This is some article. And this is some lede.
The warning came in December.
Huntley Johnson, a local attorney known for representing University of Florida athletes who get into trouble, wasn’t happy. His client, a star wide receiver, had been accused of sexual assault, and even though the athlete had been cleared by the university, Mr. Johnson criticized the process.
So he sent the university some demands. In a letter, he requested changes in how sexual-assault cases are handled, including how accused students are treated during an investigation. He also wanted the university to pay nearly $400,000 of the legal fees of the football player, Antonio Callaway.
If those conditions weren’t met, Mr. Johnson wrote, there would be consequences.
“It saddens us to think of the publicity that will be generated,” he told the university, “and the incredible amount of money that will be lost in the pursuit of remedies that should be reached quietly, quickly between the parties.”
Give Huntley credit where credit’s due. He’s done exactly what he promised.
A month later, when the university hadn’t complied, Mr. Johnson showed he was a man of his word. He essentially declared war against his own alma mater and launched a barrage of public-records requests. He has filed more than 75 such requests since January.
The thousands of pages of records he obtained reveal numerous unflattering details about the University of Florida, including pornography purchases by a top administrator and improper spending on a new presidential house.
The continuing battle provides a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of one of the nation’s top public-research universities. It’s also a lesson in the disruption and damage that can occur when someone deeply connected to a university goes rogue.
Month after month, the university has been pummeled by negative headlines in The Gainesville Sun, just as Mr. Johnson promised. Is his crusade a form of accountability? Is it vengeance? Maybe it’s both.
With more to come, evidently.
The public pressure on Mr. Fuchs is likely to continue. After all, Mr. Johnson is still peppering the university with records requests.
Are more shoes about to drop?
“Unfortunately,” Mr. Johnson says, “this is not a two-legged animal. The answer to your question is yes.”
Never stand between a lawyer who knows where all the bodies are buried and his bill.
Greg Sankey’s chest has got to swell with pride knowing that “SEC football coaching sex scandals” is a topic worthy enough for a slideshow. Talk about conference depth!
Man, for somebody who analyzes college football for a living, David Pollack sure sounds a lot like us kibitzers when he assesses Georgia’s upcoming season.
Even Ole Miss.
If the NCAA slaps a two-year penalty on the program, I wonder how many of those same kids are going to hightail it for greener pastures.
While I appreciate he’s matured since his college days and acknowledge that this is a nice story, I can’t help but notice that even when somebody tries to shine a kind light on the only non-Dawg worthy of consideration as a member of the UGA Football Hall of Fame, reality keeps intruding.
Ball never will escape his pass on fourth down later that season against Georgia, a pass thrown intentionally out of bounds as Ball escaped heavy pressure by running out of the pocket. He’ll never live down his interceptions in key moments, such as on Tech’s final play on offense in each of Ball’s final two games against Georgia, both decided by a touchdown or less. In the game that Tech fans want to win most every season, Ball never captured the moment in the chances he received.
He had two wins against Clemson, two wins against Miami — including a massive upset when the Hurricanes were ranked No. 3 in the country — and two wins in two tries over Auburn. But fair or not, he’s still mainly remembered for those games against the Bulldogs.
Oh, it’s fair, dog. In fact, you may not be giving him sufficient credit for that part of his legacy.
By the way, there’s such a thing as a season when Tech fans don’t want to beat Georgia? It’s a real shame for Reggie Ball that he never played in one of those.
As far as Dan Wolken’s advice goes about coach-worship, I can take it or leave it, because that’s not the world we live in, but his think-piece is totally worth reading just to find this out:
Whatever Freeze was doing to make enemies across the Southeast, it was often hard to distinguish what rival coaches saw as the greater transgression — the program’s loose relationship with the NCAA rulebook or his in-your-face piety.
Coaches who recruited against Freeze didn’t merely roll their eyes at him, and they certainly didn’t laugh, except when it came to the nickname a few called him behind his back: Jimmy Swag.
Jimmy Swag is an awesome enough tag that I wish its creator would step forward and claim every accolade due him.