right back to that big ol’ loophole that everyone’s been talking about today.

Auburn fans, read what I’ve written here carefully.

When it comes to defenses for the NCAA’s ruling, I can agree with:  “Money never changed hands.”

I can even understand (though I think it’s opening a major can of worms) this one:  “The solicitation of money is not a violation.”

But I will not concede this:  “The player didn’t know what the father did.”

That one hasn’t worked for Reggie Bush, Damon Stoudamire or hundreds of other college athletes.  And if Cecil Newton had actually received money from someone, it wouldn’t have worked for his son, either.

So again I say, if you want to defend the NCAA’s ruling, feel free.  Just pick a better argument than, “the player didn’t know.”

If the NCAA hadn’t made that part of the argument yesterday, guys like Haden wouldn’t be able to question them about it today.

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SEC Headlines – 11/9/10 Part One

1.  Georgia’s Demarcus Dobbs is laughing at Florida player’s suggestion that he and the Dawg defense wore out against the Gators.

2.  Mark Richt says if his team can beat Auburn, people “might think Georgia is a pretty darn good team, too.”

3.  Meanwhile, Auburn is bracing for Georgia’s passing attack.

4.  Mark Bradley of The AJC writes that Cam Newton is not Reggie Bush.

5.  But the character assassination attempts continue.  Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News writes that “In 26 years in this business, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

6.  Paul Finebaum will still cast his Heisman vote for Newton.  (This might be the best column Finebaum has ever penned… and like him or not he’s a good writer.)

7.  Auburn will need to slow down AJ Green on Saturday.

8.  The basketball Tigers fell to Division II Columbus State 54-52 last night.

9.  Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy — the guy some Bama fans want benched — has been nominated for Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year honor.

10.  The Tide is having a hard time dealing with Saturday’s loss to LSU.

11.  UA-Huntsville gave Anthony Grant’s basketball team a double-overtime scare last night.

12.  Kentucky shouldn’t look past Vanderbilt…

13.  Even though UK’s game with Tennessee will serve as its true bowl game.

14.  Don’t expect John Calipari to deck himself out in a bright suit anytime soon.

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