For the Auburn fan: rationalization can be your friend.

Seriously, how can you not be a little sympathetic about the plight of Auburn fans?  They’re sitting on the brink of a dream season, an unexpected dream season, yet their excitement over that has been marred over the past three weeks by national attention to a recruiting scandal involving the team’s best player which (at least based on what’s been alleged to date) doesn’t directly involve the school.

What’s a mother to do?  Well, if nothing else, you can always try to spin away the angst.

You could blame the NCAA for being a bunch of petty, inconsistent bastards.

… As for the risk of extra sanctions here is where I’ll show some of my true colors and ultimately my disdain for the NCAA as a group. They wield absolute power and unlike an actual court of law – where there are maximum and minimum penalties – the NCAA sets standards but then gets to decide if they wish to adhere to them or not.

So technically the risk of playing Newton should be the same today as it was in September but because of the NCAA’s personal sensitivity, as we’ve seen in the Reggie Bush and Dez Bryant cases, they might get more than they deserve. That pettiness is what Auburn should worry about although this case is quite an interesting and unprecedented one, given the evidence we have.

I’ll use the standard Al Means example where the young man was ruled ineligible at Alabama because of the money changing hands with that particular institution. No evidence implicates Newton took money from Auburn, shady evidence points to Newton’s father soliciting Mississippi State for cash. If the Al Means example holds true Newton would be ineligible at Mississippi State but not at Auburn, just like Means was eligible at Memphis.

Aside from the emotional satisfaction of railing against the NCAA for its, um, flexible approach, that’s a defense which also has the virtue of accuracy.  Where I think Michael Felder’s argument falls short is that the game for Auburn changed when it was informed by the NCAA of the potential for Newton to be declared ineligible as a result of his father’s (alleged) actions.  From that point on, Auburn’s cast a bet that the Newton family will be completely vindicated.  If the school has guessed wrongly on that, it’s going to pay a price for ignoring the NCAA’s notice.  On that front, the organization won’t see any shades of gray.

If that fails, though, there’s one sure fire winner left for the beleaguered Tiger fan:  absolve your school because of the season of 2004.

… I’m sure Nebraska fans feel that way about their so-called national championship in 1994. And I’m sure USC fans couldn’t care less about Auburn’s claim to the 2004 title. We are selfish beings. As an Auburn fan, I cannot blame you if a part of you does not really care if Cam Newton took that money or didn’t take that money, or if a part of you hopes that Newton took that cash and got away with it. I cannot blame you if, say, this Auburn team wins the national championship, and six months later you find out that Newton’s entire family was offered $700,000, a live polar bear, and the services of a fleet of hyperintelligent robots, and you still consider this team a legitimate national champion. Because the system is based on completely unobjective truths. Because the system has screwed your school, just as it screwed my alma mater a decade earlier, just as it has been screwing athletes like Cam Newton for decades. Until it changes, why shouldn’t you screw the system in return? Amid this skewed landscape, your definition of legitimacy is as rational as anything else.

That season is the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?

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75 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, The NCAA

75 responses to “For the Auburn fan: rationalization can be your friend.

  1. The Realist

    Again, the quality of the deflection going on in Opelika is unparalleled. Politicians are eagerly taking notes.

    Step 1: Blame the governing body.
    Step 2: Blame the BCS.
    Step 3: Blame your rivals.
    Step 4: Blame perceived injustices.
    Step 5: Profit?

    • Zdawg

      “Auburn team wins the national championship, and six months later you find out that Newton’s entire family was offered $700,000, a live polar bear, and the services of a fleet of hyperintelligent robots, and you still consider this team a legitimate national champion. ”

      From what I am hearing Aubie fans will be wishing it was only 700,000 polar bears and robots. They may end up with a mythical national championship to go with their mythical football team.

    • Hard to blame others when you’ve done it before. Remember the Terry Bowden interview in 2001 when he talked about recruiting violations and “pay for play” players when he coached at Auburn…
      Bobby Bowden 2001 Interview

    • almightytmc1

      And are we all expected to believe that Cam was shpped out to MSU, Oklahoma and a few others for $200,000 and Cecil gave his son to to Auburn for free? Bit of a stretch if you ask me.

  2. Brad

    Looks like Auburn can use someone to lean on.

    How funny is it that “Lean on Me” has become the “Auburn Family” theme song one year after USC used it and now they appear to be possibly following USC’s footsteps again with the NCAA.

  3. Biggus Rickus

    Michael Weinreb is putting the whole system on trial!

  4. Bill

    “If the Al Means example holds true Newton would be ineligible at Mississippi State but not at Auburn, just like Means was eligible at Memphis.”

    Except that, per a post on Nov 16, if Cam is ruled ineligible at Miss St., then he’s ineligible at all SEC schools, unless I’m reading that wrong.

    • Kevin

      Nope, you’re correct.

      He would be ineligible at all SEC institutions for all SEC sports, says so in the SEC bylaws. Which is why ol’ Al Means could go play at Memphis. Once I read something like that in one of these barners articles I can no longer take their opinion objectively. If they don’t bother to do the research (and this particular point has been made available by multiple bloggers) than your little rant looks just like that, a temper tantrum.

      Get the facts correct or else no one gives a shit about your whining AU.

      • Bryant Denny

        As a Bama fan, I’ve tried to erase from my internal hard drive related to Albert Means, Logan Young, et al.

        However, I do seem to recall that there was quite a bit of sympathy for Means created because he viewed as being “sold.”

        Wasn’t he cleared by the NCAA in sort of super-fast mode so the kid could move on with his life?

        Maybe I’m making all this up. Like I said, I’ve tried to forget.

        BD

        • Kevin

          And some people could say the same about Cam. That it was his father who ruined it all for him/everyone. That Cam call to MSU is still just alleged, at least. And yea, how could he NOT know that …. well, anyway, you catch my drift on how AU fans are saying it’s not Cam’s fault.

    • Newt

      That’s my understanding, too. If a player does something that makes him ineligible at one SEC school, he is automatically ineligible at all other SEC schools. Means was immediately eligible at Memphis, but wouldn’t have been at UT, UGA, etc.

  5. Bryant Denny

    Cry me a river.

    From what I hear, the hits are going to keep on coming.

    Have a good day,

    BD

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Are you saying you have no room in your heart for a little sympathy for your Awbun brothers?

      Let’s see….Fairley….Murray’s knee….hmmmm.

      I gotcha….

  6. Biggus Rickus

    Oh, and whatever sympathy I might have had for Auburn fans has disappeared in the last five days.

    • Turd Ferguson

      Amen.

    • Macallanlover

      Yep, I am there too. If I had any gas at all I would toss it on that bonfire. If any program deserves to be brought down, it is the Tiggers/Plainthugs. Rotten, and I didn’t even know it until this past week. Don’t care if they get SMUed, just hope Slime goes down with them. (Don’t think they will though unless the FBI Lowder investigation has some tapes that prove more than Cam has been greased.

      • almightytmc1

        I agree. Auburn should hang.
        I would say that it is a shameful day when your board of directors is being investigated for corruption, fraud, money laundering , election rigging and PFP.
        That might show a lack of institutional contol there. But wait… and some Auburn fan will chirp in…..”Sure they are all going to jail….BUT THAT DOESNT MEAN THEY DID ANYTHING WRONG!!!”

  7. heyberto

    Watch how quickly this fan base turns on Cam Newton when punishment comes down. If he’s declared ineligible, Auburn fans will suddenly find religion regarding Cam, and it will be all his fault. But for now, we’re all haters and Cam is misunderstood. It’s ok Auburn fans, we’ll all welcome you back to reality with open arms once the Cam Newton excrement hits the fan.

  8. Rick

    I honestly want to feel sorry for Auburn, and for the ones those endowed with some clarity I certainly do.

    But cruisin’ the interwebs, they are not in the majority. I’m genuinely shocked by the degree of voluntary delusion they are currently engaged in. It’s so severe that they will more often than not twist new information on the Cam Newton case as *good* news for Auburn (see recent articles on trackemtigers). Even then, I can sympathize with them because they desperately want it to be true.

    What I can’t get over is the Fairley stuff. They honestly believe that the dude was blocked into Aaron Murray’s knee, that he needs to lift QBs off the ground to keep them from ‘scramblin away’ and that the spine hit was just a little excess enthusiasm. That interpretation is disgusting, and my sympathy quickly evaporates.

  9. “It’s just a little dirty. It’s still good, it’s still good! It’s just a little slimy, it’s still good, it’s still good! It’s just a little airborne, it’s still good, it’s still good!”

    -Homer J. Simpson

  10. Normaltown Mike

    The FBI has dispatched Austin “Danger” Powers to Victoryland to find out some info on Cam.

  11. Scorpio Jones, III

    Now I understand the FBI involvement. Under the RICO statutes, the FBI is allowed to tap phones etc. One of the phones they tapped was the phone of an Auburn booster who happened to own a dog track. In the course of their listening to the tap, paying football players came up. The FBI apparently contacted the NCAA with the information. It is also reported there was some dissension in “ALL IN” about playing Newton against Georgia.

    The Awbun issues seem to be a side issue (benefit?) to the larger federal investigation of bribery and corruption, but if any of the “reports” are true, things look very bad for Awbun, indeed.

    There is, of course, mucho speculation as to who might have been captured on the phone taps, but the same names that always appear in any discussion of problems at Awbun seem to be cropping up with alarming regularity.

    The idea of the FBI and the NCAA working together should make everybody in college football take a very large dose of Imodium.

    My tip, after a lot of wasted time reading all over the Web is that Awbun is a bad buy, and you should sell immediately.

    • Normaltown Mike

      RICO is a real sonofabitch (and typically hated by libertarian minded lawyers).

      The Feds can charge any participant in the conspiracy for all crimes related to the conspiracy. For example, the guy that rents a boat to the drug smuggler is a co-conspirator for trafficking.

      Another kicker is that RICO allows confiscation and forfeiture of assets used in the conspiracy. So the poor guy above loses his fishin’ boat cuz Dr Feelgood was bringing in coke.

      Mr. McGregor was a proud booster for the Barner’s.

      http://www2.oanow.com/sports/2008/may/30/au_roundup_mcgregor_donates_1_million_to_new_arena-ar-513244/

      Does this mean that federal taxpayers are the future owners of Auburn Arena? Oh please oh please oh please.

    • almightytmc1

      Yeah I think you have got it nailed scorpio.
      The Aubs havent figured out that wiretaps= Rico= Federal investigation = Huge troubles.
      Rico is statute giving special investigation powers involving organized crime. The implication is that the feds believe that the University of Auburn may be involved in organized criminal activity. (Say it aint so Phillip Marshall!!! Say it aint so!!!!)
      The Sopranos right there in Lee County. Whodathunkit?

  12. Christian

    Personally, I think this video is much more appropriate for the Booger Eaters on the Plains.

  13. Scorpio Jones, III

    Yes, I can sympathize with Awbun fans. They are like the folks who are spending money all over town while the IRS is in court to confiscate all their assets.

    Let them eat Kobe beef.

  14. Irishdawg

    Does the NCAA suck? Absolutely. That bunch of rat bastards cost AJ a third of his season and cost UGA 2-3 wins probably. But that doesn’t mean Auburn gets a pass. AJ’s offense was petty and a 4 game suspension was ridiculous. If what is being alleged by Newton is true, he committed the most egregious violation possible, and Auburn University doesn’t seem to care.

    • Kevin

      if $1000 = 4 games than by my calculations, mmhurr .. lets see .. carry the 1 .. yup – cam newton should be suspended approximately 800 games

  15. Brandon

    Auburn University, a modern day Robin Hood, fighting the system robbing the rich and giving to the poor.

  16. mwo

    Screw Auburn, this mess couldn’t happen to a bunch of more deserving SOBs. I grew up about 20 minutes from the s–ttiest little city on the plain, and all I heard during my formative years was ” war damn eagle” , buck fama, etc. All that is what turned me into a blind loyalist Georgia fan. Now I get my heart ripped out on an annual basis by UF or some other commie school that wears orange. I used to own a place in Gulf Shores and would drive 2 hours out of the way to avoid going through Lee county! I hate Auburn, a pox to them forever!

  17. jermaine's dye

    Seriously, how can you not be a little sympathetic about the plight of Auburn fans?


    Is this post from Hot Tub Time Machine 2004 edition?

    If so, I’m in.

    If not, I’m not.

  18. mwo

    All this talk by Chizik about Auburn being ” all in”. I hope the NCAA goes “all in” on Auburn-to the sack, DRY. Screw Auburn.

  19. Turd Ferguson

    If it hasn’t already been done, someone should start a thread about which actors should play which parts in the movie. ‘Cause if even half of the shit I’ve read is true, there will definitely be a movie.

  20. Griff

    Y’all are being too hard on Auburn fans. I am sure they would be just as upset about these allegations had Cam been playing at Alabama or LSU. Auburn fans are very level headed and always weigh the facts before making judgement. There is NO WAY you can tell me that Auburn fans wouldn’t have rushed to Nick Saban’s aid had the big, bad NCAA been cracking down on the recruitment of Terrance Cody last year. Auburn fans would have gone above and beyond to make sure no one would smear the good name of a coach or player with no hard evidence, especially when Alabama was in the running for the National Championship!
    Just a little sarcasm intended. No sympathy for them whatsoever. Only 1 scenario will make me happy through all this:
    They lose to Bama (therefore crushing them in the state and ruining there dream season), they lose to the Cocks (therefore rendering this season meaningless because of no SEC title), and getting the hammer dropped on them by the NCAA and the FBI (national embarrassment).

    • Kevin

      i keep wondering what the UGA masses would do in this situation. AJ is not really a good barometer. Our whole program wasn’t on the line. There are a lot of idiot UGA fans with computers who might give off the wrong impression if the tables were turned.

      But i will admit, I don’t think I’ve seen more than 2 AU fans be really logical about this whole thing, and brother, I’ve been not busy and reading a shit ton of blogs the past few weeks.

      • Griff

        I wondered the same thing Kevin. Of course Georgia fans (along with every other fanbase in the world) would defend their team, but like you said, it seems like ALL the War Tigers are drinking the kool-aid. I have never seen a group so offended after winning a game. I would gain a little respect for them if they would just acknowledge that this doesn’t look good. Instead, they are putting their heads in the ground and acting like all of this is BS. Maybe there are some logical Auburn fans somewhere, but I haven’t heard from one or read anything to suggest that there are.

        • BMan

          I agree with you Griff and Kevin. People I thought were otherwise logic-minded individuals have lost their f-ing minds. Their views on everything from Cam to Fairley have defied all logic, and they rationalize it all by going back to being screwed out of a title five years ago. It’s like a whole new generation of rednecks with a “Forget Hell…” bumper sticker, except instead of a picture of a rebel soldier, they have a little caricature of Ronnie Brown or Cadillac or Cam.

          They are going to get it hard, and I will be smiling when they do.

      • Our program wasn’t on the line precisely because we did the right thing in preemptively sitting A. J. Those games would never have to have been vacated because he didn’t participate in them. Auburn chose to do the opposite and play both ends against the middle and I, for one, hope they f%$@ing fry for it.

  21. Reptillicide

    I disagree with your conclusion Senator, that Auburn isn’t directly involved in this. To me, knowing this was going on and willingly ignoring it, is direct involvement. From what I’m reading about the FBI investigation, this scandal goes all the way to the Auburn board of trustees.

    • From what I’m reading about the FBI investigation, this scandal goes all the way to the Auburn board of trustees.

      Are there any direct quotes from the parties alleged to have taken part in the activities confirming their participation? Unless so, it’s just rumors. We don’t even know how these anonymous sources got the FBI info in the first place.

      I’m not saying it won’t turn out to be true, just that what’s out there right now isn’t nearly as strong as what we know about the MSU stuff.

  22. LB

    Get out the Popcorn, this will be fun to watch….

    “The FBI also apparently found evidence about other improprieties such as academic scandals and potentially paying refs.”

    http://www.illegalshift.com/2010/11/17/rumor-mill-cam-newton-paid-by-auburn-booster-milton-mcgregor/college-football/

    …In the course of the FBI’s investigation into improprieties at the bank, their wiretaps allegedly recorded several Auburn Board of Trustees members/boosters discussing pay-for-play schemes involving Newton and other members of the recent Auburn recruiting class, which was remarkably improved over the previous year’s lackluster class. Schemes included slot machines rigged to pay out cash to Auburn players, laundering booster money through the casino and into player’s hands, secret ATM cards from the bank in question, and funneling money from the university’s fundraising arm into the hands of recruits and their families. Auburn recruiting coordinator Trooper Taylor was also allegedly heard on wiretap discussing pay-for-play and how much money he needs to wrap up the recruiting class. Then speculation is that an Auburn booster funnels $250k from a non-profit org. to Newton’s uncle in Michigan, who sends it to Cecil…

    http://www.illegalshift.com/2010/11/18/a-simpler-version-of-the-auburn-sec-fbi-cam-newton-cecil-newton-milton-mcgregor-scandal/college-football/

  23. Irishdawg

    I honestly don’t know how much of this is legit, but it’s hard to just make up a scam like rigging slot machines out of whole cloth. All I can say is “HOLEE SHIT, THAT IS SOME TASTY CORRUPTION”

    • Biggus Rickus

      Well, the rigged slot machines were used to bribe public officials for favorable gambling legislation. It’s only rumor at this point that they were also used to pay players.

  24. aious

    I find it rather hilarious seeing Auburn fans cry about everything

    They want everyone to stop judging Newton until all the facts are out….yet never, ever do the same with rival schools

    They want everyone to believe that all these witnesses are lying….for no reason

    They want everyone to believe that even if Newton did, NCAA players should be paid anyway and so everything is ok

    They are hypocrites in every sense of the word

  25. LB

    Has anyone heard about the GA/AU sports betting line was taken down twice last week? Does anyone know if this is true?

    I also wonder if the FBI were watching those “special” slot machines at Victoryland/Quincey’s 777 before they closed? The below link also mentions that $CAM has not been attending class?

    Source: Tigerdroppings: As the Plains Burn

    http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/messagetopic.asp?p=22778676

    • Biggus Rickus

      One thing that just occurred to me on this whole Auburn scandal is that if the rumors are true, other SEC schools better hope their hands are clean on the recruits involved. Because I could see this spreading to anyone who knew anything about pay for play. I already expect MSU to get some kind of minor probation for their knowledge of the Newton thing.

    • Macallanlover

      It is not unusual for betting lines to be taken down, temporarily, when a key player’s status is unknown. Fair to say Newton was an impact player of enough note to justify making sure the bets were being placed with information that was known by all. I heard they were suspended on some betting sites, but did not check it out. I see this about every 2-3 weeks, usually involving a QB.

    • Coastal Dawg

      If you haven’t read the tigerdroppings link, you need to. It’s pretty long but worth the time. I stopped reading a few times just to lean back and say holy shit.

      If half of it is true, it is really bad for not only AU but the whole SEC.

  26. G

    Wow! I never thought about their recruiting class until now. Auburn was nothing special last year and all of a sudden they are killin it on the recruiting trail. This all better be true, because I can’t take another let down this year.

    • LB

      Follow the money (and credit cards)….

      From the above link:

      [..."Trevon Reed is a solid to Strong LSU verbal, until very late in the process when he abruptly changes his mind to Auburn, against the better judgment of his high school coach. Similar waffling is also experienced with Dyer, Coleman, and Others. It has been mentioned there exists a recorded conversation between TTaylor and McGregor discussing the progress in wrapping up this class. To paraphrase, ”… just one more deal to cut and it’s all done. Then there’s a mention of needing $200K to close it out.”...]

  27. Scorpio Jones, III

    I have a good number of good friends who are Awbun people.

    I sure as hell hate to kick them when they are down.

    Bullshit, where’s my other boot?

  28. MaJo

    Look which team is in the top 10 in the country in most personal foul penalties!

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/11/what_teams_commit_the_most_per.html

    I thought for sure, the way you Dawg fans whined all week, that Auburn would be way ahead of Georgia. After all, Auburn coaches teach their players to play dirty, and Georgia coaches are better than that, right?

    The way you guys have been carrying on about dirty play, I would have thought Georgia would be toward the bottom of that list, not the top. Kinda makes you guys hypocrites for complaining about Auburn when your team is not any better, doesn’t it?

    • Normaltown Mike

      If I was stupid, I’d write what you did MaJo.

      I’d think “the loviliest village on the plaines” describes Auburn, Alabama
      I’d think my job came with french benefits.
      I’d think Ben Franklin is the only non President on US currency
      I’d think that if I’m twice as old as someone today, then in ten years I’ll be twice as old as that same person.

      If I were you MaJo, I’d think all those things.

      But alas, I’m not stupid.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Enjoy probation, shithead.