I haven’t commented on the now infamous “Gridiron Bash” cancellation, mainly because it wasn’t going to be an Athens event.
But you’ve got to love the paranoia that comes so easily to Tide fans.
The pettiness of the minor sports programs in the Southeastern Conference (cough Auburn cough) was once again on display when a school (cough Auburn cough) threw a hissy fit over the Gridiron Bash.
According to the Gridiron Bash organizers, a member of the SEC complained about the event. It takes little imagination to deduce where the complaint came from: it wasn’t from Alabama, Tennessee or LSU.
Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt aren’t important enough (or petty enough) to care about the bash. So we can rule them out.
Then that leaves us with a list of Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas.
Yes, it’s like the first half of a bad episode of Law and Order. He goes through each suspect’s “alibi”. You’ll be pleased to know that Georgia, while looking suspicious, does get struck from the list.
… Georgia and Florida are both programs at the pinnacle of success, and seek every advantage possible. Mark Richt was aggressive and insulting when he closed practice during Alabama week; he was attempting to gain a PR advantage over Nick Saban at the height of the NFL Spygate controversy. But it doesn’t sound like Richt to lie about the Gridiron Bash in a complaint to the SEC.
And lie is what the complaining party did, according to bash organizers.
The Bash organizers said whoever complained had “misrepresented” the event. “Whoever raised this issue misrepresented what the student athlete would be doing at the event to the NCAA,” MSL Sports president Shawn Garrity said in the Tuscaloosa News.
I think we can rule out Richt because he isn’t a liar.
Whew! That was close.
The irony here is that the NCAA accuses Garrity of misrepresenting the NCAA’s position:
MSL Sports president Shawn Garrity said the shows wouldn’t work without the football teams present, comparing their absence to staging the annual Christmas show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall without the famed Rockettes.
“You’d hear the complaints about that,” he said.
In a statement, the NCAA called the claims by MSL Sports inaccurate. The NCAA said its only concern over the event was the participation of players, and it denied asking the company to stop the shows.
“During our discussions with MSL Sports Entertainment, we clearly outlined how they could hold the event within NCAA rules; however, they chose to not continue with the project,” the statement said.
I don’t really want to get into assigning blame here – that’s CR’s department – but how much credibility does a guy deserve when he doesn’t even bother to clear things with the NCAA early on?
Gosh, it makes you wonder if there’s another agenda behind the cancellation.
LSU sports spokesman Herb Vincent said MSL Sports cited the potential for rules problems in canceling the show in Baton Rogue, La., although school officials were disappointed in the public’s response since only 1,500 tickets had been sold a week before the event.
Tickets weren’t selling? Damn, those Auburn folks are pretty sneaky.