Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 16 - Well, Well, Well ....

Let’s start today’s thoughts off with Mr. Scott Moore. Moore, a man who has had his career, his personal life and his spirit trampled on by his previous employer, his friends, the Auburn University fan base and yes, sadly even parts of the Alabama fan base has finally given everyone a double dose of  SHUT THE HELL UP! Congratulations Mr. Moore. 

Mr. Scott Moore produced a verified “pdf” file from a law firm representing Mr. John Bond (Mississippi State University booster) that proves he was not blowing smoke. While I must admit I had my questions at times, I did attempt to give Mr. Moore the benefit of the doubt in regards to what he had said on air prior to “parting ways” with the radio station he worked for. As said on previous post(s) here, I simply could not understand why Mr. Moore would make the claims he made without having something to back them up. I also stated that I leaned towards Moore being accurate because of a friend of mine that had heard some similar tapes. So now, here we are. Mr. Moore has produced proof that backs up his claims regarding Cam Newton with a verified “pdf” file that can be viewed on a number of web sites ( is where I first saw it). Who verified it? Well, it really doesn’t matter as one of the more skeptical posters at took it upon himself to email the attorney referenced on Mr. Moore’s screenshot of the actual email to ask if it was a valid email. The poster stated that he received a response to his inquiry from the attorney within 30 minutes that simply stated, “It is my letter.” 

The email from Bond’s attorney is carefully worded and never mentions Auburn University. It does, however; provide the most concrete evidence to date that all of the speculation concerning a multi-tiered investigation of Cam Newton’s recruitment is ongoing and being conducted by the NCAA, the FBI and state regulators is true. We now know for sure that the investigations are ongoing. What we don’t know for sure is that these investigations include Auburn University. That said, it is beyond feasible that Au would be included in the investigation as would the University of Tennessee as both schools were in on Cam Newton’s recruitment. Furthermore, I think it is safe to say that Au will be looked at under even a more powerful microscope than UT simply because they were the team that ended up with Cam on their roster. The variable here is Mississippi State University. Bond has publicly stated (as has Scott Moore) that the tapes in Bond’s possession will exonerate MSU. If that is true, I would suspect any such investigation into that institution has already, for the most part, been conducted.

The letter to Mr. Moore (Dated March 14, 2011) basically explains that Mr. Bond has been advised to “NOT” divulge the content of the tapes at this time due to the possibilities of obstructing or hindering the investigations by the NCAA, the FBI and state regulators. This gives Mr. Moore his credibility back. This also answers a few more questions that have surfaced in the Moore saga. I had wondered why Bond (Moore’s friend) had not come to his defense in all of this. This letter is a very legal way of doing just that. I had also wondered why Bond himself had not stepped forward after publicly stating that (paraphrased), “The NCAA better do the right thing or I will release the tapes.” This letter explains precisely why, that being the potential to harm the aforementioned entities’ investigations. Lastly, Mr. Moore now has all that he needs to pursue a “Defamation of Character” suit against the “foundation” that publicly called him a liar, produced false information concerning his personal life and ultimately cost him his job. The one iron clad defense to a suit of this type is if the plaintiff was proven to be a liar. In this case, the contrary has now been proven. Mr. Moore was telling the truth. Certain mitigating circumstances caused Mr. Moore’s time line for playing the Bond tapes on air to be canceled or delayed because of the ongoing investigations by the three aforementioned entities. Kudos to Mr. Moore, Mr Bond and Mr. Bond’s attorney for staying the course and allowing the truth to come out (at least as much as possible at this juncture). 

Moving forward…. Has anyone listened to the audio tape of Paul Finebaum at his lecture to a group of Birmingham Southern business students? Surprisingly enough, the first place to link the audio is located at Warblogle . That is a “pro Auburn” oriented web blog and I must give that site’s administrator props for allowing the information to be heard regardless of the opinions that will be formed from the audio. The audio clip itself is about 40 minutes long and was obviously recorded with a hand held device that makes hearing it a challenge. Grab your head phones, make a bologna sandwich and give it a listen (a direct link to the audio can be found here: Finebaum Lecture). As should be expected, two completely different views of what the Finebaum audio is are being depicted by the Alabama and Auburn fan bases. The Au supporters seem to think it is Finebaum’s hatred for all things Au and his man crush on Nick Saban that caused him to speak so ill of Auburn University. The Alabama fan base seems to think he has got it all exactly right. Listen for yourself and feel free to let me know what you think. I would be interested to hear it.

Personally, I think Paul Finebaum is the consummate pot stirrer in all things sports related. I listen to his show but often with same outlook I would afford the Jerry Springer Show. The show is about ratings and controversy as opposed to actual sports. His regular callers make the schools they support look horrible and I most definitely include Alabama’s call in regulars in this group. The show is what it is and I guess there is a place for that for a great many people; otherwise it would not have gone national. That said, I think the Finebaum persona we hear on the radio has nothing to do with the guy’s abilities, connections and intelligence as it relates to being a sports reporter. Love him or hate him, the man is not an idiot. The aforementioned audio is very telling in many ways, but you have to keep in mind that this is a business related lecture. Finebaum never comes right out and says anything devastating, but rather allows his listeners to make their own decisions based on the information he lets them have. At the very least, the clip lets me know that Finebaum knows a lot more about what is going on with Auburn University than he lets on via his radio show. Many of the Au supporters feel like he will turn the big guns on them when he has a chance to do so and I 100% agree. The thing most of them don’t understand is he will do the same thing to Alabama if given a chance. People say he has no loyalty and that is simply incorrect. He has plenty of it…. It just lies with the PAUL FINEBAUM RADIO NETWORK. 

The arrests of the Au football players…. There have been 5 players with legal troubles over the last couple of weeks. All were immediately removed from the team by Head Coach Gene Chizik. Given the severity of the crimes alleged to have been committed by these athletes, I do not see where Chizik had any other choice…. UNLESS…he shouldn’t have recruited the guys in the first place. There is a lot of talk regarding these players’ ties to a gang based out of Atlanta. Is it true? I have no idea, but there are definitely those that believe it is. There are a couple of supporters of this line of thinking that have been vocal about it on the “As the Plains Burn” thread (link located in the window to the right). One in particular has done a very good job of following this particular gang’s influence in the Atlanta area high schools it seems to be so deeply rooted in. Prior to the arrests of the Au football players for 1st degree robbery and several other charges, this “poster” had documented court cases, newspaper articles and a plethora of other interesting facts regarding the gang and their ties to high school athletes from certain schools in Georgia. After reading his reports for months, I suddenly see that one of the Au players arrested in the robbery case is directly linked to one of the high schools he has constantly named as being involved. Coincidence? Possibly, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on. With the federal investigations going on concerning pay for play schemes and the use of street agents swirling around Au and the ongoing criminal cases going on surrounding the gang activity in Georgia High Schools, it would not surprise me in the least to see them overlap and become fully entwined. If Mark Richt is pulling scholarship offers from some of these same kids because of questionable character, why isn’t Gene Chizik?

Now, when I started this blog, I stated that I would try to remain objective in spite of my loyalty to the University of Alabama. After looking back over the posts on this site, it does appear that I am out to hammer Auburn University. That simply is not the case. In all fairness, I must mention that Alabama has had its own issues with players reflecting poorly on the University. Jimmy Johns selling cocaine on several occasions on campus, domestic incidents between players and their girlfriends and the robbery of a student by a student athlete on campus are all examples of how poor judgment in the character of the athlete being recruited can reflect poorly on the University as a whole. I am proud to say that since the Dubose troubles, The F-Ran debacle and the Shula sadness, I have seen a big turnaround in the types of kids Alabama is bringing on campus. It is ridiculous to expect Coach Saban (or Gene Chizik for that matter) to be able to baby sit these kids 24/7. I remember the same smoke coming out of Tuscaloosa during the Shula years about gang infiltration into the football program. In all honesty, I believe it WAS an issue and part of the reason that Shula was not successful in turning things around in the way that all Bama fans had hoped he would. I’m not saying that we will never see any of Saban’s recruits garner headline attention, but I am saying we are seeing fewer and fewer incidents since he has come to the Capstone. I fear that Au cannot make the same claim.

In Chizik’s defense, I must say that the pressure put on him to be successful at Au is probably unbelievable. His whole livelihood rests on what his football team does. Does that give him the right to cut corners, break rules and play dirty? No it does not. With such a national spotlight being placed on Coach Chizik and Au, he had better hope that he hasn’t knowingly been involved in shady shenanigans down on the plains; otherwise his fate may already be sealed. Win at all costs will generally end up at causing a major loss at some point…sooner or later.


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