Someone asked about some Bama history a few days ago – Chapter 10 thru 12 "Dubose Falls" "Butch Davis, Fran, & Points to Consider" and "NCAA, Marsh, Robbins & Sorensen"
This is a brief on how Alabama fell from grace in the general timeframe of the 1992 Championship thru Coach Fran with some earlier history thrown in for reference. It sheds light (true or false – that is up to the individual) on what happened to bring down the Tide and who all was involved. It definitely helps explain the animosity toward Phil Fulmer. I didn’t write any of the brief and don’t personally know anyone mentioned or attributed. I am not responsible for any typo, spelling, formatting, or whitespace errors. Nor am I responsible for any judgment errors, innuendo, false allegations, heresy, rumor mongering, slander, defamation, or character assassination. I just happened to cut and paste it from a Bama message forum (and I don’t remember which one) way back in the day and thought I might want hang on to it. I am only responsible for segmenting the document into chapters to make it easier to re-post as several RBR Fanpost. As with all Fanpost the content is not approved, condoned, sponsored, attributed, or verified by RBR or SBN and any of their writers, editors, or content providers. Buckle up this is a very long read. – WM58
Posted by clay3482 on February 27, 2004 at 20:59:25: The Fall Of the Tide
This is only a compilation of public information put in one place so that the truth could come finally out. Some source articles came from MAJOR news outlets and some from Internet Message Board Archives. I will try to credit everyone at the end of the "brief" in Appendix A. This is a rough draft however, so if you see something I missed or in the case of internet posters if you would like your Real Name instead of your Internet Handle credited please let me know.
Thanks to all who have helped! Roll Tide Forever!
Enjoy The Brief Clay
Dubose Falls Chapter 10
Meanwhile, Dubose had made the Strength & Conditioning program voluntary when some upper classmen started complaining. The lunatics were taking over the asylum. Coaches were at each others throats - enjoying the spoils of success and biting each others backs at the same time. Little thought was being given to the upcoming season. Mike was back on top again and sowing his oats as well.
During an intensely hot August it was apparent to many that the players were out of shape, the tempo of the practices were lethargic and everyone was going through the motions. Mike demanded nothing, had no authority to enforce anything anyway, commanded no respect from his players or coaches and was nothing more than a figurehead. Players routinely sassed their position coaches and disobeyed them during practice. When this happened, Mike undermined his assistants and let the players mouth off to their position players coach.
Then the trip to Pasadena exposed the fraud once and for all. We saw it all. An Alabama team get physically whipped by a mediocre UCLA team. An out of shape Shaun Bohannon who made it to practice only a few weeks before who was visibly out of shape and not ready to play. Etc. Etc. What was apparent to many was that this wasn't going to turn around in the coming weeks. And it didn't. After we got pummeled by Southern Miss, I think everyone who had any insight into the situation knew Mike was finished. He had lost the team and would never get it back. There are so many things I could say about that season, but they have been said over and over again.
Mike's behavior was erratic at best. He was having early morning chant sessions in his office, making references to divine providence all the time, and basically letting practices run (if you could even apply such a term) themselves. After Central Florida, Mike knew the jig was up. In reality, it was probably up after Billy Neighbors sat next to Mal Moore at Tennessee and they both had, had enough - along with a boatload of other people.
Butch Davis, Fran, & Points to Consider Chapter 11
When Mike Dubose was dismissed, the NCAA almost simultaneously showed up on campus. Nothing could have been more inopportune. Andrew Sorensen wanted to form a committee for a search for a new coach but was flatly overruled by the Board Of Trustees athletic group under the thought that we hired Mal to do a job - let him do it. The Board knew that the only thing Sorensen would do is muck it up again. There are a number of popular myths about the coaching search - not the least of which is that Tommy Bowden was offered the job. We all know Ricky Davis now. Well ole Ricky tried like heck to get Tommy the job. Problem is, Mal wouldn't call him back. He called everyone from the Drummonds to Jeff Rouzie to try to get Tommy's foot in the door. It didn't happen.
A deal was struck with Butch Davis. That's a fact. What happened before it was consummated was that Fulmer, Tuberville and Houston Nutt got to him, told him the NCAA was going to crush us and he didn't want to go through that again. After Davis fell through, Athletic Director Mal Moore knew he had to get a pure football coach who could do more with less, was a disciplinarian, and a leader - both to fix Mike's problems and to get us through a potentially rough set of sanctions.
Now my question this, How did Fulmer, Tuberville, and Nutt know that we were going to get hammered? I mean as far as we know the investigation had barely started, there was no news out there, and Alabama had been a "model" of compliance since 95. Did these 3 coaches know something that all of us did not? This is a question I would most like to hear Paul Finebaum ask Butch Davis, did he get a call from some coaches in the SEC, and after that call did he decide to decline on the job at Alabama?
Anyway as stated After Davis fell through, Athletic Director Mal Moore knew he had to get a pure football coach who could do more with less, was a disciplinarian, and a leader both to fix Mike's problems and to get us through a potentially rough set of sanctions. Dennis Franchione fit that bill perfectly. And as Mal Moore researched Coach Fran more and more and looked at it from different angles, getting feedback from Larry Lacewell and others, it was clear that he was the right man. And, despite what he did to us later, he was at the time.
Meanwhile, the NCAA interviews went badly. No active players had anything to offer up. Ronnie was of course offended and defensive. Ivy talked to the press. Mike threw up his hands and said he didn't have any clue what his staff was doing - effectively throwing us under the bus wheels. I'm told he even remarked to Neil Calloway that he (CNC) needed to get a lawyer. Neil said he hadn't done anything and Mike told him he had. All in all, a bizarre exchange. Furthermore, Mike also told Mal on his way out that to add insult to injury - the player who really caused this - Albert Means - was a bust.
In the ensuing panic, Sorensen found himself again empowered. Marsh and Robbins were set up to handle it under the theory that Marsh was an NCAA insider and could mitigate the damage. In truth, the panic was largely overwrought.
NCAA, Marsh, Robbins & Sorensen Chapter 12
In feeling like a vigorous defense had gotten us nailed in 95 and believing that our repeat offender status would be used against us, it was decided, by Gene Marsh and Sorensen, to in effect aid the NCAA in convicting us - using the "cooperative principle" to mitigate the damage. Given the fact that Marsh and Sorensen started from a standpoint that they assumed we were guilty that seemed to them the logical course. What they failed to understand was that this was a high profile case - not something that shows up in the Weekly Shopper. Cooperation would only cede our defenses and make it easier for them to arrive at where they were going from the day the Means story broke, and that was to cripple us.
Fulmer met with Johanningmeier in May, 2000 and detailed the Means scandal as he'd crafted it, along with his enhanced version of Tom Culpepper's litany of allegations, augmented by select bits of the audio he secreted from the meeting with Culpepper when necessary. Johanningmeier took the bait and ran with it, just as Kramer knew that he would, and the next phase of Fulmer's plan had begun.
The NCAA was now officially investigating the Alabama football program while the allegations against his own program had vanished, as promised. Now all that remained was for Fulmer to strengthen his hand. Over the next several months, Fulmer, Dickey, and the UT mafia met with several of their most trusted news sources to discuss details of what was transpiring with Alabama in Memphis. All of the details were played up and sensationalized, and it was agreed on that that news would be released in Memphis by Commercial-Appeal writer and friend of Tennstud, Gary Parrish, at a time when it would do the maximum damage to Alabama's recruiting..
Additionally, efforts were made to strengthen UT's hand by ensuring that Albert Means' victim hood was played up in the press as well, while securing Means' financial stability and his loyalty to his new handlers. Tennstud had connections to yet another official with an axe to grind against Alabama, in University of Memphis head coach, Rip Scherer. Scherer had been Alabama's offensive coordinator under Bill Curry during Curry's first season, and had been fired at the end of that season after poor offensive performance. Scherer felt that Curry had made him a scapegoat and harbored a grudge against both Curry and the university thereafter.Tennstud knew Scherer as, by Tennstud's own admission, he'd paid University of Memphis athletes in the past, both during and before Scherer's tenure. Scherer was to become Means' new mentor and friend after the revelation of his "purchase" by
Alabama became public knowledge, quietly bringing him under the influence of Memphis-area interests friendly to UT. Scherer would be rewarded by arrangements to be made to allow Means to enroll at his school and participate in football right away, rather than having to sit out a year. Scherer was also beneficial to the UT plan because of his connections to NCAA Infractions Committee Chairman, Tom Yeager, for whom Scherer had once coached. Scherer would be a vital link in passing sensationalized and fabricated allegations about alleged recruiting violations by Alabama directly to the Infractions Committee's head, bypassing the investigative staff and any chance Alabama officials might have to respond to or refute these allegations.
In a further attempt to bolster there allegations attempts were made to secure David Paine as a source against Alabama as well. On Fulmer's authorization, Milton Kirk acted on behalf of Tennstud, offering him cash, a car and guaranteed entry to the University of Memphis and its football program in exchange for his testimony that Logan Young had paid him to attend Alabama. When Paine refused to agree to the deal, preparations were made with the UT-friendly media to actively pursue Paine's story, but to publish it in such a way as to make him look untrustworthy and suspicious.