By Shawn Muller-
(CBS) I don’t know how you did it Auburn, but you did.
The NCAA conducted over 80 interviews, four former players admitted to receiving improper benefits, and Cecil Newton came clean about shopping his son to the highest-bidder (roughly $200,000) for his football services. Then, 13 long months later, the boobs in Indianapolis could find no wrongdoing by Auburn University?
I feared the worst when the NCAA appeared to be dragging its feet in what appeared to be a pretty open-and-shut case, especially with Cecil Newton admitting he was looking for money, but I still thought Auburn would be hit with SOME type of punishment. Probation, loss of scholarships, something…
I should have known better.
I should have known that the NCAA isn’t about punishing major programs. They would rather take it out on the little guy and look the other way when a big-time school is breaking the rules. And please, if there are any Auburn fans reading this, and you honestly think nothing happened, or that everyone is picking on your football team because of jealousy, that is complete nonsense.
People aren’t against Auburn University at all.
They are against coaches and middle-men tarnishing college football and getting away with it. They are tired of programs taking short-cuts to win. They are a tired of nothing happening to a school that is involved with a man who admits to shopping his son for the right price, gets that offer from one school (Mississippi State), and then that player magically ends up playing at a different school (Auburn) for — according to the NCAA — free.
This ruling is not good for the people who want to see shady practices come to an end. If anything, I think this will only make matters worse. Clearing Auburn of any wrong-doing has set a new precedent that is sure to make waves throughout the college football landscape. The NCAA is basically saying that, if there is no evidence of a paper-trail, no sanctions will be imposed, regardless of how blatantly rules are being broken. If you do not cooperate with the suits from Indianapolis, you will likely be cleared of the scum that is oozing from your pores.
Take a look at the Michigan situation from last year.
Michigan opened all the books to NCAA investigators regarding allegations of extra time on the practice field that exceeded NCAA limits. Then, athletic director Bill Martin and the Michigan officials cooperated fully with the NCAA and were upfront about the supposed infractions that had taken place in 2008 and 2009.
By cooperating, Michigan was hit with three years of probation.
Three years of probation for some extra time on the practice field, yet the NCAA can’t find ANY wrongdoing in the Auburn/Newton fiasco, despite evidence that malpractice more than likely occurred?
Or, what about the USC Trojans.
USC had their national title stripped, Reggie Bush lost his Heisman Trophy, and the Trojans are currently serving their punishment for rules violations that, I believe, are similar to what was “not” going on at Auburn. Money, lies, and questions surrounding the coaching staff, all of which came back to bite Southern Cal, yet Auburn looks as if it will skate by?
No paper trail, no problems.
It is as simple as that.
Make sure no one can trace any of the money changing hands, and everything will be alright.
I don’t care if Auburn fans and alumni defend their program with the NCAA findings. It is natural for people to come to the defense of their own kind, but the rest of us know the truth. Something happened with Cam Newton to make him decide to select the Tigers over Mississippi State, and if I were a betting man, I would venture to say it was not the academics.
It was cold, hard cash.
Auburn’s athletic director Jay Jacobs knows it.
Tigers head coach Gene Chizik knows it.
Cecil and Cam Newton know it.
The NCAA did say that the case could be revisited at any time if new findings pop up, but why? The damage has already been done. Auburn figured out how to beat the system and they have given the rest of the country a guideline on how to cheat and get away with it.
Enjoy your purely-legitimate “national championship”.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24. Read more of his blogs here.