Yesterday’s Tweet from ESPN’s college football analyst Joe Schad says it all:
“The NCAA is announcing results of Georgia Tech investigation today at 3. Who knew Ga Tech was under investigation???”
The Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hurt’s Tweet also speaks volumes:
“For speculators on what a school or NCAA ‘must’ release: Tech got an NOI on 9/13/10, NOA on 12/11/10, a hearing on 4/15/11. All under radar.”
Georgia Tech was stripped of its 2009 ACC title and fined $100,000 for failure to cooperate with the NCAA, and finds itself on four years probation.
All because of a player eligibility issues, one of which involved Demaryius Thomas who was found to accept $312 worth of clothing from an agent runner. Thomas, along with safety Morgan Burnett, was later found to have been “prepared” for interviews with the NCAA which granted him temporary eligibility.
Yellowjackets coach Paul Johnson said that he believed Thomas and Burnett were eligible to play in the last three games of the 2009 season when the NCAA told Georgia Tech A.D. Dan Radakovich they had been cleared.
Does any of this sound familiar?
But as Schad pointed out, the most alarming element for fans of a program widely thought to be in the crosshairs of the NCAA is this:
All of this was happening to Georgia Tech with zero indication in the local media.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had no idea that the Yellowjackets, mere walking distance from the paper’s sports department, got an NCAA notice of inquiry on September 13, 2010, a notice of allegations December 11, 2010 and stood before the freaking committee on infractions on April 15, 2011.
That sounds familiar too, as this state’s beacon of journalistic integrity, the Birmingham News has yet to shed ink on the Auburn story.
But unlike Georgia Tech, where the national media didn’t seem to have a clue either, the national media has been sniffing the Auburn trail for months. All the while Aubies have been feasting on the drivel dribbling from the mouth of Auburn Coach Gene Chizik, and the predictable talking heads that opt for spin over the truth.
What does the Georgia Tech story tell us? It’s simple.
If you’re an Auburn fan and really believe what your team did last year was above board, you’re like an ignorant beachgoer relaxing in an innertube in the ocean’s warm waters…all while the sharks are circling and sizing you up down below.
But the scariest element is that while Georgia Tech’s shark was probably an ill-tempored sandshark, with only a small infraction leading to their punishment, Auburn’s may be a great white, with half a dozen “alledged” investigations going on into Auburn improprieties in the last several years.
And to make things even more interesting, it was Chizik reaching down into the waters to strike the shark on the head by irritating NCAA vice president for enforcement Julie Roe Lach at the SEC meetings in Destin last month.
But don’t worry, Auburn fans. There’s still nothing to worry about, right?