Most of you who are obsessive enough to follow college football during these dog days of summer (hey nothing wrong with that) via the internet tubes, know by now about the unfolding scandal at Auburn University. Yes the ole paper of record decided to run a huge front page story (on a day the skies of the Middle East were being lit up with missiles and rockets) on a subject shocking to all of us - a major football school in the SEC might be doing something shady academically to keep its football scholars eligible. Here is the original article from the New York Times:
By PETE THAMEL
A graphic popped up on James Gundlach's television during an Auburn football game in the fall of 2004, and he could not believe his eyes.
One of the university's prominent football players was being honored as a scholar athlete for his work as a sociology major. Professor Gundlach, the director of the Auburn sociology department, had never had the player in class. He asked the two other full-time sociology professors about the player, and they could not recall having had him either.
So Professor Gundlach looked at the player's academic files, which led him to the discovery that many Auburn athletes were receiving high grades from the same professor for sociology and criminology courses that required no attendance and little work.
Eighteen members of the 2004 Auburn football team, which went undefeated and finished No. 2 in the nation, took a combined 97 hours of the courses during their careers. The offerings resemble independent study and include core subjects like statistics, theory and methods, which normally require class instruction.
The professor for those players and many other athletes was Thomas Petee, the sociology department's highest-ranking member. The star running back Carnell (Cadillac) Williams, now playing in the National Football League, said the only two classes he took during the spring semester of his senior year were one-on-one courses with Professor Petee.
At one point, Professor Petee was carrying the workload of more than three and a half professors, an academic schedule that his colleagues said no one could legitimately handle.
Just one ab. We don't need to borrow the whole set, D'Angelo.
Mike Slive, the head of the mucho-monied SEC, has stated that cleaning up the conference's reputation stands as a priority. An opportunity to demonstrably act on this has just crashed flaming and smoking into your living room. Just saying...
As for Tuberville, we recommend the words of Admiral Painter from Hunt for Red October.
This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.
Anyways, back to the New York Times' Auburn story. Again, I find it interesting that the New York Times thought it was important enough to give the shocking subject of academic fraud in the Sure Everyone Cheats conference the front page treatment, while still not writing up anything significant on the biggest scandal factory in the current world of college football. We wonder why, and so should everyone else who follows college football.
UPDATE 11:37 am EST: Speaking of corrupt cheaters ... err ... "troubled" programs ... we have a poll up. Make sure to vote early and vote often.