Auburn update, 7/20
BREAKING NEWS: Ed Richardson has announced a press conference for Friday morning. That'll be the first real examination of the committee's work so far.
- I'm still hearing information indicating that the AU athletic department will be exonerated in this academic scandal. Now think about this for a second: Ed Richardson, Jim Gundlach, Myles Brand (NCAA president) and SACS Chief of Staff Tom Benberg all agree that this is not an athletic issue. So why do people keep insisting that it is an athletic issue?
Gundlach was angry that a fellow professor, one who isn't a sociology expert, was teaching high-level sociology and letting these kids get by without much work. Wouldn't that anger you? He was tipped off by watching an Auburn football game because the network was pimping a sociology major's academic excellence. Look, Auburn's sociology department isn't that big. Gundlach figured he should know most students. So he started looking at this stuff behind the scenes and, boom, you've got a problem.
If ESPN televised an academic bowl and put up graphics pimping some sociology majors' academic achievements and Gundlach hadn't known those kids, that would have been the impetus. Not football. See what I'm saying?
As it stands, the relationship between the scandal and the football team is tenuous. New information can come to light and change things. Then all bets are off.
- There's a rumor going around about the NCAA embedding fake graduate students into AU programs to somehow bust the school. Come on. That's not how the NCAA rolls. It doesn't begin investigations; it ends them.
- It saddens me to hear a guy like Phillip Marshall, the Huntsville Times' Auburn writer, get trashed on talk radio. Saying a couple bad things about the guy's writing is no big deal, we all expect that kind of abuse, but repeatedly bringing a guy's integrity into question isn't appropriate. If a guy pulls a Jayson Blair or whatever, yea, that's a horrible thing. Vilification should ensue.
Nobody is alleging that in this case. It's just ... something to talk about. I think it's pathetic, and I'm dismayed that people choose to trash Phillip publicly. If he was a shady journalist, I assure you that I wouldn't spend one second of my life defending him.