There’s squat going on today, but — dear reader — your Gump Day comes in strong with a bit of schadenfreude, as the sweatiest man this side of Al Golden, at the dirtiest program this side of SMU, finally had the NCAA hammer drop on them.
Or, at least the first part.
To the absolute surprise of no one, a man under investigation by the FBI, at a school under investigation for widespread sexual assault and Title IX violations, and two programs with a history of dirty dealing, have all finally received their Notice of Allegations.
LSU is going the ‘Barn route here. They’ve refused to comment, and they’ve not made the public records available yet per Louisiana’s sunshine laws. But, enough has trickled out over the last two years for us to get some idea of what’s going on
Will Wade is in the crosshairs. The LSU head coach was suspended from the SEC and NCAA tournaments in March 2019 after Yahoo Sports reported that Wade was on a wiretap talking about a “strong ass” offer to a recruit. That call was eventually played in an HBO documentary, spliced with an interview with middleman Christian Dawkins saying Wade was “100% talking about money” in the comment.
In the wake of the initial fallout from Wade’s offer, then-LSU athletic director Joe Alleva stepped aside three days after he reinstated Wade as coach in April 2019.
In NCAA documents obtained by ESPN in August 2020, there’s allegations in NCAA paperwork that Wade either arranged or offered “impermissible payments” to at least 11 prospects.
But, beloved Gumps, it gets even better.
Football is also in the sights of the Committee on Infractions. And not iron sights either; one of those fancy $150 ArmaLaser jobs at Cabela’s. We don’t exactly know what they did, but it had to be really bad. Some of LSU’s self-imposed sanctions in Dec. of 2020 had real teeth:
[In addition to a bowl ban] LSU had self-imposed a loss of eight scholarships over two years; a reduction in recruiting visits, evaluations and communication; and a ban of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from its football facilities for two years.
For now, the Corrupt Coonasses are mum. But, the allegations will trickle out over the next 60 days (or whenever a leak pops up in that notoriously porous athletic department). And at a minimum I’d expect Will Wade to get a show-cause when the smoke clears. Brian Kelly may be heading elsewhere too, if LSU was shown to have lied to him the extent of the allegations against the Tigers.
LSU fans are handling it well:
What’s worse? The Russians or the NCAA? pic.twitter.com/xByYHqOSNK— Message Board Geniuses (@BoardGeniuses) March 9, 2022
Oh, happy day.
Speaking of cheating, the NCAA passed on a proposal to prevent all of those curiously-timed one-play injuries that have been popping up at places like Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M. A few options were thrown about, including penalties and “injured” players sitting out several plays or a whole drive.
But, after speaking for a week about what a pressing concern it was, the NCAA reversed course and said that it’s just a “small number” of bad faith actors out there. Which begs the question, if it was such a small number, why did the rules committee make it their No. 1 pressing issue this offseason?
Don’t piss down my leg and tell me it’s raining. It is a problem, and the NCAA’s decision to handle violators on a case-by-case basis is status quo: Conferences have always had the ability to penalize teams for the delay of game, and I can’t recall a single instance where it has happened. And I will bet you US currency that I won’t see it this year either.
A few good things did come out of the rules committee, and they’re all are commonsensical and long overdue:
One is that players ejected in the second half of games due to a targeting penalty can appeal the ruling afterward with a chance of being reinstated for the first half of their next game. The NCAA also recommended outlawing fake slides and making defensive holding an automatic first down. Blocking below the waist outside the tackle box will also become a penalty as a way to simplify the rule, if approved.
Call the first one the LSU rule. Call the second one the Auburn DB rule. And the latter is of special concern to Alabama fans, who have grown far too accustomed to seeing elite defensive linemen mowed down like they are storming Omaha Beach. Some teams coach those iffy hits below the waist, and after a clean well-played SEC Championship, what we saw from Georgia in the CFP makes it abundantly clear that they are one of them.
I would expect all of these to pass, and the game will be better for it.
Jerry Jeudy had himself an emotional roller coaster yesterday. First, the Aaron Rodgers trade fell apart...then the blockbuster Russ-to-Denver deal did happen.
Quite a day in Denver, where Jerry Jeudy reacted to the news of Aaron Rodgers returning to the Packers and Russell Wilson being traded to the Broncos. pic.twitter.com/QudTrxqlE6— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2022
So many dominoes are falling in the NFL Draft, and one may cost Evan Neal the No. 1 overall pick, for which he is a strong contender:
On Tuesday, the Jacksonville Jaguars used their franchise tag for the 2022 season on offensive tackle Cam Robinson. By doing so, the Jaguars prevented Robinson from entering free agency on March 16. It also gave Jacksonville four more months to try to work out a long-term contract with its left tackle that would take the place of the one-year, franchise-tag deal.
Why is Neal being bandied about as a possible No. 1? Versatility, athleticism, and just pure talent.
After having a quarterback and a premiere pass rusher, having a blindside tackle that can protect your quarterback is how you build a team in the NFL. Evan Neal, the left tackle out of Alabama is one of the best offensive lineman in the entire draft. Not only did Neal dominate as a left tackle in his final season in college, but he also has experience playing in multiple positions on the offensive line.
Oh, so now you get an offensive line. Smart move there Seahawks.
The Tide hoops program had one all-SEC selection and two named to the all-Freshman team. Shack picked up another 2nd Team All-SEC nod, Charles Bediako and JD Davison were Freshman standouts. And Keon Ellis made the All-Defense team.
Congratulations to all four.
Finally, the Alabama gymnastics team had a record-setter last week on Senior Night in Coleman Coliseum.
The Alabama gymnastics team made history Sunday afternoon when they scored their second 198 in a single weekend. Friday night, the team scored the second highest overall score in program history with a 198.075.
The last time an Alabama gymnastics team recorded two consecutive overall scores of 198 or better was in 1996 when the Tide scored 198.075 at the NCAA Regionals meet and a 198.025 at the NCAA Super Six meet. Alabama never scored a 198+ in the same weekend, however.
Not to be nega-gump on Gump Day, but even as the event was happening, I was texting the rest of our motley band telling them that the scoring was really out of whack. It was a fantastic performance, don’t get me wrong. But the second-best in school history? No. Neither was Alabama alone. On the Plains not only did the home Tigers notch a ridiculously overinflated 198.575, but so did Florida. In fact, last weekend, 5 of the the all-time Top 8 records were smashed...and three 198+ in one week has never happened.
The Point Fairy came for everyone!
Most damning Will Wade quote?
This poll is closed
"We could compensate him better than the rookie minimum."
"I went to him with a strong ass offer about a month ago. Fucking strong."
"I was thinking last night on this Javonte Smart thing...I’ve made deals for as good a players as him that were a lot simpler than this."