The pettiness of the minor sports programs in the Southeastern Conference (cough Auburn cough) was once again on display when a school (cough Auburn cough) threw a hissy fit over the Gridiron Bash.
According to the Gridiron Bash organizers, a member of the SEC complained about the event. It takes little imagination to deduce where the complaint came from: it wasnâ€™t from Alabama, Tennessee or LSU.
Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt arenâ€™t important enough (or petty enough) to care about the bash. So we can rule them out.
Then that leaves us with a list of Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas.
Arkansas would lack the motivation to attack the event. It canâ€™t be seen as a benefit to Arkansas to prevent Alabama or LSU or Tennessee from hosting the Bash. While it wouldnâ€™t help Arkansas for the schools to hold the event, there is little direct competition on the recruiting trail between these schools.
Georgia and Florida are both programs at the pinnacle of success, and seek every advantage possible. Mark Richt was aggressive and insulting when he closed practice during Alabama week; he was attempting to gain a PR advantage over Nick Saban at the height of the NFL Spygate controversy. But it doesnâ€™t sound like Richt to lie about the Gridiron Bash in a complaint to the SEC.
And lie is what the complaining party did, according to bash organizers.
The Bash organizers said whoever complained had â€œmisrepresentedâ€ the event. â€œWhoever raised this issue misrepresented what the student athlete would be doing at the event to the NCAA,â€ MSL Sports president Shawn Garrity said in the Tuscaloosa News.
I think we can rule out Richt because he isnâ€™t a liar.
Urban Meyer is a relentless recruiter, and works hard to gain every advantage possible. Heâ€™s the most complained about recruiter this side of Nick Saban. This fact makes it difficult to see Florida as the culprit. Besides, Florida would get its own Spring game publicity thanks to ESPN. Meyerâ€™s nature is to do things to improve his program, not tear down others.
Letâ€™s mark Florida off the list.
That leaves us with Auburn.
Auburn has a history of attacking other programsâ€”their fingerprints were all over the Gene Jelks mess. Tommy Tuberville is a liar. Iâ€™m sure even Auburn fans can admit that. From the Pine Box remark to this winterâ€™s flirtation with every open coaching position in America, Tuberville isnâ€™t to be trusted.
So, it would be a natural for the Auburn family to misrepresent the Bash in an effort to harm others. Thatâ€™s been Auburnâ€™s modus operandi for years.
Combine Auburnâ€™s jealousy over Alabamaâ€™s recruiting success, and youâ€™ve got a paranoid athletic program. The Bash was one way a disheartened cabal could lash out at its rival. Auburn knows its days of dominance are over…Unless they do something to derail Alabama.
Attacking the Bash was one way to attack Tuscaloosa.
Expect another Gene Jelks fiasco soon.
It is the natural end of Auburn logic. They canâ€™t win on a level playing field, so theyâ€™ll lie and cheat to do it.
Unfortunately, this behavior will only weaken the entire conferenceâ€”and in the end harm Auburn much more than anyone else. Bad behavior might yield a moment of joy, but in the end it comes with its own consequences. Just ask Clytemnestra.