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John Junker Expensed Strip Club Visits to the Fiesta Bowl, Is now Fired

Details to one of the bigger corruption schemes in college football were released Tuesday. Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker was fired based on the findings of an investigation that revealed improper use of funds and campaign contributions. To understand the background for Junker’s job, he makes nearly $600,000 a year just for running the Fiesta Bowl, which is one of the four BCS bowl game sites (along with the Sugar, Orange, and Rose Bowl). The Fiesta Bowl has been found to fund politicians’ campaigns so they protect the BCS, which in turn protects the job and cushy living people like Junker make. And why wouldn’t he do everything possible to protect his job? When you look at the long list of gifts he lavished himself, his family, and his friends with, it will all make sense.

The investigation found that “bowl-paid expenses included tickets to high-profile sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, that were given to local politicians, visits to a local strip club, a 50th-birthday party for Junker and other executives at Pebble Beach and a honeymoon trip to Vancouver for Junker’s executive assistant.”

Yes, tax dollars were used to fund a strip club visit for Junker and two of his pals. From the investigation report:

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SEC Championship Chicken is a Totally Reasonable Idea

It looks like this stuff has been around for a while, but it’s the first I’m hearing about it so I just had to chime in. Sports by Brooks Live called our attention to a new line of food designed specifically for those die hard college football fans in the south.  According to its website, Championship Chicken is coming soon to your favorite grocery store.  That’s right folks — frozen chicken that gives you one more great way to showcase your SEC pride.

We could sit here and tool on this concept all day long, but the sad part is the idea is probably genius.  In fact it may just be the best SEC marketing idea since hot girls were retrieving the faxes on Alabama’s signing day.

Tell me you can’t picture some fat hick and his family in the grocery store staring at the frozen foods and getting all excited that dinner tonight is going to come out of a box that says,”Roll Tide.”  When you think about the fact some guy said, “Boomer Sooner” as his last words on death row, it would come as no surprise to hear that someone was choosing their chicken because their favorite SEC team was on the box.

When it comes down to it, tons of people would rather take home “War Eagle” Auburn chicken than your standard Tyson frozen tenders.  The way SEC fans see it, you wouldn’t be a true fan if you passed it up.

Jim Tressel Lied Again: Forwarded Emails to Terrelle Pryor’s Mentor Ted Sarniak

The more the saga of Jim Tressel covering up for his Ohio State players goes on, the more the clean-cut sweater vest look seems to be a facade. To recap, five Ohio State players were suspended five games in 2011 for exchanging athletic merchandise for free tattoos — an NCAA violation. Inexplicably the players were allowed to participate in — and help Ohio State win — its Sugar Bowl game despite the NCAA knowing about the violations.

Later it was discovered that Jim Tressel was tipped off about the tattoos yet he elected not to do anything about it. Furthermore, he made matters worse by lying to his school and NCAA officials about his knowledge of the situation. Now, the Columbus Dispatch reports that Jim Tressel actually forwarded the emails to quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s mentor, Ted Sarniak.

If Tressel in fact forwarded the emails to Sarniak as the Dispatch reports, it would confirm the suspicion Sports by Brooks had based on this video, in addition to destroying Tressel’s defense that he didn’t address the emails because he wanted to keep things confidential.

And if you’re wondering who this mentor Ted Sarniak is, MGoBlog has you covered. According to their research, he’s a Pittsburgh businessman who owns a glass company and who has bribed police in the past. He represented Terrelle Pryor during his recruitment period and was likely involved in his recruiting visits. Oh yeah, he may or may not have also loaned a corvette to Pryor at some point during his life. It’s one nice, clean circle, isn’t it?

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?