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Jim Tressel Covered Up His Players’ Violations Multiple Times, Emails Show

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel knew about his players’ involvement in exchanging team merchandise and autographs for tattoos back in April of 2010, email records posted on NBC4 in Columbus via Sports by Brooks show. Tressel was tipped off on April 2nd by an attorney who knew the tattoo parlor owner was under investigation by the government for alleged drug trafficking. Responding to that email, Tressel said “I will get on it ASAP.” A second email on April 16th detailed the extent of the Buckeyes merchandise found in the tattoo parlor, including conference championship rings, cleats, and jerseys. In response, Tressel wrote “I will keep pounding these kids hoping they grow up.”

READ: Terrelle Pryor tattoo and loaner car controversies

Tressel claims the reason he never reported these emails to the school’s compliance officers is because he believed the information was confidential and that the federal trial superseded NCAA penalties. Say we buy that, what you can’t get past are the numerous occasions thereafter that Tressel was devious.

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Oregon Paid $25,000 to Willie Lyles for Scouting Services, Appears Guilty

If you look back at programs that lacked tradition but gained instant success in collegiate athletics, you’ll often find a trace of violations committed during recruitment. Just look at Baylor and Tennessee basketball recently — neither program had success, yet both have done well the last few years, and both programs also have been involved in recruiting violations. Oregon is in a similar spot in football — they’ve enjoyed some success over the years, but they’ve never been a consistent national power until the last two years. They’ve also never really been a program that could pry top-level recruits on a national level. But lately they’ve been able to do it, and the recent investigation of the school’s relationship with Willie Lyles leaves a trail indicating why that may have been possible.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Oregon had paid Lyles’ Houston-based Complete Scouting Services $25,000 a few weeks after highly-touted Texas running back recruit Lache Seastrunk (pronounced Lake) signed with the school. Though it’s completely ordinary for schools like Oregon to pay national scouting services for video and contact information of players, it usually doesn’t cost more than $5,000 or so. A $25,000 payment seems exorbitant, and it looks like the scouting service Lyles was a part of is a business front for steering players to the school.

Now here’s the kicker from The Oregonian as pointed out by Sports by Brooks “if you ask [football coach Chip] Kelly what was provided he’ll tell you the Ducks received contact information for players — ‘names and phone numbers.’”

That doesn’t really match up with what was listed on the invoice regarding services rendered by Lyles’ scouting service:

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Nick Saban Statue Pictures Emerge

What they call a bronze tribute to Alabama coach Nick Saban I call a float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Seriously, how many runners does it take to hold this thing down as they maneuver along 34th street?

This statue caused a bit of a stir because Saban is in the prime of his coaching career at Bama and already getting memorialized outside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The rumor is that the statue is set to be unveiled at the annual A-Day spring game on April 17th, but if I were them I’d postpone the unveiling until I’ve built a new one that looks less like a milk chocolate treat and more like Coach Saban. What did they commission a third grader to make this? More pics courtesy of The Juice Is Good:

NICK SABAN STATUE PICTURES

Ole Miss Rebel Black Bear Mascot Costume Picture Revealed

Back in October, Ole Miss decided on the Rebel Black Bear as their new mascot, replacing Colonel Reb. Colonel Reb was so historically outdated it was about time they replaced him. Only if we knew they were going with the Rebel Black Bear as a replacement, we would have suggested they take more time figuring out something better. They’re already getting ridiculed for a picture of the mascot’s head that found its way onto the net Monday evening:

The folks at Tiger Droppings, where I first saw the picture, keep likening Rebel Black Bear to Smokey the Bear. The same is true for the people who commented on facebook where Sports by Brooks added the pic. Personally, I think Rebel Black Bear has a meaner streak than the friendly Smokey, so I’m not so sure the comparison is valid. What are they trying to say, all black bears look alike? Why is it that everything comes down to a racial issue?

Scott Moore: John Bond and Bill Bell Tapes Will Out Cam Newton

And so it begins. While Cam Newton has been spending his time saying all the wrong things amidst the media blitz at the NFL combine, reporters and radio hosts have been spending theirs trying to dig up dirt on the former Auburn superstar.  Scott Moore, a radio host from Alabama, claims to have hit the jackpot.

As told by SB Nation, Moore appeared on a Mobile radio station Friday morning and told listeners that two former Mississippi State players, John Bond and Bill Bell, have in their possession tapes that can prove Newton was fully aware of the pay-for-play scheme his father was running.  The most telling tape is one that allegedly has Cecil Newton asking for money from Mississippi State while Cam is sitting in the room.

Moore also claims the NCAA has a copy of some of the tapes and encouraged Cam to sit out the Auburn-Georgia game earlier this year.  If you remember, we warned Auburn fans shortly before the BCS National Title game that their championship could be short-lived in the event that someone should prove Newton knew about the pay-for-play scandal.  If Moore’s accusations are worthwhile, Auburn will have to vacate the win.

The strange thing about Moore’s story is the fact that the NCAA supposedly has the tapes and has done nothing.  Maybe the fact that they are audio tapes made it impossible to prove anything?  Perhaps this is just a case of sour grapes from Moore, who is an Alabama guy?  Maybe the allegations are true, and Newton’s legacy is about to take an epic hit.  Time will tell.

UPDATE: Much like the Tiger Woods sex tape, this one appears to be a fake.

Cam Newton: Finally an Athlete who gets it

In this era of unselfish athletes who train hard and practice harder, it’s not easy to find role models who stand for what is right about sports. Guys doing charity work, autograph signings, and being fan friendly is not what we seek. Playing professional sports is about entertaining people, not being a good role model. We don’t care if you take money from boosters or pump your body full of steroids. So long as your scoring touchdowns and popping pitches out of the park, we’re happy.

That’s why it’s nice to finally have someone like former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton who truly gets it. During a phone interview with Peter King of SI Tuesday, Newton said “I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon.”

That’s the exact sort of mindset all athletes should have. And to prove that Newton is fully aware of how advanced his perspective is a young player, he offered this up to Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant but I did something in one year people couldn’t do in their whole collegiate careers,” Newton said. “We had a chance to do something great and we did it.”

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Sacked by the LBS Nut Bag: Nai Fotu DUI Arrest, Driving Wrong Way on Highway

Miguel Cabrera led things off for our LBS Nut Bag feature when he was “sacked” for smiling during his mugshot after being arrested for a DUI.  Early Sunday morning, Utah linebacker Nai Fotu joined him.  Fotu was arrested for DUI after police stopped him for driving in the wrong direction on the highway.  It goes without saying that he was completely shattered, but the video and audio taken by the dash cam in the cruiser is priceless.

Deadspin also shared with us that Fotu already had a warrant out for “giving false personal information to police, unlawful possession of alcohol or a controlled substance by a minor and public urination following a March 2009 incident” at the time of his arrest.  Apparently some people just don’t get it.  Check out the arrest video and enjoy some of the brilliant comments made by Fotu as he was undergoing a field sobriety test.

Fotu’s blood alcohol was reportedly three times the legal limit, so I guess we can’t blame him for having no idea what was going on. I thought football players were big enough guys that they would have a high tolerance, but Fotu said he only had one or two beers. I believe him, don’t you?