I know, I know, the sky is blue, the Earth is round, the sun rises in the east and big-time college football is corrupt. But what's unique about this story is that it was the coaches themsleves who were giving the players money. Usually when a big-time football or basketball program is caught doing this sort of thing, it's boosters and agents giving the players money and benfits while the coaches are careful enough to put buffers bewteen themselves and this type of activity in order to maintain plausible deniability. However, Auburn seemed to have taken a more hands-on approach.
Way to go Auburn! These athletes should be getting paid and the real crime is that its a violation in the first place! I would rather see Auburn cut every non-revenue sport (Title IX, be damned! And, yes that includes T&F) and pay the players than continue the current system. These kids can't even transfer within conference without losing a year of eligibility when coaches can do it at will. (different conference/sport, but FGCU coach bolted for USC after his Sweet 16 appearance and most of the squad were Freshman and Sophomores. Every player on that team should be free to transfer elsewhere.) And, when the penalties come down who do they affect? Yup, the kids who usually had nothing to do with it. All that just because you dared to accept an athletic scholarship? It's not right. I want schools to be able to offer recruits things that would make Eric Dickerson say, "Damn! He got what?" (In ESPN 30 for 30, Eric Dickerson was reported to have "broken the bank". Over 30 years later and he still hasn't told what SMU did for him. And, he got to keep the Camaro that A&M gave him).
at this point there was a post on Kevin Ware with a link to a "collegiate hypocrisy" article that's must-read for everybody. I split the thread at this point and moved that to Current Events where it will see the light of day that it should.
I'm only surprised by the hands-on approach that the Auburn coaches took. Remember, when Mississippi State was recruiting Cam Newton, and his father bluntly asked two of the assistant coaches for $180,000 over dinner at a Starksville restaurant, the coaches immediately ended the meeting, got out of the place and reported the incident to the compliance office. I had assumed that in this day and age, coaches at big-time programs like Auburn would behaved in a similarly careful manner, making sure there are always one or two buffers between them and the money people.
The SEC is close to the point, it seems, like their 'success' is irrelevant. Clearly, they cannot hold a candle to the professional teams. Thus, the only real interest is if they are better college football teams for the collegiate "alma mater". And, if those are not really fully college players playing by the same rules as their opponents, then what is the point?