The following is in no way meant to be inflammatory. Honest.
Somebody needs to address the $100,000 elephant in the room and it obviously won’t be Myles Brand because Myles is A) spineless and B) dead.
I think we can all agree that the NCAA – that bastion of… wait, what do they do again? – is by and large a farce; that, along with The Firm, German food and women’s sports, it looks great on paper, but really has no valid reason to exist beyond filling a Wikipedia page.
The guy from Zeppelin AND the guy from Bad Company AND the guy from Uriah Heep? In the SAME BAND? HOLY SH…!!!
Uh, not so much.
Given my cynic’s sarcasm, you can probably imagine my dumbfounded/slack-jawed/Carlos Dunlapian – i.e. face down on my steering wheel at 3 a.m. – reaction to the news that the NCAA’s 38-year probe into USC football and basketball (and tennis) resulted in actual punishments. And not just a spanking-spoon-type slap on the ass, but an honest to goodness hand-of-god smackdown.
Four years probation, 30 lost scholarships, fourteen voided victories, a pending national title forfeiture, a 2-year postseason ban, and one Lane Kiffin.
Like I said, smackdown.
Unaware of the tenets of general decency (i.e. “rules”), Urban Meyer the guy who faked his death has taken it upon himself in his five years in Gainesville to turn the University of Florida football program into a dynastic cross between Pee Wee’s Playhouse and the 8th Street Gun & Pawn.
The Gators, beneficiaries of good karma upon my enrollment, have had… (*doing the math*)… (*using toes*)… (*damn, out of toes*)… twenty-eight players arrested on Urban Legend’s watch. That’s exactly:
- 14 arrests per national title
- 9.3 arrests per BCS victory
- .97 arrests per NFL draftee
- .0002 arrests per skanky Midtown girl
Of course, all these trivial infractions – garden variety weed, DUI, felony burglary, aggravated assault (read: “pummeling girlfriend”), battery, stolen police property, resisting arrest, violation of sexual restraining order, illicit use of semi-automatic weapons – took a back seat to this week’s technically non-illegal news that former center Maurkice Pouncey accepted $100,000 from an agent friend in the days leading up to the 2010 Sugar Bowl.
When asked if he’d taken the money, the Steelers’ first-round pick said, “Straight cash, homie.”
No not really. Pouncey denied it and called the claims “absolutely ridiculous,” as in “[that's] absolutely [possible. Don't be] ridiculous.”
His twin brother Mike, a senior lineman at UF, also denied the accusations… from the passengers seat of a brand new Cadillac Escalade. In a case of impeccably poor timing, Maurkice dropped coin for his new ride and loads of jewelry right after the NFL Draft.
I say impeccably poor timing because, had he just waited to sign his pro contract, nobody would’ve questioned the young lad – or his brother back in Gainesville – for bouncing around in this chromed out Caddy. Now it’s just another piece of evidence (along with very Bond-esque spy pics of him w/ the agent’s runner and an anonymous tip-off letter from Canada) suggesting Maurkice might’ve indeed accepted this $100k advance in the name of “toppling dynasty.”
Pouncey says he used a deferred line of credit to make his purchases.
You’re thinking two things right now: 1) This blowhard has it out for the Gators and 2) This blowhard has it out for the Gators.
Guilty (like somebody else I know).
Look, Florida has been good to me in the five years I’ve attended the fine institution. Great school. Hot babes. Huge market for scalping student football tickets. I have no ill will toward it. But I’m a year away from finishing grad school, at which point I can go back to rooting for the ‘Canes without being showered with warm Budweiser.
I brought the school a couple of titles. I partied on University Avenue till the wee hours of the morning. I watched Tebow throw his first iconic jump pass… Enough is enough. The Gates left Miami in the rearview some time ago and show no signs of slowing down.
Five to three is too close for comfort, and I’m thinking four years probation is just enough time for The U to regain its footing, climb back to national prominence and break ground on the state-of-the-art LeBron Field (aka “The King Dome”).
So yeah, I’m not a Gators fan per se, but I am a fan of competitive balance… And fairness. The NCAA penalized Southern California when two star players forfeited amateur status by accepting gifts and money. USC claimed it was unaware of the infractions, a naivete that qualifies as “lack of institutional control.”
When asked about the Pouncey issue, Florida AD Jeremy Foley said, “At this time we have no information that has indicated that there are any compliance issues for the University of Florida.”
I’m obviously not an objective party in this matter. As you may know, the NCAA railroaded the ‘Canes back in the mid-’90s for a host of indiscretions (/indiscreet hostesses), including but not limited to: covering up failed drug tests, funneling slush fund money to players, general unruliness (i.e. “on-campus brawls”), academic dishonesty and falsification of Pell Grants that constituted “perhaps the largest centralized fraud ever committed.”
Plus, I was raised to hate the Gators, and if you’ve ever been down South, you know the insufferable SEC fans don’t help matters.
So tell me what you think. Do the program’s actions under Meyer constitute a “lack of institutional control”? Does Gator Football deserve the USC treatment? Does villainy directly relate to on-the-field success? Is Urban Meyer two seasons away from “pulling a Carroll”? Have you ever personally been attacked by a Gator? Am I just bitter cuz the ‘Canes suck? Are you a “straight cash homie”? Should “innocent until killing someone” be the law of the land? Does Jeremy Foley read my blog? Am I leaving anything out?