Cheaters never prosper. Well, maybe sometimes.

Some of the CBS pundits round up about 20% of the D-1 coaches to get their candidly anonymous answers to the musical question “How many college football programs do you believe knowingly break NCAA rules beyond minor secondary violations?“.

The answers are all over the place.

  • “Players are smart. When the game is over, they walk through the parking lot. When the tailgate is over, they may have $400-$500 before they get out of there. Players are smart. They may have scored a big touchdown or won a big game. There ain’t no question they’re getting something on the way. [A booster] is going to go downtown and say, ‘I just gave so and so $50 for dinner.’ … I guarantee [that sort of thing] is going to happen at Ole Miss and Alabama and Mississippi State and Tennessee and Texas probably and Oklahoma — for sure.”
  • “I think it’s way, way, way, way less than people think. There is that deal in the SEC and the ACC where they’re funneling money through … churches. [But] as soon as you pay some kids, they’re in charge of something. Think of some 18-year-old in charge of something. Call me too arrogant to pay some kid. I’m not paying some kid. Think of some kid saying, ‘I’m not getting the ball enough.’ Let me tell you something, pal …”
  • “Less than 10 percent [of schools cheat]. In today’s world, I want to believe it’s a minimum number. I always tell our coaches, ‘Sometimes today’s friend can be your worst enemy.’ I’m not going to put my job in jeopardy to let you meet with a kid an hour longer than we’re supposed to. All of the sudden he wants to transfer and he says, ‘They did this.’ Because of that, there are more teams closer to the book.”
  • “Out of the 130 FBS schools in FBS, I would say, in the SEC, 80 percent [knowingly cheat]. Everywhere else, about 20 percent.”
  • “[A coach will say to a student], ‘I’ll pay your law school if you spend your first five years working in the [NCAA] infractions department.’  I know it happens. I know the guy. He’s a good guy, but it’s 30 years ago, 25 years ago. You want to know everything that goes on. Bear Bryant used to say, ‘I want to know everything that goes on.'”

Really, that’s about as much insight as you could expect from a heated message board discussion on the topic.

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42 Comments

Filed under College Football

42 responses to “Cheaters never prosper. Well, maybe sometimes.

  1. 81Dog

    I can’t wait for the frenzied flurry of posts from Auburn fans assuring everyone they don’t cheat, ever.

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  2. 3rdandGrantham

    Over the years, based on what I know, bullet point #2 is most accurate, and that whole “80% of the SEC is cheating” is way off. Also, even though their is more money than ever in CFB, cheating has come way down since the 80’s and 90’s.

    There are two schools in the SEC who continue to cheat far more than others, and one just got caught. The UGA’s, UF’s, and even SCU’s of the world are quite clean, basically on par with most Big 10 and Pac 12 schools, though they’ll never believe it.

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  3. ASEF

    Lol. Not hard to figure out who the small school B1G and B12 coaches are, is it? We’d never do something like that at Indiana, because it wouldn’t make a difference, so why risk it?

    Also interesting that the most cited aversion is giving the kid leverage over a program. Not anything in the NCAA’s stated ideals.

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  4. Macallanlover

    I have no doubt the Top 40-50 schools all have some of the “hundred dollar handshake” type things occur regularly. That isn’t to say the school, or coaches, encourage that, it is just uncontrollable. That isn’t real cheating to me. As a fan, I would pick up a dinner check, or send a drink for a player and date, a high percentage would, imo.

    I do believe there is much less large scale cheating today than in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Just too much internet scrutiny and better ways to follow movements of cash and property. Plus, coaches are risking some big time dollars if they get caught up in something illegal these days.

    In the SEC, I feel Auburn and TN are the only certain dirty football programs, but there is always some type of corruption going on in Louisiana so LSU is likely to be a little dirty in a small time way. I don’t include Ole Miss because they were just dirty for a handful of years, were clumsy and so obvious about it they were immediately caught and will be nailed for it. Nationally, I would say ohio and USC are the dirtiest but I suspect the Domers have been dirtier longer (I am always suspicious of anything the Catholic Church controls). There are probably some things going on at Oregon but it is difficult to pin down because of the huge amounts of money Phil Knight throws around that campus. I think the new way of cheating involves benefits for the players’ families more than something directed to the athletes themselves.

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    • Otto

      If Auburn did cheat as many here accuse them of, do you think they got off because they did it that well, or they had the goods on their rival up north?

      Auburn does not have a history of beating the investigation.

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      • Macallanlover

        It is pretty well known that schools have bartered with the SEC office by providing info (TN specifically with Foolmer) and getting a pass on their transgressions. Doesn’t hurt that AU is based in Alabama either, they are connected. Remember the sweetheart deal AU got with Cammy? By every definition there was a violation of rules but the clincher of something dirty behind the scenes was the “flash suspension” of Newton the week of the UGA game which was followed 5 nano seconds later with a reinstatement. AU is a deal making machine, and now much of it, reportedly, goes through Coach Dye. No, I don’t have video but that lovely little village has smoke over it 12 months out of the year. So yeah, I think they do it well most of the time, and swap smut when necessary.

        Liked by 1 person

    • 3rdandGrantham

      Your last sentence is correct. Neither OSU or USC cheat, as they dont have to. USC in particular I’m almost certain is clean.

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      • Macallanlover

        USC’s Bushgate? They were caught red handed and still denied/fought it for almost a decade. That incident was better documented and public than even the ohio situations on boosters peddling autographed equipment for years and Claret’s sound system, or even Ole Miss’ temporary dip in the cheating pool. Anyone who takes that obvious an effort did not just do it once. They were raking in top athletes for years, similar to Bama, when there were plenty of attractive options. Yeah, they may not be Auburn dirty, but they played in the ditches.

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        • Otto

          No kidding and their basketball program was under sanctions too,

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        • 3rdandGrantham

          USC knew nothing of Bush’s family receiving housing until RB admitting it after the fact. USC fought the NCAA on the severity of punishment, not whether the act itself occured. An agent provided the benefit so Bush would sign with him after going to the NFL; USC had no skin in the game.

          Remember that USC is in LA and under the watchful eye of the media, unlike most college towns where the school has omnipotent power or can more easily sweep things under the rug.

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          • ASEF

            USC was a lot like Ole Miss’ situation with some aggravating factors.

            1) Smaller sports were caught dead to rights.
            2) While the NCAA is investigating/educating USC on compliance issues from (1), there’s a ton of smoke coming from the football program.

            Aggravating Factors:
            A) Compliance department at one point had something like 2 full time and 1 part time employee. For all sports.
            B) AD went around giving the NCAA the middle finger left and right in public statements.

            So, Dees and Co. punished the smoke through the smoking gun of Bush and twisted the knife because of the “screw you” attitude.

            Sort of what’s getting ready to happen to UNC and Ole Miss.

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          • Macallanlover

            His family moved to the area as I recall, USC knew that. They were security guards, bet USC knew that too. A school of higher education should know that security guards in Southern California don’t live in houses worth over $1MM nor relocate to be near their son. Bush was a fairly high profile player so I feel they weren’t totally blind to this, you may be more trusting. I don’t doubt the agent portion of your comment, but the school has to be sharper than that.

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  5. Russ

    Which Big Televen coach said that 80% of the SEC cheats? Sounds like Harbaugh or Corch.

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  6. dawgfan

    I know it’s not cheating, but nothing will ever top what was going at Penn State under Joe Paterno’s watch. Beyond corrupt, sickeningly abusive and criminal, it makes me wonder what else old Joe hid all those years.

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  7. sniffer

    Don Leeburn handing a current player $100 on North Campus after a game ain’t cheatin. Bobby Lowder handing a recruit $100 after a Lee Co home game is cheatin. See the difference? One is Auburn and the other ain’t.

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  8. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    There’s no economic incentive for head coaches at big programs to cheat. They all get paid very well, and that money is their’s to keep forever regardless of the won-loss record, AS LONG AS they don’t do anything to get the program in trouble.

    Which one reason why Hugh Freeze’s behavior has been so stupid.

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  9. scrambledawg

    It’s the wrong question to ask. There are really 3 camps of schools with regard to NCAA violations:

    1) Lilly white – cheating isn’t tolerated by the school or the boosters. Those that do cheat are left out in the cold and are no longer part of the program. This is like 2% of all schools. Stanford is the only one of them worth a flip. The rest are loser programs to begin with.
    2) Trying to do the right thing – This is most schools. Boosters still find ways to funnel money to players, but it’s not as common as most think. The school actively polices boosters and , itself, does a very good job of compliance. UGA is in this camp as are many other peer institutions.
    3) Cheaters to the core – This is where the administration is complicit with the boosters in finding ways to cheat. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Bama , Tennessee and Auburn are the standard bearers for this small subset of D-1 schools.

    **Final note: my post relates to football. D-1 hoops is as sleazy as it gets and everyone who is any good is , at best, turning a blind eye to what goes on there.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      OSU, Bama, and yes even UT are not cheating when it comes to recruiting from what I unserstand. Bama and OSU simply don’t have to cheat – hell Bama had a 4 star recruit agree to a greyshirt this spring just to have the opportunity to play in the future. That pretty much tells you all you need to know there.

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      • Macallanlover

        I will agree with you that the institutional program of Bama and Saban don’t have to cheat, and don’t, at least at the top. But both ohio and Bama have many off the chart boosters who can give them plausible deniability doing some work for them. I am not sure there are any other fan bases more committed to buying a title than those two. I firmly believe they are greasing the slide, but doubt either Scum or Satan has any direct role/knowledge. Some assistant or adviser would be my guess. As I said before, there are lots of dollars that change hands with all the top programs to some extent, perhaps more intense with those two.

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        • 3rdandGrantham

          Absolutely there are $100 handshakes taking place at both places. But guess what…we are doing the exact same thing too. From sources I know who don’t care about UGA, Bama, or OSU, they aren’t doing anything we aren’t doing ourselves too, and I can assure you we have plenty of passionate types who desperately want UGA to win a title.

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          • Macallanlover

            Really? You are so sharp, very impressive. I think I already said the Top 50 or so programs have that going on, frankly, that doesn’t bother me much. We are talking a whole different level when you are talking big boosters throwing major dollars around. Wouldn’t say there isn’t an occasional example of that at UGA over the past 20 years but we are not close to their level. We are Georgia after all, let one star go down for $300 and another for $1000. No, we are not playas in this game.

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      • Atticus

        You think so? Just research Nick’s Kids. Just research the Ladder at UK.

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      • ApalachDawg

        You are high if you think Bama doesn’t cheat. There is a reason Saban is a great recruiter of talent – $$$. Ask about parent recruiting trips to Biloxi casinos or visa cards that get left on tables

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  10. WF Dawg

    If Mark Richt ever writes his tell-all book one day, I want to know exactly what he said to Freeze on the phone after Tunsil flipped. I’d like to think he dog-cussed him for cheating.

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    • Otto

      ehh I can’t see Richt cussing but shuffling off saying, it will get you in the end.

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      • WF Dawg

        I’ve only heard it a few times from him, when he was most agitated. From what I gather about this situation, it might have been one of them.

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  11. ApalachDawg

    Auburn cheats because they are in the same state as Alabama. The elephants have cheating down to an art form – casinos, ATMs, church “building” funds. Auburn is still 2nd in their home state behind roll tide.
    Please know that I hate Auburn (since $cam and Fairley).
    Saban process is getting the best 44 players in college by whatever means necessary. It started at LSu and that process is still in place. He has turned it into Gordon Gecko empire at Bama.
    Oh yeh those hillbillies in Clemson are doing the same thing…

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  12. Southernlawyer11

    I tend to think cheating is always most likely to occur at the places that NEED to cheat. A place where fans are hungry for an excellence that has either never been there or SHOULD HAVE never been there based on logistics. The rural cow colleges that have mediocre football history and common sense tells you a young African-American, particularly if he was raised in a cosmopolitan locale, would have no interest in attending for obvious reasons.
    So who do I think probably cheats the most ? Probably Auburn and Clemson. I think Arkansas can probably get dirty at times, but Fayetteville is not a dump. Tennessse in the 90s cheated their *** off even though Knoxville doesn’t fit the aforementioned profile. Who knows what the Mississippi schools are doing. I’m not sure even they do. Basically, I think Auburn and Clemson are probably historically the worst because there is no LOGISTICAL reason that they should be any better than Mississippi State ……..it’s just that they capitalized during the heyday of cheating and built themselves enough of a history in that crucial timespan.

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    • Southernlawyer11

      I bet West Virginia cheats pretty frequently. I think teams in super white towns in Appalachia probably cheat. I know I’m throwing so many stereotypes out in one small sentence but does anybody disagree ?

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      • Macallanlover

        I would disagree they are more likely but would bet WVA has some dirt, as do many others. I wouldn’t put them near the top, especially for that reason.

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  13. Can someone please elaborate on this one?

    “I think it’s way, way, way, way less than people think. There is that deal in the SEC and the ACC where they’re funneling money through … churches. ”

    Off the top of my head, Auburn and Cam Newton come to mind but are they insinuating that Freeze, Dabo or even Richt are doing an end run around the rules using the church? How does that work even?

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  14. 69Dawg

    If the IRS can’t catch tax cheats who have cash businesses does any one really think the NCAA can catch individual boosters that transfer small to medium amounts of cash to players. The secret is to keep everybody’s mouth shut. Most boosters do the dirty for two reasons, they want to help the school but they also want some kind of recognition. So the cocktail/tailgate bragging starts.

    Additionally, the coach that said he didn’t want the player to have anything on the school was right. When I worked for the IRS the thing that impressed me most was that they pointed out that if you took a bribe the briber owned you. Guess what, the IRS was more interested in prosecuting the employee that took the bribe than the person who gave it so that was the case. Now the NCAA has, through it’s program of giving the player amnesty for snitching, flipped the table on the booster and the school. Once a player takes the money he owns the booster and the school. That’s one reason I don’t think it happens all that much in a big way.

    Had the guy that paid Todd for his autographs been a Georgia booster Todd would have skated and UGA would have been screwed. Because he was a Gator fan he owned Todd once the transaction was made and when Todd wouldn’t play along he took him down. In that case the NCAA had no one to go after but Todd. Frankly I’m surprised that more unscrupulous boosters from competing schools don’t try this reverse cash trick to eliminate the competition’s star players. Don’t think UF fans didn’t rejoice when Todd was suspended.

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