Stuff I missed on Thursday
Hey everyone. So in my efforts to gain clarity on the Chaz Ramsey situation, I failed to discuss a few lighter (but still notable) Auburn developments.
Things like that happen sometimes.
- Auburn has scheduled its Fan Day extravaganza for Aug. 16. It will not be in Beard-Eaves as usual. It's going to be in Jordan-Hare this time and will run from 2-4 p.m. I didn't see much in terms of program changes, though allegedly there will be "game worn" jerseys for sale.
- California DE Joel Bonomolo committed to Les Tigres late Wednesday night, our friends at the various Auburn-themed websites report. He attends a suburban Los Angeles junior college right now, but expects to be enrolled at Auburn in January. Bonomolo stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 245 pounds. He chose Les Tigres over a bunch of West Coast schools like Arizona and Arizona State.
- Auburn is about to begin what is expected to be a significant recruiting weekend. This will be the last significant recruiting weekend until at least September. Among the most high-profile visitors will be Arkansas TB Michael Dyer, Arkansas TE Dakota Mosley, Georgia DT Jeffrey Whitaker and Greenville HS DT Kenneth Carter.
Chaz Ramsey sues two former AU employees
Hey everyone. We have some news on the Chaz Ramsey front, albeit from one side of the dispute.
Ramsey's lawyer, Steve Heninger of Birmingham, filed a complaint today in federal court (Birmingham) against former Auburn assistant coach Hugh Nall and former trainer Arnold Gamber.
Nall and Gamber left the program soon after Tommy Tuberville's resignation in December.UPDATE:
I spoke with the court clerk in Birmingham and confirmed this information.UPDATE II:
I spoke with Heninger a short time ago. Here are some things he shared with me.
- Ramsey initially injured his back around the time of the 2007 Peach Bowl.
- Ramsey first stuck with therapy. When that didn't work, he had a minimally invasive procedure (hemilaminectomy) to relieve the pain. That was on April 21, 2008. Heninger said Ramsey's doctor had no reservations about the player's ability to return to varsity action after a period of 90 days.
- Heninger said Nall and Gamber began making rigorous physical demands in May.
- Heninger said Ramsey re-injured his back during a workout on June 2, 2008. That injury, Heninger claims, eventually required an invasive surgery that ended Ramsey's football career.
- ``The coaches and Arnold Gamber knew about Chaz's injury. They knew what he could and couldn't do. They ignored that and forced Chaz to participate in exercises that ultimately cost him his career."
- Ramsey's orthopedist was Stanley Faulkner of St. Vincent's East in Birmingham. Ramsey was referred to Faulkner by Mike Goodlett, Auburn's team physician.
- NEW @ 4:10 p.m. On June 3, 2008, Goodlett made a note on Ramsey's medical chart that said: ``My extreme displeasure over the fact that Chaz was allowed to do weight-room activities on 6/2/08 was voiced at length to Arnold Gamber ..."
- NEW @ 4:15 p.m. Once Faulkner intervened and demanded that all weightlifting activity stop immediately (on 8/28/08), the complaint alleges, Ramsey was "humiliated and had his manhood called into question by his offensive line coach, Hugh Nall. A systematic pursuit was undertaken to embarrass and harass (Ramsey) because of his refusal to engage in drills ..."
- NEW @ 4:25 p.m. Ramsey underwent a second procedure, this one more invasive, on Jan. 21, 2009. That day, Goodlett petitioned the Southeastern Conference to grant Ramsey a (lifetime) medical exemption. A portion read: ``It is our fear that that continued participation in intercollegiate football would lead to further surgery and and possible long-term sequelae."
- NEW @ 4:35 p.m.
Here are the six accusations ("counts") made:
- Negligence. Ramsey believes Gamber and Nall's actions put him at increased risk for re-injury, which occurred. Ramsey asserts that both men acted beyond their scope of authority by forcing him to prematurely engage in rigorous drills.
- Wantonness. Similar to the negligence claim.
- Interference with the physician/patient relationship. Alleges that Gamber/Nall "acted intentionally in bad faith, willfully, maliciously and beyond the scope of their individual and collective authority" to undermine Faulkner's orders.
- Outrageous conduct. Alleges that Gamber/Nall "committed outrageous conduct by intentionally inflicting severe emotional distress upon (Ramsey)."
- Civil conspiracy. Alleges that Gamber/Nall cooperated ``with each other and with others in the Auburn football program yet unknown to embark on the course of tortious and injurious conduct."
- Violation of civil rights. Alleges that Gamber/Nall violated Ramsey's right to "health, well-being and pursuit of happiness" by interfering with Faulkner's prescribed course of action.
Here are some things Heninger said on WJOX's "The Roundtable" show:
- On why Auburn cannot be sued: ``They have sovereign immunity. Any state institute cannot be sued for negligence or gross negligence or anything like that. You can sue an agent or employee of the state if that agent acts beyond the scope of his actual authority. When you have restrictions, you can't go beyond that authority and do what you think should be done."
- Heninger said Ramsey was ``intimidated" into doing weight drills and line drills: ``The phrase `man up' was used a lot."
- ``(Nall) got the team together and told them: `Stay away from Chaz Ramsey. He's not a man.' His locker was cleaned out. His meal ticket was taken. They did everything they could to intimidate him."
- Heninger expects this case to go to trial next summer.
- Heninger believes Auburn's lawyers will play a role in defending Gamber and Nall, which will create the illusion that Auburn is involved: ``It's really not."
- In the interim, he's planning to take depositions from a lot of people involved in the Tigers' program: ``I've got to take a deposition from Coach Tuberville and a lot of assistant coaches to find out: How high did the orders come down from? From the evidence I've seen, it's Hugh Nall and Gamber.
Throw another shimp on the (television) barbe
Hey everyone. The Southeastern Conference just announced that Fox Sports Net has brokered a new television deal. FSN actually negotiated with ESPN, which bought the rights to SEC football this time last year.
Anyway, the FSN family of networks (Fox Sports South, Sun Sports and Fox Sports Southwest) now will exclusively televise nine live football games each season -- beginning this fall.
If you want to know about times, well, I don't have that information just yet.
Here's what the entire deal includes:
- Seven live, exclusive football games (presumably non-conference tilts)
- 20 men’s basketball games
- 24 women’s basketball games (16 regular season, eight tournament)
- 16 baseball games (10 regular season, six tournament)
- 24 additional Olympic sporting events (softball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics)
Look who is on the front of this year's SEC-branded version of Sports Illustrated's preseason magazine:
Is there a more overrated coach in America?This site here
looks at the rankings made by the "major" pre-season magazines. They combine to pick Ole Miss NINTH. In the country.
Saddle up, Auburn fans. Prepare to be a (relieved) spectator for Auburn 2003
happening to another team.Photo credit: David Brandt/Jackson Clarion-Ledger
A little Tuesday stream of consciouness
Hey everyone. I have completed the pre-edited version of my Gene/Jonna Chizik opus, which you'll be reading sometime in August. It has dominated my professional life for the past few days. Thanks for sticking with the HABOTN despite a relative dearth of useful information.
In lieu of legit news, let's just roll in free-form mode.
Photo credit: Jeff Roberson/AP
- Check out the pic! Everyone's favorite secretary from "The Office" and official HOTTIE Jenna Fischer participated in the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game last night on ESPN. I was happy.
- We talk often here about credibility. Here's another example of why we care. The sleuths over at BleacherReport.com "reported" on Sunday that Califorina junior college DE Joel Bonomolo committed to Auburn. Since the site doesn't credit another news outlet for this information, we are supposed to believe they scooped the world. One problem: Bonomolo hasn't committed.
Will he commit? That's what our friends at AuburnSports, AuburnUndercover and ITAT believe. They think it'll happen soon.
Still, it sounds like "SECSportsHub.com", aka University of Florida junior Thomas M. Goldkamp, made a little mistake there. Crediting your sources might be a good idea in the future, kid.
- You all saw the video I posted last week from the new basketball arena. What you don't know is how flabbergasted I am about the whole project. That building is going to be something special and, honestly, I didn't think Auburn had the guts to dedicate $90 million toward an athletic facility that doesn't involve football.
- Jonna Chizik is a trip. She's definitely a Type A personality and someone most fans are going to enjoy as her profile rises. She said a bunch of funny stuff in my 45-minute interview with The Chiziks last month.
On her relationship with Gene: "He likes to say I hit the lottery when we met. I just let him think that. I'd hate to hurt his ego."