Loose lips sink (champion)ships.

Mr. Conventional Wisdom says it’s time for Mike Slive to lay down the law in the Newton matter.  No, not in response to rogue boosters offering recruits cash.  Or runners offering players to schools for cash.

It’s time to put a stop to rumor mongering.

… Somebody leaked some information that caused a story to be written that Newton faced multiple academic incidents while he was at Florida and was on the verge of expulsion before he left in 2009.  We don’t know if that story is true or not. There have been subsequent reports, from unnamed sources, that the story is not true.

But if the story is true, somebody just broke federal privacy laws in releasing that information. And if that person works for an SEC institution and if the leak ever gets traced back to them, I have a piece of advice: You better lawyer up, buddy, because your life is going to get really complicated. Federal judges don’t really care that much about college football. They do care about people violating federal law for their own amusement.

If the story is not true, and if it came from an employee of an SEC institution,  then the leak it represents the worst kind of behavior that cannot be tolerated. The person who gave misinformation to the media, knowing that it was misinformation, should be fired on the spot if they are ever caught.

Now I certainly don’t condone Newton’s academic issues being leaked, but Barnhart’s column is too rich.  He references the SEC’s policy on reporting compliance violations in his column.  That policy was put in place for one purpose and one purpose only:  so that the conference could control the spin.

Well, guess what?  If Joe Schad’s story is accurate, Mississippi State put Slive’s office on notice of what Newton’s dad was up to in January.  Yet here we sit ten games into a season in which Auburn finds itself on the precipice of playing in the SECCG and being in line to play in the BCS title game with no authoritative word from the conference about whether there’s anything to what’s swirling about Newton this week.  That sucks for Auburn, but it’s also not good for its Western Division competitors which are still in the SECCG hunt.  Nor is it fair to the two undefeated mid-majors hoping for a shot at the national title game.

But coaches need to shut their mouths.  That’s the big problem Mike Slive’s got to handle right now.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

43 responses to “Loose lips sink (champion)ships.

  1. Brandon

    Mr. Conventional Wisdom, I love that, its exactly what Barnhardt is, that and Captain Obvious.


  2. Scott W.

    So it’s a concern that this kind of stuff is coming out or that this stuff is happening. Pay no attention to the elephant in the corner.


  3. Spence

    Barnhart is spending too much time with the other idiots on the radio. His brain is a big pile of
    sportstalk mush, and he is rapidly shooting his credibility in the face.


  4. gatriguy

    Who else could have possibly leaked this but Florida? How would anyone else have even KNOWN what Newton’s academic sitution was at Florida EXCEPT Florida. The media is completely turning a blind eye to the obvious, but then again, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.


    • Gen. Stoopnagle

      Dan Mullen?


    • Mike

      In addition to Dan Mullen, the current AD at UGA knew.

      As did the current WR coach at LSU

      As did the NCAA (assuming Florida released Cam’s academic records to them)

      So did the admissions office at the JUCO he attended

      So did the admisions office at Auburn.

      A Florida source of the leak might be the most likely source, but that is by no means the only possible source.


      • Normaltown Mike

        I’d be highly surprised if a high level employee of any institution released this data.

        Is it possible a student leaked this?

        Many schools have a student representative on the Judiciary Board or Honor Court or whatever else they call it. If Cam was caught cheatin’ he might well have come before one of these. Some dorky Senior from Lakeland is more likely to spring a “juicy” story IMHO.


        • gastr1

          The law is called the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Eevryone in academia has to go through a training session on its application and importance. It’s a very serious issue that no one working on a college campus can not know about.

          That alone leads me to believe it would have been a student or teammate that leaked this stuff.


  5. Max

    Barnhart is the David Broder of the college football media.


  6. Scorpio Jones, III

    Back in the bad old Jan Kemp days I had the thought that the whole megillah was probably going to be good for college football…a cleansing as somebody else suggested. But, I just wished it was happening to Awbun, not Georgia.

    When the full Cam Newton story is finally adjudicated, which almost certainly won’t happen before Saturday, if almost any of the stories turn out to be true…any of them, Barnhart’s idea that Mike Slive should tell the coaches to keep their mouths shut will prove to be the ultimate example of closing the barn door too late.

    Making Tony’s new pontifical nickname Tony Barndoor.

    That the FBI has the time and resources to investigate college football recruiting instead of watching for terrorists trying to blow up the barn is a little scary.

    You gotta wonder if Ole Pet is not sitting on the bank of Saugahatchie Creek keeping a weather eye out for black helicopters over Awbun.

    It ain’t like Awbun has not had controversy to deal with before.

    It appears Awbun has attracted the attention of the sharks, yet again.


  7. D.N. Nation

    I know they’re just getting all sorts of yucks off of this, but there’s some bad news the brain trusts in Gainesville and Starkville need to realize: Auburn too has its large array of well-moneyed boosters and hacky media stenographers, and the road of slime goes two ways.

    Meanwhile, can we just play the games? Sheesh.


  8. Go Dawgs!

    No thanks, Mr. Firefighter. We don’t need you to put out the burning house. We’d prefer that you go next door and beat up the guy who called in to 911 and reported it was on fire.


  9. Russ

    When it comes to compliance, the SEC is like the old Georgia Championship Wrestling I used to watch on channel 17, and Mike Slive is the Scrappy McGowan of referees. What would Gordon Solie say about all this?


  10. Mike

    I used to like Tony quite a bit. It seems his columns are in danger of jumping the shark.


    • Agreed. Between this and the “Todd Grantham should be suspended for the choke gesture” fainting-couch episode from last week, Tony seems to have traded in interesting football writing for a shot at National Scold. I hope this transformation isn’t permanent.


  11. AthensHomerDawg

    I particularly enjoyed the part of the interview where Schad states….”the NCAA doesn’t investigate rumors”.
    Really? Imagine that.


  12. CNBC

    “That policy was put in place for one purpose and one purpose only: so that the conference could control the spin.”

    I believe it was put in place to sweep things under the rug. The policy was implemented at the same time Slive made it known he was going to have the SEC probation free in 3 or 4 years.

    People were not going to stop doing what they do just because Slive waved a magic wand.

    The problem with the above, of course, is that Slive was beyond naive to think Miss State, Florida, whomever would condone actions like Auburn’s, unless they believed that Auburn had dirt on them, which apparently they don’t.


  13. Biggus Rickus

    Assuming these MSU recruiters are telling the truth, how hard do you think the NCAA will come down on Auburn once they’re able to prove this? I mean, given that it’s a direct payment to get a player to come to school and the coaches would seemingly have known about it would it be as bad as Florida’s probation? They won’t ever give anyone the death penalty again, but considering they’re trying to crack down on this stuff, the punishment is likely to be pretty severe.


    • bort

      Georgia will be assessed a 15 yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff . . .


    • Will (the other one)

      It’d be less than what Bama got for Albert Means (Bama had been on probation recently when that happened) and less than USC (as that also involved hoops, and it was a far bigger stretch for the coaches to be totally unaware of it), but it’d still hurt a bit and set back the Aubbies in a bad way.


  14. Bryant Denny

    I don’t understand the last sentence of the quote above. “The person who gave misinformation?”

    Is Mr. CFB implying that the stories aren’t true?

    An Alabama beat writer I follow on twitter commented yesterday that college athletes sign waivers related to grades. The idea is that without these waivers, nobody could be nominated for all-academic teams, etc. Anybody know if this is true?


    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Awbun don’t worry bout no academic awards.

      “Our academics are as transparent as…..uhh, well….”

      At other schools, there is a process for the release of this information for academic sports awards, but the decision for consideration resides with the individual school or program.

      I.E.—-nobody with bad grades would have their grades released to whoever sponsors the academic awards.


    • AlphaDawg

      I think the waivers have to do with allowing professor’s to keep coachs aware of a player’s academics/grade/honor rolls.


      • gastr1

        No, that’s just FERPA in action. Certain people are given access–the ones who need it, like coaches, admincritters, and faculty.

        Notably, a waiver must be signed to give parents access.


  15. 69Dawg

    As an attorney I look to the motive behind any action. What possible reason could MSU have to make up a story that if it is proved false would bring the NCAA down on them. If the two MSU recruiters have indeed talked to the NCAA and have stated that the Newton’s did say what they said they said then two people over which the NCAA has absolute control will have lied and they won’t coach college football for a long time. I mean being PO’ed about losing a recruit is one thing but losing my job to take revenge is a whole different matter. By the way ESPN only poured gas on the fire with the Marcus Dupree 30-30 last night. At least Texas didn’t finger OU for paying off. Could not help but think about how well Herschel turned out and how badly Marcus was used and abused. Sad story really.


    • BMan

      I was thinking the same thoughts 69Dawg as I watched the Marcus Dupree story. It was interesting that his uncle said the most he was offered by any school was $40,000 (and those were 1981-82 dollars). What’s that worth, about $200K now? And I thought of how clean Herschel and Bo looked in comparison. Interestingly, Marcus Dupree got some very bad advice from a reverend connected with Southern Miss. At the end of the Dupree story, I got the impression that seeing old clips of himself, he was left thinking, “Damn, what did I throw away?”


  16. shane#1

    Bman, What did He throw away? Everything. I remember what Neon Dion said about the “free shoes” incident, “Man, that’s so stupid! Kids throwing away million dollar careers for chump change!” I am not ready to convict Cam yet. His Dad could have taken the money without Cam’s knowledge, or Rogers could be lying. As for cheating, that was two years ago and Cam missed a season of BCS ball in JC, so I don’t think any cheating he did back then would affect him now. It just seems strange to me that none of this came out untill AU goes undefeated. After all, the NCAA has been investigating for months. If the Wartigers were five and five nobody would care.


  17. Bulldog Joe

    The academic allegations are pointless and against the law, but the pay-to-play allegations are not.

    If the SEC chooses not to pursue documented allegations of wrongdoing by one of its member institutions, what other recourse does a reporting institution have other than to take it to the press?

    The SEC is not going to do anything that would get in the way of that second BCS team and the millions of dollars that come with it.

    The NCAA, representing the other conferences and institutions, is the only organization who has a strong enough interest in stepping in and resolving the issue.

    It likely never happens unless the press gets involved.


  18. mike

    ‘Bulldog Joe’ is right. The academic issues besmirch a reputation — “My goodness, Newton cheated on tests?” — but that isn’t going to cost any probation. How in the world did the SEC office — which PRESUMABLY should be hell-bent on following up on a claim from one of its OWN schools — let Mississippi State slide for months after the league asked for more info on Newton’s recruitment? How about asking Slive that?