Editor’s note: This mailbag idea started as one post, but the answers ended up being longer than I anticipated. I’m breaking them down into smaller posts for your reading pleasure.
Q. Will anything come of Gadsden?
This question must come into my email five or 10 times per day. I don’t think I have the answer. My gut says, NO. I haven’t seen anything in the way of verifiable information. The people from Gadsden seem genuinely insulted by the cheating allegations, and I can’t blame them. What we do know is that some Auburn fans were outraged over Alabama’s recruiting success.
This started when Tuberville accused Saban of cheating; Finebaum was right despite what some Yahoo bloggers had to say about it. Assistant coaches echoed Tuberville’s allegations. Even their wives were calling into talk radio. One assistant coaches’ wife, identified at the time by Auburn fans as Amy, wife of Auburn assistant coach Steve Ensminger, called in to an Auburn sports talk show and had this to say:
â€œYou know what? Nobody is going to beat Nick Saban in this state,â€ Amy said. â€œNobody. Unless, well, they may get somebody in here now that will shake a hand and put a couple of hundred dollars in a recruits pockets like they did in the past. And that is probably what is going to happen. That is what they are looking for. They are looking for someone to buy players like Nick Saban does.â€
What we do know about the Gadsden allegations is Auburn fans have provided a packet filled with allegations to a â€œmajor media outletâ€, according to the Paul Finebaum Radio Network. Finebaum declined to specify the news outlet (or outlets) in possession of the packet. He called it a major media name.
Speculation centered on newspapers in the state of Alabama; however, given the already obvious ethics problems at Yahoo/Rivals, it would stand to reason that outlet would be targeted too.
We already know that Yahoo/Rivals.com doesn’t enforce editorial standards on its websites. (Rivals’ Auburn website edited out evidence of Auburn committing NCAA recruiting violations from a video posted online following Big Cat Weekend. Rivals.com has not responded to an email from the Capstone Report seeking information on corporate editorial standards.)
Until Yahoo/Rivals responds to the obvious lack of editorial standards on display at Rivals.com, anything produced by the so-called journalists who work for the company must be viewed with the highest suspicion, and the websites within that company should be viewed as unreliable sources of information.