Category Archives: See You In Court

“We don’t dance to their tune.”

Just when you thought the Ole Miss shitstorm couldn’t possibly get more popcorn-worthy…

A business in Oxford, Miss., has filed a civil complaint alleging defamation that could reverberate through the University of Mississippi’s ongoing NCAA case. Rebel Rags LLC, an Oxford-based clothing company, filed the complaint Friday in Lafayette County Circuit Court.

The suit alleges defamation in the NCAA testimony of two Mississippi State football players, Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones, and also Lindsey Miller, the estranged stepfather of former Rebel star Laremy Tunsil. In Ole Miss’s response to the NCAA’s notice of allegations last week, it attempts to deny the allegations that two recruits and the family member of a recruit—Lewis, Jones and Miller—received a total of $2,800 in gear from Rebel Rags.

Sports Illustrated spoke Sunday evening with Rebel Rags’s attorney, Charles Merkel, who explained that the store “has caught the broadside of lies.” The suit has yet to become public because it was filed on Friday afternoon and has yet to register in the court’s computer system.

There’s no way that case winds through the court system as quickly as the NCAA decides what to do with the school.  That can only mean one thing:  when does Ole Miss ask the NCAA to put its investigation on hold until Rebel Rags can get a little justice?

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5 Comments

Filed under Freeze!, See You In Court, The NCAA

Thursday morning buffet

Back to the chafing dishes, folks.

  • The NCAA refused to let Ed Orgeron speak at a charity event because… education.
  • Another day, another concussion lawsuit.
  • Latest national title odds have Georgia at 25-1.
  • Dan Wolken asks, “Why is Ole Miss going to these incredible lengths to protect Hugh Freeze?”  It’s a fair question.
  • Here’s al.com’s latest SEC hot seat ratings.
  • Can you name the five college programs that have appeared in every AP preseason Top 25 poll since 2005?  (I bet you can name the only one of those five that hasn’t played for a national title during that stretch.)
  • The NBA commissioner is struggling with the one-and-done issue.  Here’s an opinion piece that argues one-and-done hasn’t been that bad for colleges.

36 Comments

Filed under Freeze!, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, See You In Court, Stats Geek!, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Lawyerin’ up

Really, who could have guessed?

Midway through a nine-month probe into Baylor University’s institutional response to sexual violence, the investigating law firm and the university revised their legal relationship to, in anticipation of litigation, conceal the investigation’s most damning findings, documents filed in a Title IX lawsuit initiated by 10 alleged sexual assault victims state.

Communications between high-ranking Baylor officials and a Pepper Hamilton LLP attorney reflect the shift in relationship to establish attorney-client privilege around the investigation…

Even Penn State didn’t pull that stunt.

It’s crap like this that reinforces for me the uselessness of insisting that it’s up to the NCAA to do something about Baylor.  Put aside for the moment that this really isn’t a situation where the NCAA has any real authority to take action.  The reality is that Baylor has already cleaned house on the athletics side, with both the coaches and the athletic director dismissed, so even if the NCAA had any sort of mandate, all it would be doing is punishing people who had nothing to do with the problem.

What’s left to be addressed, then, is how the school’s administration enabled the entire corrupt enterprise by turning a blind eye to it as long as it could, partially because it was inadequately structured to deal with the problem, partially because key players were more than willing to turn a blind eye because Briles’ program was winning games.  The institution needs to pay a severe price for that.

The only way schools are going to learn that there’s a substantial risk in not monitoring athletics responsibly is if they get nuked, financially speaking.  And, like it or not, that’s only going to happen through litigation.

The university has argued that the claims of the alleged victims are vague, uninformed or untrue. It has also argued in a filing that some of the women have declined to sign authorizations enabling Baylor to review counseling and health records…

The plaintiffs’ motion also alleges former Baylor board Chairman Neal “Buddy” Jones, who left the board in 2013, possesses student email accounts, medical records and other relevant documents. Jones, who was subpoenaed by Dunnam, has not turned over documents because Baylor has not authorized him to do so, according to the filing.

“There is simply no basis by which Baylor can argue that plaintiffs are not entitled to plaintiffs’ own records and information,” the motion states.

That should be especially so when the institution hasn’t shown a shred of remorse to the victims.

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Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues, See You In Court

Suing over suing

Maybe it’s just that the NCAA likes being in court.

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Proof that amateurism makes people stupid

How can the people who run our nation’s universities sound this clueless?

His football program is installing new football lockers that cost an eye-popping $10,500 each, but Texas President Gregory L. Fenves “cannot comprehend” paying UT athletes.

That’s the main takeaway from an interview Fenves gave for a class-action antitrust lawsuit filed against the NCAA. The lawsuit seeks to challenge what schools can give to athletes playing football and men’s and women’s basketball.

The notes from the interview, first discovered by USA Today, were taken during an interview on Feb. 22 and attached to a legal filing. Fenves was one of five current or former university administrators interviewed by Kenneth Elzinga, an expert for the defense.

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart and former Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke were also interviewed. A UT spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday.

Fenves told Elzinga that he “cannot comprehend how athletics could be a part of university life” if athletes were paid like professionals. The UT president related an anecdote of going to a men’s basketball game this season and watching freshman Jarrett Allen, although his name is mentioned specifically.

Allen, described in general terms, was a “a very good basketball player, but he also makes mistakes ‘like a freshman,’” according to Elzinga’s notes. If Allen was paid like a professional, fans may watch him make “stupid turnovers” and may choose not to come watch him play.

So, over the top lockers, lavish training facilities and all the other bells and whistles players receive that regular students never get a whiff of don’t cause any dismay in the general student population, but Johnny Football getting a check for his work or his likeness/endorsement — something any of them can do now, but the players can’t — is somehow a bridge too far?

Tough call between stupidity and outright denial right there.  Should make for a fun deposition, though.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, See You In Court, The NCAA

You come at the king, you best not miss.

Omar might have told University of Florida vice president, general counsel and university secretary Jamie Keith it probably wasn’t the best idea to cultivate Huntley Johnson as an enemy.  At least not if you couldn’t finish the job.

The Gainesville Sun speculates that the battle between the two high-powered attorneys may have started over a complaint filed against Johnson’s client, UF football player Antonio Callaway.

According to an ESPN report, a woman who alleged that Callaway sexually assaulted her opted to file a complaint with the university rather than a police report about the incident.

Callaway was cleared last August after the alleged victim boycotted her Title IX hearing because a UF booster and student-athlete-turned-lawyer was overseeing the proceeding.

In January, the UF legal department hired Tallahassee attorney Mark Herron to investigate Johnson’s professional conduct. That same month, Johnson began requesting dozens of public records related to Keith, including her personnel file and emails.

Johnson filed a suit in February against the school and Keith.  He did this, too.

Johnson submitted a statement to the school’s board of trustees saying that an investigation into Keith’s competence and ethics is needed and “respectfully suggest[ing] that she is not the right person to be the general counsel of the University of Florida.”

It appears he’s winning.

University of Florida General Counsel Jamie Keith, under investigation following a complaint alleging misconduct, has been placed on administrative leave.

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said it would be inappropriate to discuss the reason for the move while the investigation is underway. Keith continues to be paid her $389,500 annual salary, Sikes said.

Keith had agreed to take annual leave once the investigation by UF’s Office of Internal Audit was launched.

By the way, don’t miss reading the rest of that Gainesville Sun piece.  You know when a story starts off with “… she so inflamed former UF Athletics Director Jeremy Foley that he wrote in an email to her four days before he retired on Oct. 1, 2016, that he was thankful he would no longer be working with her”, it’s gonna be a good one.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., See You In Court