September 23rd, 2013 10:18 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Auburn, NCAA, SEC, UT
In the world of college sports, coaches, enterprising reporters and fans are often the ones to turn in and rat out alleged cheating at rival schools. What you don’t often see is a player squealing on his own alma mater.
Last Friday, it became public knowledge that ex-Tennessee running back Arian Foster had told a documentary crew that he had received money (and several free tacos) as a Volunteer senior. His stated goal was to expose the unfair nature of the NCAA. Well, while his anti-NCAA message was heard, the immediate damage might be felt by his old school, not college sports’ governing body.
In squawking, Foster joins another ex-SEC player who once tried to achieve an altruistic goal, only to (potentially) wreck his old school. Auburn defensive back Eric Ramsey tried to expose the racism that exists for black players at predominately white university. But in the end, he released tapes that revealed then-AU coach Pat Dye had loaned him money and called a loan officer on his behalf. For helping Ramsey, Dye wound up losing his job and the Tiger program got smacked by the NCAA for paying players, for running a bonus program for big hits and touchdowns, etc.
Did Auburn deserve to be punished for the egregious violations taking place in its football program? Yes. Should Ramsey have been one to go public? No. If a player sticks his hand out, takes money and then talks about it after the fact… he’s a rat. Finking shows no appreciation for those who tried to aid the player, whether they were right or wrong in attempting to provide such aid.
Foster is now in Ramsey’s circle when it comes to taking cash/food/aid only to do damage to those people whose help he’d received. And he’s not exactly helping new Tennessee coach Butch Jones, either.
One of Jones’ predecessors in Knoxville has said he knew nothing of payments to Foster. According to Phillip Fulmer:
“As the head coach at Tennessee for 17 years, I took great pride in having a program that was NCAA compliant, as did our staff and administration. If we knew of a violation, big or small, we reported it.”
So could Tennessee be looking at Auburn-style fallout from the NCAA? Probably not. That’s probably not.
The Volunteer program is currently on probation until August of 2015. That probation stems from activities during the Lane Kiffin (football), Bruce Pearl (basketball) and Mike Hamilton (athletic director) era at Tennessee in 2009-10. All three of those figures are now gone from the UT athletic department.
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