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SI.com Hits LSU’s Miles For Deemphasizing Academics At Oklahoma State

les-miles-pointsThey said, he said.

SI.com has released the second installment in its week-long expose of the Oklahoma State football program.  Second verse, same as the first.

Once again there’s quite a bit of focus on the Les Miles era in Stillwater.  And once again, Miles doesn’t hold up well under the microscope.

Among Sports Illustrated’s allegations:

 

*  Miles deemphasized academics during his tenure at OSU.  According to SI.com, “13 Cowboys who played between 2000 and ’11 told SI that they participated in some form of academic misconduct, and 16 others were named by teammates as also having had schoolwork done for them.”

*  One former OSU player, Fath’ Carter, said, “The goal was not to educate but to get them the passing grades they needed to keep playing.  That’s the only thing it was about.”

*  Carter also said the Miles brought in players who were “lesser students” and “things had to be put in place to help them.”

*  More damning, one academic adviser tossed Miles under the bus (a school bus in this case):  “There was never pressure (to cheat), but Miles was like most coaches who want to be somewhere else.  They’re going to do what they need to do for two or three years, and they’re not going to have to deal with whatever the fallout is.  So, no, he didn’t promote academics.”

 

Quite naturally, Miles denied the accusations.  “I always said, and I always meant, that academics was the most important thing.”  OK, but the coach did admit to telling his team, “Academics first,” while holding up two fingers and “Football second,” while holding up a single finger.  According to the coach he did that just once in “a moment of humor.”

As SI’s drip-by-drip, water torture of the coach continues, it’s doubtful Miles is feeling many moments of humor these days.

In Miles defense, a number of former Oklahoma State players came forward to rip the piece.  The snitches who told their stories to SI.com’s writers are being quickly discredited as well.  The Tulsa World claims: “of the 12 former players either pointed fingers or admitted guilt, nine either were kicked out of school, dismissed from the program, transferred for playing time issues or just quit.  Of those, several had criminal records.”

The never over-the-top Jason Whitlock has also come forward to eviscerate former colleague Thayer Evans, one of the co-writers of SI’s Oklahoma State piece.  Yesterday, Whitlock had this to say to Oklahoma City radio station WWLS-FM 98.1:

 

“Having worked with Thayer Evans at Fox Sports, having followed his work for some time, I am completely and utterly flabbergasted that a legitimate new outlet would allow Thayer Evans to be involved in some type of investigative piece on college football that tears down a program, and particularly one that tears down Oklahoma State when it is no secret what a huge, enormous, gigantic Oklahoma homer Thayer Evans is.  This is just incredible.  Knowing the lack of competence that’s there with Thayer Evans, knowing the level of simplemindedness that’s there with Thayer Evans, to base any part of the story on his reportign is mind-boggling…

When I learned Thayer Evans was involved, I just said, there’s no way I’ll read this because there’s no reason to trust this reporter on anything of any substance…

He’s simpleminded.  He’s a hack that can’t write.  This isn’t personal, I promise.  I have no reason to dislike Thayer Evans personally, and I don’t.  But I’ve read enough of his work (and) this guy isn’t qualified for this job and by now Sports Illustrated and anybody else should be well aware of this…

Let me end by saying this and I honestly mean this without malice.  It wouldn’t shock me if Thayer Evans couldn’t spell “cat” and I say (that) in all seriousness.”

 

Um, yeah.  That’s doesn’t sound personal at all.

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Chizik: AU Had No Concerns About Newton’s Eligibility

In his upcoming book, “All In: What it Takes to Be the Best,” Gene Chizik writes that Auburn officials had no worries whatsoever about Cam Newton’s eligibility last season:


“We knew we had done nothing wrong during the recruiting process.  If we’d had any level of concern regarding Cameron’s eligibility, we would not have put him on the field and risked forfeiting games for playing an ineligible player.”


While he didn’t have problems with Newton’s playing status, he did take issue with the media.

“My complaint comes when some individuals in the media engage in irresponsible journalism that destroys someone’s reputation,” Chizik writes.  “It take a long time to repair a reputation, and sometimes that damage is impossible to recover from.  In this case there were a lot of assumptions being made and criticisms being spun out of those assumptions; it was harming Cameron’s reputation.”

First and foremost, Cecil Newton harmed Cam’s reputation by asking for money from Mississippi State boosters.  So not everything should be dumped at the feet of the press.

Second, if Chizik is hinting at two reports in particular, then we’ll agree with him:


1.  Joe Schad of ESPN.com wrote a piece claiming that Newton had admitted to someone at MSU that the money provided by Auburn was too much to pass up.  There was no follow-up and no proof of that payment ever emerged.  Also — while it’s assumed that Dan Mullen’s wife did the talking to Schad — ESPN has never followed up on this story and it seems they’d be happy if it were just forgotten.  Yet it remains the only mainstream non-opinion piece claiming that Newton admitted to being paid.

2.  Thayer Evans of FoxSports.com wrote that Newton was in trouble for cheating academically while at Florida.  No proof was ever provided and sadly, it seems, no one has investigated on the UF campus to find who leaked Newton’s alleged academic situation to the press… which could be viewed as being a violation of federal privacy laws.
 

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AU Still Looking For Newton’s Replacement

Steve Eubanks of FoxSports.com says it won’t be easy to follow Superman, meaning Cam Newton.

First, I thought Tim Tebow was “Superman.”  Second, I wonder why FoxSports didn’t send Thayer Evans down to Auburn.  (Kidding.)

While talking to Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley about trying to replace a legend, Eubanks got a nice quote from Trotter… the man who entered spring as the favorite for the job.

“He didn’t leave shoes (to fill), he left skis,” Trotter said of Newton.  “There are just different things that I do better than he did, and obviously there are things he can do better than me.  You’ve just got to go out and do your best and do what you know how to do.”

No offense to Trotter, but I’d love to know what it is he can do better than Newton.

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FoxSports’ Evans Tweets Golden Nixes Vandy

As you know by now, I’m not a Twitter guy.  In fact, I think it’s the final straw in the dumbing down of society.

Take for instance the fact that I’m having to report on something Thayer Evans of FoxSports.com tweeted yesterday:


“Strike Temple coach Al Golden from lists for Vanderbilt and Minnesota jobs according to sources.”


That’s it.  What sources?  What exactly did they say?  Who the hell knows?  It’s Twitter, baby. 

(As always, please follow us at twitter.com/mrsec.  Thank you, The Management.)

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SEC: Will allegations hurt Newton’s Heisman hopes?

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