There is a good deal of fallout from the USC debacle.

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During the cold war, the USSR had a department of Revisionist History. When a leader was overthrown he would be removed from history like he never existed. There just is not many job opportunities for a used dictator. The same thing is going on at USC.

Every trace of both Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo are being removed from the school. Pictures are coming down and press books are being updated. The USC President-Elect C. L. Max Nikias announced that the school’s Heisman Trophy for Reggie Bush would be returned. The previous was a political announcement intended to win favor with the NCAA as USC appeals the two year suspension from post season play. Don’t expect that will win the school much favor.

USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett was fired and former USC QB and current Notre Dame football color guy Pat Haden was named to replace him. Former Head Coach Pete Carroll already saw the writing on the wall and slipped out of town in the middle of the night for points north. He ended up getting the Seahawk job.

But the fallout goes a lot further than that. According to a source that would not speak on the record at the NCAA several other schools are now being looked at for similar violations. The rumor is that the list include North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. The problem with these schools resulted from a party at South Beach in Miami. The NCAA is looking into who paid for the airfare, lodging and other costs associated with the party. Several sports agents were there and the suspicion is that they paid for the trips. One player that was identified is Bama DL Marcel Dareus. Head Coach Nick Saban told ESPN “Our [university] compliance people are looking into it.”

The University of Florida is also being looked at. That investigation involves ex-Florida OC Maurkice Pouncey and a charge that he took $100,000 from someone affiliated in an agent between the SEC Conference Championship game and the bowl win over Cincy.

The NCAA has stumbled around like a drunk walking up a down escalator. It took more than 4 years to finally issue a decision about Bush. It has to do better and get to an answer faster. The result is that the penalty is paid by people that were in junior high when the violation took place. That is not fair.

The NCAA has been put in an untenable situation by the NBA requiring players to have been out of high school for a year before becoming eligible for the rookie draft. The one and done just invites problems. The OJ Mayo case is only the shavings off the tip of the ice berg. There are certainly many other such problems in just the 2 years that one and done has been in effect.

But the real problem is the agents. There are way too many dollars to be made by signing a potential 1st round pick. There has been no penalty against the agents that have provided the money.

The NCAA, the players’ associations and the professional leagues are going to have to work together to solve that problem. The leagues are going to have to agree to suspend an agent for a period of time for the first violation of NCAA rules. A second should permanently ban the agent from the business and suspend the agency for which he works for a period of time as well. A third violation within a sports agency should result in the ban of that agency ownership from ever being certified again.

That would be a proposal that the NCAA should make. If the professional groups refuse to go alone, the NCAA should restrict access of pro scouts and coaches to the member schools. While that won’t guarantee the problem would never occur again, it would put the penalty where it belongs–on the agent.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA,College football,investigation,USC,Florida. North Carolina,South Carolina,Alabama,Agents,Bush,Mayo

A tale of two NCAA Violations.

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Both the Michigan and the USC football programs have been sited by the NCAA and are under investigation. However, that is where the similarity stops.

Michigan

The second most impressive fact about the Michigan football program is that it has the most wins in NCAA history. The most impressive fact is that the Michigan program has never before been sited for a violation. This time they were investigated for having practices during and before the regular season that exceeded the permitted length.

Coach Rich Rodriguez was ratted out by a couple of his former players. They didn’t like the practices but more than that they didn’t like the system that Rodriguez bought from West Virginia. The biggest problem for the program is not the NCAA but the fact that the Michigan faithful don’t like Rodriguez or his system much either.

Rodriguez changed the system from the Big 10 traditional run first and pocket passing to the unique quarterback-centric run and shoot style. That has cost him top recruits by the former staff including now Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett who will compete for the top QB in the 2011 NFL Draft. Michigan fans that had seen their team lose year after year to “that team down south” (Ohio State) were thrilled when Mallett signed to play for the Blue. The fans demanded that Coach Carr be fired after the Blue lost to Appalachian State 34-32 on Sept. 1 2007. Those same fans were furious when Mallett left and sat out in 2008 to be able to play for another BCS school. He knew he would never shine in the Rodriguez scheme.

Rodriguez didn’t have a Michigan pedigree never having coached or played for the team. Strike 1.

No change in the basic system in football has an immediate improvement in the bottom line–the win and loss record. In his first 2 seasons, Rodriguez was 8-16. That was strike 2.

And now despite the insignificant nature of the NCAA violation, it may well become the 3rd and final strike. As trivial as this violation is, it might be the excuse to fire Rodriguez.

USC

In total contrast to Michigan, USC is the champion of the R E A L L Y B I G NCAA violation. If you need any evidence about how serious the list of infractions at USC are, just consider that Coach Pete Carroll beat feet out of town. He left a 4M salary despite 2 national championships, a 34 game winning streak, 3 Heisman Trophy winners, 6 BcS bowl wins, 33 straight weeks as #1 in the AP, and a total record of 97-19. USC hired Tennessee HC Lane Kiffin who was a walking talking violation himself.

USC has now had 6 “substantial” violations since 1953 when the NCAA began tracking school’s records. That also makes them #1 but this list is not so prestigious.

The “latest” problem, if you can call something that started in 2006 recent, is the parents of Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush getting the rent of a house and other gifts totally a reported 280K. A federal investigation of extortion claims by Bush against a “want to be” sports agent resulted in the discovery tapes of conversations about the payments and gifts. There are also allegations that 2009 star RB Joe McKnight received illegal payments and gifts. The NCAA has yet to decide the guilt or penalty if any for the case.

The violation bug must be contagious because the basketball team caught it. Prize recruit O.J. Mayo was in trouble more than he was not. The NCAA investigated a claim by Yahoo Sports that Mayo received money and gifts in the amount of 200K from a sports agent. USC notified the NCAA that it was imposing sanctions on itself and nothing else resulted.

What were the sanctions? The loss of 1 scholarship for 2 years, the vacating of the wins in 2007-08 (when Mayo played) and a reduction in recruiting days and number of coaches that can recruit for 2 seasons. That is a very light penalty.

There is no question that the violations of USC far outstrip the single violation of Michigan. In addition USC has had a history of academic issues, money to recruits and other problems including arrests of players. And yet the NCAA seems to give USC a pass for their problems and I can not explain why.

When in doubt, follow the money. The problem with the NCAA is they are too interested in money and not interested enough in the welfare of their players and basic fairness of the game.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA,NCAA Football,USC,Bush,Mayo,Michigan,Rodriguez,Mallett,Carr,violations,McKnight,Yahoo Sports,NCAA Investigations
  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 18th, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Editorial: USC made a HUGE mistake in picking Lane Kiffin.

Editorial: USC made a HUGE mistake in picking Lane Kiffin.

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Let me put it this way. If you are being audited by the IRS, would you call a convicted tax cheat to represent you? I don’t think so.

There is no doubt that USC is in for some heavy penalties from the NCAA for recruiting violations. RB Bush’s parents reportedly got free housing, OJ Mayo reportedly got paid for a job he never did, and now there is the case of RB McKnight. The basketball program announced “self inflicted” penalties. That is like sending your 10 year old to his room for not doing his homework when he has his play station, lap top and television to keep him entertained. Nice idea but it doesn’t hold water.

So what did the pinheads at USC do? They hired the walking talking poster boy for foot in the mouth Lane Kiffin to be the new HC. Understand that this is the same Kiffin that got a reprimand from the NCAA for mistakenly claiming that Florida had committed a violation by contacting a player on a visit to Tennessee. This is the same Kiffin that after the first year of his tenor at Rocky Top has the NCAA starting an official investigation into his recruiting practices. This is the same Kiffin regime that is being looked at already for contacting recruits committed to Tennessee after he was named the pick of USC. Those calls were supposedly made by some of the staff he is taking with him. He has only been the USC guy for a week and already he is being checked out by the NCAA.

I hate to break the news to the folks at USC but hiring Kiffin is just going to make the NCAA mad.

That will hurt their chances of preventing stiffer penalties not help convince investigators they are doing their best to correct previous problems.

Given the number of investigations into multiple sports, there is clearly an institutional problem at USC. The Kiffin hire is going to throw gas on a fire that has already consumed most of the Trojan house. You can bet that Kiffin will stumble into another few violations before the NCAA is finished with their investigation. Most of the rest of the College football world is hoping that Kiffin will give himself and USC just enough rope to hang the future of the team for years to come. No matter what happens, by hiring Kiffin the school deserves whatever it gets.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: USC,NCAA,Investigation,violations,Kiffin,Tennessee,Taxes,IRS

Tuesday Morning QB: Close but no cigar for the Bills and the Raiders.

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Monday night football:

Both Oakland and Buffalo came close to winning their opening games but both fell just short.

BF @ NE

The Bills played unbelievably well. The Bills Defense provided a second way to defeat the Pats—Tampa 2 with pressure. The Pats did not look good. QB Brady was not nearly as accurate as he was in the preseason. That will come with time. But two things that will not improve much with time are the Pat D and the O line. The running game of the Bills is half of what it will be when the star RB Marshawn Lynch returns from NFL suspension. Even so, the Bills running game gashed the Pats D for 4.7 yards per attempt. The Pats D will miss Seymour who was traded to Oakland for a 2011 1st round draft choice that might never be made due to a work stoppage. During the game Pat MLB Mayo was hurt the extent of which is under the protection of Belichick Security Inc. The D backfield has never been good and will suffer this year because of less pressure on the QB that Seymour produced in previous seasons.

The Bills O looked much better than it did in the preseason. New O Coordinator Van Pelt put a great game plan together. The D held the Pats running game to 3.2 yards per attempt. The only reason the Bills lost at NE was the fumble of the kick return with just over 2 minutes left that gave the Pats the ball at the Bills 30.

SD @ Oak

Oakland looked outstanding on D. But they have had the best D under the radar in the league for a couple of years. The D is clearly better with Seymour moving all over the line causing havoc.

The O was a different matter. The one guy that cost Oakland this game and many others to come is QB(?) Russell. He gives inconsistency a bad name. He went 12 for 30 attempts for 208 yards most of which was on run after the catch. He threw 2 interceptions and 1 TD. The Raider running game was working well but they will face 47 guys in the box unless Russell can become more of a threat passing the ball.

The frustrating thing about the QB is that on one play he will make a great read and perfect throw and on the next toss a pick that will make you wonder what he was thinking—or if he was thinking at all.

The Raiders are also starting the wrong RB. Bush is the guy that should be the prime back. He is not as fast as he was in Louisville because of his leg being full of steel. But he does not fumble and can move the pile. Nothing encourages an O lineman to drive his guy out of the hole better than a 240 RB bashing into his backside. The Raiders ran the ball very well. The O line has gotten better under Coach Cable. The team also makes fewer mistakes. They committed only 6 penalties to the 9 that were called on the Chargers.

The Charger running game works better with Sproles than it does with Tomlinson. LT doesn’t look 100 percent. He has lost a step now that he is 30. It may be rust but don’t bet on it. I predict that he will not have the kind of season that Fantasy players want to see.

LB Merriman also looks more than a step slow. He is coming back from a tough injury. It takes a full 15 months to come back from that. He will get better as time goes on. Even with 1.5 legs, he is better than any of the bench guys.

Around the league

Bear all pro MLB Bryan Urlacker is out for the year. He had his broken wrist operated on yesterday. This will hurt the team badly and they will not make the playoffs.

Eagle QB McNabb has a broken rib. Two things must be said about this injury. First, the team says that we will be back in a week or two. I have had 12 broken ribs after being hit by a car. I can guarantee you that he will be out more than a week or two. If the rib is still broken and a 300+ DT falls on him, it could drive the rib into his lung which is life threatening.

Second, the rules have to be changed about tackling a player in the endzone. The second a player has possession of the ball and breaks the plain of the goaline, the ball is dead and it is a TD. McNabb was hit 6 yards into the endzone by 2 Giants. That has to be a penalty.

Ex-Raider QB Jeff Garcia was signed by the Eagles. He played with the Eagles in 2006 and started 6 games.

The Williams boys DTs for the Vikes won their case against the NFL to prevent the league from suspending them for being detected having taken a banned substance. This decision has huge implications and I will discuss them here tomorrow.

Comm. Goodell said this week he would make a decision on the Jets and Coach Mangini’s failure to put QB Favre on the injury list soon. This is worth watching just for the comedy value.

The Browns looked much better than I expected. Check out my article on which will be up on Thursday.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Monday Night Football,NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Bills,Patroits,Chargers,Raiders,Lynch,Belichick,Seymour,Mayo,Russell,Tomlison,Merriman,Ulacker,McNabb,rules,Garcia,Williams,court case,Goodell,Browns,NFLDraftdog

The Pats hope Brady is Brady.

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QB Tom Brady had the most replayed and discussed injury in the recent history of the NFL in game 1 last year. All Coach Bill Belichick wants is his QB back to where he was before the injury. All reports are positive and it looks like Brady is back at close to 100%. The Pats have added some key veterans that make the team better. That’s all very bad news for the rest of the AFC.

Over the last few years, the Pats have been plugging in younger players. Last year, they went 11-5 without the best QB in the league. Now they have him back and the team will be much better than 07 or 08. There is no experience behind him.

The running game is a lot more solid that it looks from the outside. It is deep and talented. Starter Laurence Maroney has underachieved and has been injury prone but help has arrived in the form of vet Fred Taylor. Maroney will have to improve or Taylor will get the majority of carries. Vets Sammy “the versatile” Morris and Kevin Faulk the 3rd down back are joined by rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis in reserve.

As if the receiver corps didn’t have enough speed, the Pats added the aged but still fast Joey Galloway to Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Welker should be totally uncovered with so much D attention having to be given to Moss and Galloway. Greg Lewis and Brandon Tate are capable backups. TE remains a trouble spot.

The offensive line is back intact and is solid but unknown. That is just the way Belichick likes it. T Matt Light and G Logan Mankins hold down the blind side while the much improved G Stephen Neal and T Nick Kaczur are on the right. C Dan Koppen is as good as any in the league and has the advantage of working against one of the best NTs in the league Vince Wilfork everyday in practice. The reserves may change but the starters are mostly young and all solid.

The key to the NE D is the front three and there is more than a little tension there. While Es Richard Seymour and Ty Warren are quiet, Wilfork is unhappy and clamoring for a new deal. But he will be there deal or not. The front three have been outstanding at defending both the pass and the run. They work seamlessly with the backers to provide more different looks than there are snowflakes in New England in the winter. Key reserves are T Titus Adams and E Jarvis Green and swing man Le Kevin Smith.

Grizzled vet IB Tedy Bruschi gets a second year to work with running mate in Jerod Mayo. Mayo had an outstanding rookie year after learning to do his job rather than freelancing. Brushi and Belichick will keep him under control and continue to get the maximum out of his unique athletic ability. OB Adalius Thomas is outstanding and Pierre Woods finally gets a shot at starting because of the retirement of Junior Seau (we think). Reserve Shawn Crable would start for most NFL teams.

The youth movement has hit the D backfield as well. The new starters at safety will be James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather who ended up playing a lot last year due to injury. Rookie Patrick Chung looked very good in OTAs and is challenging for a starting spot. CB Shawn Springs will start on one side but the other CB is totally up in the air. The leader going into training camp is Terrence Wheatley who had the job last year but is returning from injury. Vets Leigh Bodden and Darius Butler will both challenge Wheatley for his job. Bodden was signed as a FA and just a couple of years ago was considered one of the better CBs in the league and still has some skills.

OVERALL: The Pat haters will not like this but look for NE to get back to the AFC Championship game and perhaps the Super Bowl. They are the most likely to win it all.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Patroits,Belichick,Wilfork,Brady,Maroney,Taylor,Galloway,Moss,Light,Bruschi,Springs,Sanders,Super Bowl,AFC

USC Coach is forced out due to bad O.J.

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The latest victim of the NBA one and done policy for NBA rookies is Tim Floyd, the former coach of the USC basketball team. The NCAA is more than a little miffed that former one year wonder O.J. Mayo might have gotten free NBA tickets. They were even more upset about rumors that Mayo may have gotten both cash and cloths that may have amounted to thousands of dollars.

But what forced Floyd out of town was a rumor that Mayo had someone else take his SAT exam. Frankly, USC threw Floyd under the team bus even though the coach led the team to 3 straight NCAA tournaments.

The reason that Floyd ended up with political tire tracks across his chest is that the school’s beloved and very profitable football program is currently being scrutinized for previous allegations involving Reggie Bush. USC loves its basketball but not nearly as much as its football.

USC has some major issues. It reminds me of an interview with former Oklahoma LB Brian Bosworth. When asked how he liked pro ball he responded it was OK but the cut in pay was hard to take. The comment was a joke but there are major problems with college athletics.

The biggest problem is money—there is WAY too much of it floating around. The money has led to an NCAA rule book that makes the IRS rule book look like a pamphlet. But the NFL and NBA are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.

That brings us to the NBA rule that a player must be one year out of high school before they can be drafted. It causes players that have 0 interest in college to fake it for one quarter. They don’t have to attend class in the second quarter because they will be out of school before the grades come back.

The alternative to a single year at college is a trip to Europe to play. It is both difficult and dangerous. The league has to eliminate the policy. It has the developmental league for players that are not good enough to be drafted. It needs to expand that program to include these players. Right now, there are not enough teams to allow each franchise to have their own. The league has decided that it will no longer allow teams to share developmental rosters.

It is past time for both the NCAA and the NBA to fix what they have broken. Until they do, other coaches will have political tire tracks across their chests just like Floyd.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA,NBA Draft,USC,COLLEGE BASKETBALL,COLLEGE FOOTBALL,NBA Development League,NCAA,Mayo,Floyd,Bush,Oklahoma, Bosworth

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