Another year, another Auburn scandal. It is becoming a yearly rite of passage. Alabama wins a crystal football. The sun rises in the east. Auburn is accused of doing some new heinous thing. Such things guarantee that all is right and normal on our little dirtball.
Still, consider holding off before shooting off fireworks for Auburn’s impending demise. When the story first broke, I read the entire thing and asked myself “How do you prove this?” Proving the story is a nightmare, particularly since several of the quoted players have already cried foul. While subpoena power is fun to bandy about the water-cooler, it isn’t in the NCAA’s repertoire, excluding that botch-job down in Coral Gables.
Mentioning the Miami investigation leads to the real meat of this problem: whether Auburn cheated or not, what sort of investigative ability does the NCAA have right now? As it stands, the Hurricanes and the NCAA are in a protracted legal battle over their potential sanctions. Should the Hurricanes win, and they might, the NCAA enforcement process would come under microscopic scrutiny going forward.
Oregon football is also on the docket stemming from Willie Lyles and the recruitment of Lache Seastrunk. Syracuse basketball received notices about investigations. The O’Bannon lawsuit about revenue sharing is coming up (another potential loss that even has powerful ADs talking), and the ornery Todd McNair case won’t go away either. Simple fact: the NCAA is stretched thin and I didn’t even get into the concept that the entire division’s leadership has just turned over thanks to Miami.
While the allegations may be completely true, the difficulty in proving them, and how completely inundated the NCAA is (to say nothing of the fact that whole division is functionally worthless) make it hard to believe that anything will come of this latest batch of bad from the Plains. If it does turn into something, sanctions are years away. With that in mind, fans, I urge you: Pump the brakes on this whole issue.