Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Traditions of Excellence

I gotta say, these big time college football programs sure are competitive. Even when the season hasn't even started yet, they find a way to battle each other off the field. This week, the challenge has been to see which storied program has the most publicized corruption before a ball is snapped.

The University of Miami started things off by suspending four players for their big week 1 matchup against Florida State. Since the suspension is for a big rivalry game, it's reasonable to assume that the infraction must have been rather significant. Unfortunately, Larry Coker wouldn't elaborate on the incident, leaving others to come up with their own creative speculations.

USC then found their way into the local papers with their very own steroid scandal. (reg required). Pete Carroll initially tried to bury the story by saying the guilty player (Brandon Ting) had left the program to concentrate on his pursuit of medical school. Reporters immediately doubted the credibility of the story (perhaps Carroll should have said he left to pursue a ballroom dancing career) and did some digging, where they found that Brandon had tested positive for steroids. The story didn't make national headlines initially since Brandon and his brother Ryan are backup players and their dismissal doesn't really affect the team. However, it's now being reported that Arthur Ting, orthopedic surgeon and father of Brandon and Ryan, is a physician for Barry Bonds and has testified before a grand jury considering possible perjury charges against Bonds. Corruption within a top tier program, an attempted cover-up from the coach, and a connection to the Barry Bonds steroid/hgh/thg scandal....this one's got it all!

Not to be left out, Oklahoma has dismissed starting QB Rhett Bomar from the team for taking "payment over an extended period of time in excess of time actually worked." I'm sure this happens every summer at every program, but Bomar's main offense was greed. He reportedly collected as much as $18,000 for his summer at an auto dealership where he claimed to be working 40 hour weeks. An investigation revealed that he had actually been working five hours per week. To make the story better, the dealership is part of the Sooner Schooner Car Program, which supplies vehicles to coaches, athletic department officials, and briefly, to running back Adrian Peterson. Now the team is left without an experienced starting QB and many Sooners are suddenly going to have actually pay for their Ford F-350s.

I should at least give some credit to Bob Stoops and Larry Coker. Although these infractions did occur under their watch, both coaches were very proactive in meting out appropriate sanctions. This is in direct opposition to Coach Carroll who, rather than investigating the extent of the steroid problem within his program, instead coerced the guilty player to leave the school "voluntarily" and began fabricating stories to conceal the problem.

All of this makes the gay orgy (man I'm going to get spammed like crazy for including that phrase) at Troy State seem pretty tame by comparison. Now, it's up to some of the other schools around the nation to show that they're indeed bigtime. If Notre Dame truly is back, then I expect to read about Brady Quinn blowing a .18 while driving back from his sister and AJ Hawk's wedding reception. Ted Ginn Jr. could go on a crime spree with Maurice Clarett, robbing night club partiers in attempt to fund Clarett's defense fund. And of course West Virginia will have a few handgun/alcohol/robbery charges whenever Chris Henry comes into town to watch a game.


At Wed Aug 02, 04:17:00 PM PDT , Anonymous The Big Picture said...

perhaps the 'Canes players were on 'roids too. huh? huh?

At Thu Aug 03, 07:41:00 AM PDT , Anonymous Adam said...

All I know is that those Miami Hurricanes are all soldiers!

At Thu Aug 03, 09:18:00 PM PDT , Anonymous NFL Adam said...

I love that Texas fans are all over Oklahoma. LIke they would never do something like that. It's crazy.

BTW, love the Johnny B Good poster. Classic flick.


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