Not that SEC

John Pennington asks exactly the same question that popped into my mind when I learned that Jim Donnan had been charged:

All of this took place since Donnan’s dismissal from Georgia, but — but — what if it hadn’t?  What if the head coach of at Georgia had helped bilk $80 million dollars from investors across the country by lending his name and recruiting efforts to a Ponzi scheme?  And, now, let’s just suppose that people at the school knew of the coach’s actions.  Would Mark Emmert and the NCAA punish Georgia for covering up such an enormous crime?

I bet there are some widows and orphans among the victims.  All of which is to say, how you like me now, Emmert fans?

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55 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

55 responses to “Not that SEC

  1. Hmmm. I would say if Dooley and Adams hypothetically knew about Donnan’s alleged actions, and then, knowing what he was doing was illegal, hypothetically conspired to cover it up because the 2000 team had such promise (or any other inane excuse), then I would say UGA lacked sufficient control over its football program and would deserve severe sanctions. It would also be pertinent that Donnan was still currently in charge of the football program when this happened, was discovered, and Adams and Dooley’s continued hypothetical involvement over the 12+ year span was a direct result of Donnan’s football program. If the cover-up happened outside of the NCAA’s statute of limitations, then they couldn’t do anything. Penn State’s coverup was still happening after they got caught… and all the significant players were still patrolling campus.

  2. Gravidy

    Here’s my snarky response: What the hell are you talking about, Senator?!? Donnan’s victims were rich people. Nobody cares about them. They deserve whatever pain and agony comes their way because they are, ummm… rich and stuff…

    Here’s my slightly less snarky response: What active SEC coach has time to run a F’ing Ponzi Scheme?

    • He wouldn’t have to run it – just lend his name to it, recruit contacts and rake in some ill-gotten gains.

      • 81Dog

        so Donnan would have been George Foreman in the George Foreman Grilling Machine of Ponzi schemes analogy? I realize the Grilling Machine wasnt a Ponzi scheme, but George (who was smart enough to ask for a piece of the action for lending his name to the Grill, rather than accept a flat fee for his role as a spokesman) made a ton of money.

        Me, I prefer the Big Green Egg, but it’s hard to use one in your kitchen.

    • Dawgaholic

      I think the question goes to how the coverup helps the program, and, in turn, how much the revelation of the crime would hurt the program.

      I’m not sure there are many revelations out there worse than the fact that your longtime DC and heir apparent is raping little boys, and, even worse, that you did not do as much as possible to end it when you first had an inkling of what was going on.

  3. byuthomas

    After Dooley learned of it, would he have fired Donnan, but then placed him in an office next to his and given him resources to operate “Donnan Capital Management, LLC” out of the office? Did Dooley see him bringing widows and orphans up to the office for an investment consultation?

  4. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Are you suggesting the NCAA is now obligated to take action against Georgia similar to the ones it took against PSU?

    Or are you arguing that Donnan’s combination of criminal behavior and former association with an NCAA football program should merit NCAA action but won’t, thus exposing the hypocrisy inherent in the NCAA’s sanctions against PSU?

    I’m confused.

    • 81Dog

      I think he’s suggesting that the NCAA should consider Donnan’s association with UGA very carefully, and then put Auburn on probation until the sun expands and consumes the universe for all the stuff Lowder did that their athletic department knew about (per Terry Bowden), right up through the Cam Newton Purchase.

      (ok, that wasnt what he was suggesting, but I think it’s a great idea)

    • Neither. I’m just wondering where supporters of Emmert’s power grab see the limits.

      • gastr1

        Three delimiting factors:
        1–is there clear evidence that a cover-up occurred and that the AD could have stopped it;
        2–were university facilities used for the purpose of illegal activity;
        3–did the illegal activity take place repeatedly over a decade?

        BTW, it’s a good hypothetical, Senator. Glad you posted it.

      • DawgPhan

        What you always leave out is that PSU agreed to he sanctions. This is akin to worrying about the fairness of a trial that never happened because the guy pled guilty. There was no expansion because the next guy need simply fight it.

        • And what you always leave out is the process that got PSU there. If the NCAA hadn’t decided to act in an unprecedented way, there would not have been an agreement to the sanctions, because there wouldn’t have been the threat of a four-year death penalty hanging over the school.

          • DawgPhan

            To me this is akin to the guy with a couple bags of coke in his car that gets busted and charged with the standard litany of offenses and the DA tells him he is looking at a max of 20 years. DA offers a deal of 2 months and some probation, yadda yadda. What the DA doesnt tell him is that the evidence is from an illegal search and they can’t use it. If the guy takes the deal and pleads guilty is that really an expansion of power?

            I dont know…is the DA bound by law to let the defendant know that the evidence is going to be thrown out?

            It sucks to be that guy that the system pulled a fast one on, but once in the machine it is all sausage at some point.

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Hot damn, Bluto you just don’t let go of an argument, do you.

            By the way, has Donnan been convicted of anything? Are you not tiptoeing through the bad tulips?

            • What have the higher ups at PSU been convicted of, exactly? Besides in the court of public opinion, of course.

              • Scorpio Jones, III

                Maybe I am wrong, but I thought the VP of something or other and the former athletic director at Penn State had been convicted or something.

                What I am asking is….Is Jim Donnan a public figure?

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Not putting words in the Senator’s mouth but I think the points were (1) that the NCAA, because of the egregious facts of the Penn State matter, greatly expanded its jurisdiction into regulating non-sports related activities just because some of the persons who committed the wrongful acts were coaches/AD-types and (2) by-passed all the enforcement due process mechanisms enabling imposition of punishment by edict. Here we have a hypothetical situation created by the Senator based on a real-life scenario at UGA where if you changed a few of the facts, UGA might very well be held hostage by Emmert and his crew and blackmailed into “accepting” certain sanctions in exchange for not getting even worse sanctions imposed.

      • GaskillDawg

        You left out one factor, Mayor. The PSU folks acted as they fir because they perceived the actions to be beneficial to the football team. You probably do not agree that its actions benefitted football, but that it not relevant. PSU thought it did.

    • Gravidy

      I certainly don’t know, but I hope the Senator is arguing that the NCAA wouldn’t have any more business knee-jerkingly sticking its nose in this hypothetical situation than it did in the PSU situation.

  5. DawgPhan

    If and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a very merry….errr…ummm….holiday season.

  6. rugbydawg79

    Dang it man—-hate it that we are associated with him by many–I get your point Senator—by the way “from rugby road to vinegar hill we are gonna”

  7. BWD

    I heard the NCAA is citing the Penn State ruling as authority to investigate whether Mark Richt farted in church last Sunday. What hath God wrought?

  8. Macallanlover

    Senator, surely you are not comparing a decade + coverup of child rape involving helpless children to an, after the fact, misleading of of adult investors who should know better? I realize the stretch is just to make your long running point, but that is truly a coconuts to bananas comparison that, again, trivializes the Sandusky/PSU case. And best I can recall, Donnan was associated with the WWL at the time, not UGA. UGA seemed to keep him on the straight and narrow compared to the Lords of Bristol.

    Now if we really want to go after all those who run a “serious” ponzi scheme (where money from new investors is used to pay off prior investors with no hope of the new investors getting their investment back) we will have to charge all government officials for not coming clean about Social Security. There is even the same diversion of monies intended for that fund being used to pay for costs and benefits outside the intended group, literally stealing the money designated for Social Security. Except for the well-intended goal for SS, Madoff and Donnan are mere pikers in comparison to the government scam.

    • The simple fact that I am asking about where the limits are should be a pretty clear indication that I do not equate the underlying criminal actions, I would think.

      But I’m not Mark Emmert.

      • 79Dawg

        Its not a “stretch” – its simply a question about where the logical extension of the enormous power Emmert and the NCAA have consolidated in themselves (and which the members of the NCAA have foolishly ceded to them), ends.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Mac, you literally amaze me with your perception. Things are about to get even worse at SSA. Members of Congress and others are now engaging in a media blitz to trick the American people into watering down the benefits. Social Security is not welfare as some would have us think. It is an insurance program administered by a government run insurance company, the Social Security Administration. The insurance comes in 2 forms: (1) An annuity when you retire, and (2) Disability insurance if you get injured and cannot work. The money that is taken out of your check each pay period is the premium. You could buy the same product from Allstate, State Farm, travelers or a host of private insurers but the government makes you buy it from SSA. Now that we are all getting older and they have our $$ they are going to try to back out of paying (at least in part) by paying less. Right now SS retirement is a fixed amount based on what you paid in (the annuity portion). They are going to really push for part of the $$ to be put in an “investment account” and then all of us will get “whatever the market pays,” which will be less. That gets the government off the annuity hook. They are also trying to portray most SS Disability claims as fraud and turn them down, too, even the the most obviously disabled. It’s all about confiscating the money we all paid in and turning it into a tax.

      • Hackerdog

        You are right, and wrong.

        Social Security is sold as an insurance program. You can buy similar products from an insurance company. The difference is that, if a private insurance company tried to run an annuity program the way that Congress runs Social Security (as a pay-as-you-go system), the insurance company would be declared bankrupt and the executives would go to jail.

        Private insurance companies are required to fund all future liabilities. The present value of the current estimate of Social Security’s unfunded liabilities is $20.5 trillion. That’s an awfully big number to scoff at.

    • Damned Marxist/communist/socialist/half-breed Africans in the White House!

      Yadda. It’s a Football Blog.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Actually, the biggest proponent of what I described above is Paul Ryan but both parties share blame for this.

  9. The984

    I would just prefer if the Senator didn’t give the NCAA an in to try and dig at us more. After Kolton Houston and AJ Green, I’m sure the NCAA will take whatever avenue it can to hit us.

  10. CarolinaDawg

    The crime isn’t the reason for sanctions. The cover-up by the people who were supposed to wield “institutional control” is the reason. Which still comes back to your question of what type of crimes being covered up would call for lack of institutional control. To be honest, I couldn’t begin to start determining that with my lack of legal knowledge. If I said something like, “if any felonies are occurring and the administration knowingly conceals these crimes from the authorities than that constitutes lack of institutional control,” then you would like respond by telling me some of the more minor felonies one can commit and I’d eat crow. All I can say is I agreed that at Penn State there was a lack of institutional control over the football program that deserved sanctions and I would agree with similar sanctions in the hypothetical above. Do I think Mark Emmert would do the same thing? No freaking way.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Actually, the Penn State situation was not “lack of institutional control” as the NCAA would have us think. If anything it was exactly the opposite: “TOTAL institutional control.” But they didn’t have a rule that covered that so they made up something that did cover it. The converse was the Cam Newton situation where they had a clear rule violation but pretended that they didn’t have a rule that covered it, thereby justifying ignoring the violation. Do you see why some of us are a little wary of the NCAA ruling by fiat through its President with no real guidelines or procedures at all?

  11. Coweta Dawg

    That’s a terrifying question. I hope the line would be drawn based on a strong link to the athletic department’s involvement or acquiesence to the crime. But I fear that defining the boundaries will be like defining pornography – - I know it when I see it.

  12. South FL Dawg

    I don’t want Emmert or the NCAA to exist, period. But if we get to the point where we have coverups of Ponzi schemes I wouldn’t want to follow CFB anymore. And it would crush me but that’s a deal breaker. I follow CFB now – warts and all – because I still believe that people are like Anne Frank said. Most of them – even Emmert – are just dumb, not evil.

    Now “most” doesn’t include Sandusky and I lean toward it not including Donnan either but that’s for another time.

  13. J.R. Clark

    Emmert looks at list of victims…sees Barry Switzer, Dennis Franchione, Tommy Tuberville, and Frank Beamer…Emmert discreetly pretends to “drop” Donnan Ponzi Scheme File in the “TO SHRED” basket…Justice is served.

  14. byuthomas

    I think we’re all missing the point. This is Glen Mason’s fault.

  15. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Where does the NCAA draw the line? What are the limits?

    Whatever the organization as a whole is willing to tolerate.

    Yes, that runs the risk of “mob rule,” where a majority of organizations gang up on the others and start imposing themselves – but the alternative at the other extreme would be a powerless organization that never took action because of the theoretical and potential abuses down the road.

    It’s striking a balance that’s complicated, and we like to equate consistency with balance, so the NCAA’s “yeah, we’re on that” and “no, we’re not going there” approach to every individual case makes them highly vulnerable to criticism at every turn from both the “do it” and “stay away” camps simultaneously.

    Ultimately, I think the power players in the NCAA (the 60 +/- schools that drive television ratings) had every right to do what they did with PSU. If Emmert went to them and said, “I want to do something similar with UNC (or insert scandal here),” I think they would send him packing, because UNC hits too close to home.

    Is that a sufficient – or fair – system of checks and balances? I’m comfortable with it as a standard for this organization.